VOL: 10 NO: 1  51-64  2013-1


An urban reading in-between past and future: Palimpsest identity




Istanbul Technical University, PhD candidate, Ýstanbul, TURKEY


Received: August 2012         Final Acceptance: February 2013






Within the architectural discipline, the phenomenon of identity is transformed every time it is defined and it simultaneously transforms the perception of space and experience. Since, this simultaneous transformation makes the urban history and its future projections visible in the present; it could be argued that the identity of the urban space has a palimpsest structure. The concept of “palimpsest identity” can be opened to discussion within the context of Istanbul, in relation to the current hegemonic structures and myths. Regarding globalisation, as one of the hegemonic myths of neo-liberal system, the city is re-structured through various discourses one of which is “The Brand City”. In this study, the concept of palimpsest identity is scrutinized in particular in relation to Istanbul, through how Istanbul is articulated to brand city rhetoric. A reading of the city could only give the episteme of a certain place and moment/time of Istanbul. In this consideration, the palimpsest identity of the Levent-Gültepe region on Levent-Maslak axis, which is developed to brand Istanbul as a “Financial Center”, is interpreted. As a result, the concept of palimpsest identity is offered to open up new ways of articulated to the eternal transformation of the city by producing new discourses on architecture and the urban space.

Keywords: Identity, brand cities, globalisation, transformation, in-between


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