Culture-led Urban Transformation Strategies for Industrial Heritage and Industrial Areas in Istanbul




cultural development strategies, cultural industries, creative industries, transformation of industrial sites, İstanbul



In relation to the advances in information economics the flow of capital, creative industries, high-speed transportation systems and spatial characteristics of cities have led to the proliferation of cultural economics. In this respect, the departure of industry from cities is considered as a significant opportunity for the spatial improvement of cultural economics. Brownfields and industrial sites that are likely to abandon residential areas in the future stand out on account of their potential for transformation. Accordingly, this study aims to shed light on the spatial future of İstanbul, where development is currently aimed at achieving a global city, and to provide an analytical framework for the likely transformation of brownfields and idle industrial heritage sites.


For the purposes of this study, Suitability Analysis was utilized to evaluate industrial heritage sites that are no longer functional and industrial sites that hold the potential for transformation in İstanbul from the perspective of cultural development strategies. Therefore, first of all, the factors that influence site selection and agglomeration of cultural functions and cultural industries were created, weighed and mapped. Second, the components that specify the spatial preferences of entrepreneurial, creative class, and progressive strategies as well as the corresponding weighs of these components were identified. Finally, cultural development strategies that may be used to address the industrial sites in İstanbul with the potential for transformation, and the weighs of these strategies were revealed by using the “multi-criteria evaluation” method.


Culture-led transformation is typically shaped with the high-income target of entrepreneurial strategies. However, the transformation process should be reinforced with creative and progressive strategies. In this context, sites that are favourable for transformation in İstanbul accommodate an immense potential for entrepreneurial strategies, while the Bosporus as well as the Historic

Research Limitations/Implications

This study focuses on the province of İstanbul, which has the strongest connection to the network of global cities. The theoretical framework and materials for this study are made up of the available body of literature, digital maps, plans and plan reports.


This study provides a platform for planners and authorities to discuss the culture-led regeneration of industrial heritage sites and brownfields with a focus on the medium- and long-term plans, programs and decisions for İstanbul. In addition, it contributes to the planning literature by offering a perspective on content and methodological approach for similar studies.


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Author Biographies

Serkan Sınmaz

Doç. Dr. Serkan Sınmaz  is an Associate Professor of  Kırklareli University, Faculty of Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning Department, Krıklareli. He worked  as a research assistant in the Department of Urban and Regional at Yıldız Technical University, in 2008 and 2014 respectively. He has worked as an associate professor  in the Department of Urban and Regional at Kırklareli University since 2020.

Aslı Altanlar

Dr. Aslı ALTANLAR  is an assitant Professor of  Amasya University, Faculty of Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning Department, Amasya. She worked  as a research assistant in the Department of Urban and Regional at Yıldız Technical University, in 2010 and 2015 respectively. She has worked as an assistant professor  in the Department of Urban and Regional at Amasya University since 2015.


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How to Cite

Sınmaz, S., & Altanlar, A. (2021). Culture-led Urban Transformation Strategies for Industrial Heritage and Industrial Areas in Istanbul. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 9(2), 1010–1035.