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Comparative analysis of post industrial dockland transformation initiatives: guidance for policy for the haydarpaşa port and surroundings

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2008
Urkun Bowe, İlknur
Urban transformation initiatives are interventions that aim to manage urban change. Evolving from slum clearance and renewal, these initiatives took different forms throughout the century, in accordance with their social, economic and spatial contexts. The dominant urban context of the late 20th and early 21st century being deindustrialization and decentralization, urban redevelopment and regeneration initiatives became the highlights of urban policy. Alongside the ever-transforming residential neighborhoods and city centers, deindustrialization brought about change in some other parts of the city that had incredible value: Docklands. These areas were slowly being abandoned in this period; creating serious socio-economic and spatial problems while also creating unique opportunities for cities in their adaptation to the postindustrial economy. The fall of production as the basis of urban economies was followed by the rise of consumption, which cherished these vast and publicly owned spaces abandoned by production related uses. Turkish cities are, and have been, transforming with a pace which policy intervention can barely catch up with. Turkish docklands are under real estate investment pressure in a similar way to the vacant docklands of postindustrial cities around the world, but with one significant difference. Dockland transformation has not been the condition, but is the desired situation in our port cities; Haydarpaşa port constituting one of the best examples. While still fully functional, this important port and its surroundings, including the Haydarpaşa train station, has been subject to transformation proposals throughout the last decade. Following a number of unsuccessful initiatives, the latest proposal for the area has been “Haydarpaşa World Trade Center and Cruiser Project”. This thesis aims to understand the actual forces behind transformation of a dockland area in Turkey, and to determine if the proposals have been addressing these forces and factors. The study involves examination of the conditions of urban development in the postindustrial era and some cases of dockland transformation schemes launched in this period. The aim is to compare these cases and their backgrounds to the context of the Haydarpaşa area, in order to determine the relevance of the utilized policy models to transform this extremely valuable part of the Bosphorus.