Renewal Agenda in Istanbul: Urbanisation vs. Urbicide

Zeynep Günay


The paper claims that the renewal schemes, which have been employed as an evolving model in resolving the urbanisation problem, are turned into the instruments of “urbicide” in Istanbul as a political “evolving” model of urban destruction. The concerns arising out of this change of emphasis encompass conflicts between theory and practice, as well as conflicts between marketing and planning, process and action, authenticity and diversity, users and owners, opportunities and threats. Within this scope, by constructing an urban renewal framework through the exploration of Law on the Protection and the Revitalisation of Deteriorated Historical and Cultural Immovable Assets (2005) and Law on the Transformation of Areas under Disaster Risk (2012), the paper intents to discuss the evolving and declining urbanisation patterns in Istanbul by relating them with up-to-date political, economic, technological and socio-economic inferences. Considerable emphasis is placed on the use of examples in Historic Peninsula to illustrate and critically analyze meanings, inputs, outputs and impacts. The paper concludes by addressing in what ways the planning as a profession can manage these evolving and declining models in resolving contradictions stemming from the dichotomy of urbanisation and urbicide in Istanbul.


Urban renewal; urbicide; Istanbul

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