Italy, Australia, transcultural, multiculturalism, space and place, shopping malls
This article is part of a larger study of Italian commercial and urban spaces developed around the world over the past fifteen years. It focuses in particular on the Italian Forum, a residential and commercial development built in Sydney in the late 1990s. Designed as an attempt to replicate a typical Italian piazza, the Italian Forum also aimed at celebrating the Italian contribution to Australian Multiculturalism, and at creating an urban space for the expression of Italian and Italian Australian cultures. However, the Italian Forum has largely failed as an urban, commercial, and multicultural space. By comparing it to an actual Italian piazza, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome, the article argues for the need to reconceptualize transcultural urban places by addressing two fundamental questions: what does turn an urban space into a meaningful place? And can urban atmospheres be replicated in the context of purposely driven commercial developments?