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Urban transformation of a socialist city: a case study of East Berlin - Alexanderplatz

Eriç, Dilra Nazlı
This thesis examines the role of politics in transformation of urban spaces. In this regard, the main focus is Berlin because the city represents how politics of each era is effective in urban development processes: Once a divided city after the World War II where Berlin manifested both parties’ ideological sentience and related urban strategies, the city soon came under successive transformations in accordance with the expectations of the new regime upon its re-unification. In this framework, by studying the Alexanderplatz Project as an example, the thesis questions the urban space policies of the East Berlin as socialist and the West Berlin as capitalist during the division years; the political transformation of the East Berlin after the fall of Berlin Wall; and the current conditions of East Berlin after re-unification. Here the aim of this study is to understand the different systems of urban space under the pressure of socialist and capitalist ideologies. Through the spatial analyses of the former East and West Berlin and through the comparative analyses of East Berlin in its transformation years the study intends to decipher how such successive changes took place and became operative under different regimes. Alexanderplatz is regarded as a unique example with which urban transformation is in accordance with changes in the political system.