“Regeneration or relocation” A critical analysis and an alternative for sustainable urban development in Istanbul

Birgonul Z., Mendoza-Arroyo M. D. C.

6th Euro-American Congress on Construction Pathology, Rehabilitation Technology and Heritage Management, REHABEND 2016, Burgos, Spain, 24 - 27 May 2016, vol.2016-May, pp.278-285 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 2016-May
  • City: Burgos
  • Country: Spain
  • Page Numbers: pp.278-285
  • Keywords: Relocation, Slum upgrading, Sustainable urban development, Urban regeneration, Urban transformation
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: No


Under the brief title of “Regeneration or Relocation”, this study faces as main objective a critical analysis of the contexts linked to a particular case, to interpret the nature of results and their relation with a sustainable urban development. The initial question is what sort of innovation could be best solution for a mega city in transformation, and questioning why is this regeneration process happening, as well as its’ final effects on the space, and the society. The methodology is looking for alternatives of re-settlement and displacement, which focus on the projects for slum amelioration and urban renewal in historical neighborhoods. The added value is, to critically analyze the project done in the historic neighborhood of Istanbul regarding community benefits. Accordingly, this work focused on urban regeneration strategies in Istanbul and the social participation process, which involved sociocultural aspects in the ‘Sulukule Urban Regeneration Project’, treating its’ social impact as a study-case. Istanbul is an urban mosaic, which consists of diverse architectural heritages, social ties, historical bounds, ethnic roots and cultural engagements. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has proposed several developments in the last decade. Such attempts pursued strong impacts on the unique urban fabric of Istanbul, raising criticism from academic works and other authorities that could not find in these projects a fair a correlation of costs and benefits with the results achieved. The revitalization of the slum neighborhood and the projects applicability with respect to the community is not simple and substantive as it assumed: it is supposed to serve the people’s capacity, wellbeing and development. Since respect for the existing social structure is one of the three pillars of any sustainable intervention (care for the environment, social benefits and economic viability), the renewal projects should serve its own community, caring for requirements to respect or to improve the urban fabric, but also the existing environment and life, including immediate context and existing social ties, which certainly, is not an easy task.