Commercialisation and shopping are often criticised not only in the public and political debate but also in the academic literature. This article probes urban fragmentation, both physical and social, as a cause of the downside of globalisation and other economic forces. It explains how commercial spaces can be a new catalyst for the integration of (intelligently fragmented) urban spaces. The article goes on to investigate the possibility of integrating commerce with infrastructure and the countryside, to become a new intermodal node for the city of the future, discussing issues like how commercial spaces can use their multi-facetedness to acquire new centrality, rather than remaining isolated objects in the urban landscape.
Keywords: Urban fragmentation; globalisation; shopping