VOL: 8  NO: 1  117-128   2011-1


Urban regeneration projects in Istanbul and documentary value



Yonca K Ö S E B A Y ERKAN, E . F ü s u n AL IO Š L U

Kadir Has University, Cibali, Istanbul, Turkey

Received: July 2010            Final Acceptance: April 2011



Historic cities directly reflect urban transformations and the restructuring of social life shaping the physical environment of a city. In Istanbul, however, recent changes in the physical environment have taken a different path from that of the past. The legal framework and organization of this forced transformation has rapidly developed. Such transformation projects will set into motion irreversible processes altering historic areas in Istanbul. On the one hand, new spaces for divergent formations are sought, utilizing the power of law. On the other hand, the stratification of the city, which dates back centuries, has been subjected to regeneration projects including conservation work. However, the preservation approach employed in these projects displays an inclination towards “gentrification” at the higher scale, which bears the risk of neglecting the authentic qualities of the actual urban fabric or the buildings. In other words, the underlying aim of such projects is the removal of the dilapidated, ruinous, poor and marginal character of the present via processes of gentrification. The documentary value of a structure consists of the qualities of a cultural asset which require preservation. In this regard, this paper will demonstrate the documentary values which are threatened by proposed urban transformation projects in the historic peninsula of Istanbul.



Keywords:  Urban transformation, heritage, documentary value, authenticity.


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