Urban transformation within the interface of design and administration: the case of izmir harbor district

Acar, Yiğit
Throughout the history, there had been continuous relationships between cities and their ports. These relations recently have been changing. In many port cities, while heavy industrial functions and freight harbors have been moved out of the former harbor districts, the resulting derelict spaces have been transformed to new waterfront quarters to accommodate commercial, tourism, financial, cultural, residential and public uses with high-quality public spaces by large-scale regeneration schemes through the leadership of public-private partnership to produce new identities for these cities, and ultimately to find new niches or to maintain their places within the global network of port-cities. This thesis, aiming to examine the city-port relation on the case of Izmir, specifically focuses on the recent transformation process of Izmir Harbor District. Based on cultural perspective put forth by Meyer, it first investigates the changing cultural definitions of both the city and the port in three major European cities (London, Barcelona and Rotterdam), as well as the prominent actors which were influential in the planning and design processes of these port transformations. The investigation of three cases with reference to their individual planning contexts and the actors involved in the planning and design processes shows that the possibility of implementation of design approaches is related with the planning culture specific to the context which the practice takes place. Based on this assumption, the investigation of the transformation process of Izmir Harbor District is carried out through Meyer’s cultural context with reference to three major topics: development of planning practice, the planning structure and transformation process. The involvement of several actors in the planning and design process and their impacts on both the process and space are particularly examined. The investigation shows that the initial planning process in the district had been conducted with a particular emphasis on urban design issues. The urban design approach in the initial sta ges of the planning process could not be implemented due to a series of reasons resulting from the Turkish planning system. Finally, this research, comparing the case of Izmir with similar recent European examples, underlines the challenges, difficulties, and problems of the transformation process of Izmir Harbor District, and discusses the missing aspects in the Turkish planning system and culture with the help of the gained insights on Izmir.


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Citation Formats
Y. Acar, “Urban transformation within the interface of design and administration: the case of izmir harbor district,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.