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De-regulatory urban redevelopment policies in gecekondu areas in Turkey: the case of Dikmen Valley

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2005
Mühürdaroğlu, Anıl
Urban renewal policies in welfare state period are usually associated with the paradigm of social engineering that was dominant between 1940s and 1970s. However, in the wake of the fiscal crisis of the state in 1970s, and the following hegemony of the new right, urban policies including the renewal schemes have been ever-increasingly dominated by the deregulatory market oriented policies and rent seeking concerns. De-regulatory urban renewal policies focusing mainly in squatter areas have also dominated the urban policies and political discourse in Turkey since the mid-1980s and little attention has been paid to the negative consequences of these policies. Today, more than ever, residential redevelopment presents cities with a fundamental dilemma. In order to change the social and spatial condition of disstressed areas, alternative policies are implemented through either market or state-led redevelopment schemes. However, very same renewal schemes directly or indirectly leads to displacement of lower-income population, raising concerns over political equity. Likewise, overall success of these schemes often complicated by their impact on the macro-form of the cities. The main objective of this study is to discuss the impacts of de-regulatory urban renewal policies on the socio-spatial structure of contemporary Turkish cities in which, social exclusion and spatial segregation are becoming increasingly widespread. The case of Dikmen Valley Redevelopment Project provides us with the opportunities to conduct this discussion since it is one of the most significant urban renewal projects in Turkey and it is regarded as a model for the forthcoming gecekondu transformation projects. The thesis argues that although the scheme has been led by the local authority, the logic of market which revolves around the rent-seeking activities has dominated the redevelopment process in the