Tracking Morphological Agencies in the Alienated Fringe Belt Plots of Istanbul




fringe belt, fringe belt alienation, Istanbul, morphological agency, plot transformation


Fringe belts, founded on the peripheries of the city and thereafter being embedded in urbanized areas, can transform in time. They may either modify without losing the fringe belt character or alienate by being absorbed in residential or commercial growth. Especially in large cities with strong and rapid dynamics of change, the concept of fringe belt alienation can be a focal node for monitoring the transformations. Besides the morphological aspects, it is significant to examine the agencies that play roles behind these transformations. This paper intends to make contributions to the fringe belt literature in terms of morphological agencies by analyzing the alienated fringe belt plots in Istanbul that has the characteristics of both an ancient historical city and a megacity of today. The research deals with three major subjects: Istanbul’s fringe belt development, alienated fringe belt plots by morphology, configuration and property, and agencies involved in the alienation processes. Firstly, inner, middle, and outer fringe belts of Istanbul are identified. Their formation phases are observed to put forth a typical narrative of Istanbul’s urban development. Then, alienated fringe belt plots are analyzed with four case studies. The plot development cycles are examined to reveal the relationship between the plot and the building in each case. This examination addresses the phases of the formation and the first cycle of plot development. Second cycles are observed as the result of the transformations both in form and utilization. Finally, morphological agency networks of the cases are displayed by elaborating the active agents in transformation phases. They are categorized into five groups and analyzed by a network analysis. The motivations behind the agent behavior which reflect the periodization of urban development in Istanbul are also unveiled in this paper.


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Author Biographies

Ezgi Küçük Çalışkan, Istanbul Technical University

Ezgi KÜÇÜK ÇALIŞKAN completed her undergraduate education in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Izmir Institute of Technology between 2007-2011, and then received her master’s degree in Urban Design at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in 2014. She is currently working towards her doctorate degree in Urban and Regional Planning Ph.D. Program at ITU. In her thesis, she focuses on property relations in Istanbul’s fringe belt areas. She continues her academic research in the Turkish Network of Urban Morphology (TNUM). Küçük Çalışkan has been working as the Urban Planning Coordinator at the Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU). She is also the Director of the MMU Urban Policy Center and the editor of Şehir & Toplum journal.

Ayşe Sema Kubat, Istanbul Technical University

Prof. Dr. Ayşe Sema KUBAT has degrees of B. Arch, M. Arch, and Ph.D. in Urban Design & Urban Planning from Istanbul Technical University (ITU). She worked as a Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning of ITU between 1996 and 2022. Her assistance and cooperation to the research project entitled 21st Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Regeneration (cSUR) (2003-2008) is appreciated as “Honorary Fellow of Global Center of Excellence’’ at Tokyo University. Dr. Kubat is the Chair of the Turkish Network of Urban Morphology (TNUM). She has been serving on the Steering and Refereeing Committees of the Space Syntax Symposiums since 2003. She was the chair of the 6th International Space Syntax Istanbul Symposium in June 2007, and the chair of the 2nd Local Conference of TNUM in 2018 at ITU, Istanbul. She continues to contribute to various urban studies as a professor emerita.


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How to Cite

Küçük Çalışkan, E., & Kubat, A. S. (2022). Tracking Morphological Agencies in the Alienated Fringe Belt Plots of Istanbul. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 10(2), 711–734.