Changing Urban Identity of Azapkapı From the Users' Point of View

Türken A. Ö.

in: Contemporary Approaches in Urbanism and Heritage Studies, Rokhsaneh Rahbarianyazd, Editor, Cinius , İstanbul, pp.59-69, 2021

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Publisher: Cinius
  • City: İstanbul
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-69
  • Editors: Rokhsaneh Rahbarianyazd, Editor
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This section provides to examine the effect of spatial changes on the urban identity from the users' point of view, and it conducts a comprehensive review on literature about urban identity, spatial change, and collective memory through a selected case study. Recognized; individuals' experiences related to space create their spatial memory. The signs are symbols, monuments, and indicators transferred by the society are reflected in the collective memory and define the common identity. In this context, interventions in urban space affect user profiles, activity diversity, the meaning attributed to space, and it causes the users' perception of urban identity to change. So a multi-layered area with different users is chosen as a study area to understand these dynamics.

As known, Istanbul is a metropolitan area that has hosted many different civilizations and uses throughout the historical process. Karaköy is also one of the areas used by Byzantion, Rome, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Within the scope of the research, Azapkapi, located in the Karakoy sub-region of Istanbul province, was selected as a case study. The area used focuses on a port, shipyard, trade, customs, and transportation and is an essential location in the historical process (İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, 2016). During the Republic period, it maintained its vitality with activities such as business centres and banks. With the departure of minority groups from the region in the 1950s, user profiles changed. It brought the field to the agenda with the events related to moving the workplaces to Perpa in the '80s. After the 2000s, spatial interventions such as the continuation of the tram system, the speculative construction process of the Golden Horn Metro Bridge, the demolition and reconstruction of the fishing market, the arrangement of coastline is brought a new user base to the area. Thus, it has come to the fore in recreational activities as well as commercial activities in the field. Transportation projects in the area diversified the user profiles; activities such as the reorganization of coastline and the fishing market changed the land use and user perceptions.

In this sense, a literature review was conducted to understand the impact of spatial change on the urban identity of the area; changes in the urban pattern were detected by mapping and matched with activities. Parallel to these, it was thought that the reflections of the field in the press and media had a shaping effect on the collective memory. Evaluations were made through the content analysis of the news. By conducting a survey study involving 84 people and permanent/temporary user groups, it was determined how the users defined the area, what they used it for, the problems and potentials in the area, and how they evaluated the spatial changes in the area. As a result of these analyses, it has been revealed how the effect of the existing dynamics in the area on the urban identity is perceived by the user.