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Who Gets ‘What’ in Cities? Questioning İstanbul’s Skyscrapers

Author(s): Betül ŞENGEZER | Yiğit EVREN | Ayşe Nur ÖKTEN | Senem KOZAMAN SOM

Journal: Megaron
ISSN 1309-6915

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 71;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Skyscrapers | development rights | Istanbul | public interest.

Competitive cities, quality of urban life, sustainability, participatory planning, governance, and other such concepts comprise an important part of the popular planning discourse in Turkey. Since the Habitat II Summit in Istanbul in 1996, in particular, we have been witnessing a growing tendency towards the use of this discourse by local authorities in their public hearings of new plans or projects. In cases of discrepancies between the principles of this discourse and the economic, social and institutional dynamics, the concepts on which the discourse is built are often hollowed out and converted into a legitimization tool of controversial planning practices. This paper examines the Turkish planning system’s capacity for creating livable urban spaces by focusing on skyscrapers, which were built in Istanbul between 1990 and 2009. The spatial distribution of these skyscrapers, the market value generated through them and their distribution among urban actors are also investigated.
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