The Role of sociocultural practices in the transformation and re-structuring of streets: a case study of bağdat street in İstanbul

Lotfata, Aynaz
Urban space, as a sociocultural phenomenon, is (re)constructed as a result of changes in the contextual attributes, from global to local scales. Contemporary urban spaces are involved in inter- disciplinary development and transformation aimed at creating a living, resistant and inclusive place. The large Turkish cities should take advantage of the inter-disciplinary development with the increasing complexity of socio-economic and spatial relations. This study hypothesizes that the sociocultural reality of urban space is constructed over time, and that the interaction of numerous attributes at various scales, including local, national and global, contribute to the reconstruction of space as a social place. It further suggests that this can only be understood through an extraction of varying attributes and their relationship to each other that identify different historical periods in which the transformation and reconstruction of urban space took place. To this end, three major research questions are posed: (1) What are the shared conceived attributes of Bağdat Street within a historical perspective? (2) Which shared conceived attributes of Bağdat Street have been handed down from 1923 to the present day and contributed to the construction, re-construction and/or transformation of the street? (3) What socio-political and spatial relations may have prepared the context for those attributes to settle as the part of the street culture? This exploratory-descriptive research follows a case study approach, given its suitability as a methodology in holistic-historical and in-depth investigations. The case study was made around Bağdat Street in Kadiköy, Istanbul, where in-depth interviews with people who are familiar with past events and the history of the street permitted the gathering of a large quantity of relevant data. A Fuzzy Cognitive Map technique was then applied to analyze the mass of data, from which the answers to the questions posed in the study could be drawn. The findings of the thesis reveal that sociocultural structure is a relationally constructed reality; and that multiple scales, dynamics and attributes collaborate in the construction of the social context. Accordingly, the study has uncovered that the relationally constructed place is a resistant and inclusive space.


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Citation Formats
A. Lotfata, “The Role of sociocultural practices in the transformation and re-structuring of streets: a case study of bağdat street in İstanbul,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2014.