Housing And Environmental Standards As A Product Of The Free Market Mechanism: An Example, Ankara

Okyay, Tarık
Yazar, Vildan
Altaban , Özcan
A study of the Ankara husing market reveals that the neoclassical assumption with regard to the identity of use value and exchange value of dwellings is sometimes insuffucient as an analytical tool. Instead, the analysis of where the difference between use and exchange values lies reveals much more interesting and operational aspects of the problem. The interest groups (such as realtors and contractors) active in the housing market are primarily interested in creating high exchange values while their interest in use values is only indirect. Under such circumstances not only is there a continuous shortage of housing but the dwellings do not satisfy the needs of the people who occupy them. Although in this paper we have accepted the existance of seperate housing markets for seperate groups the inequality between supply and demand is also valid when İt is assumed thet the two social groups seek housing within their own social area. For example, in a high income residential area in Ankara it is seen that the distribution of dwelling sizes does not fit the distribution of family sizes. Some families live in dwellings which are larger than what they need- while some others have to live in small dwellings which do not satisfy their needs. Those living in large dwellings have been subject to the pressure of artificial norms set by the suppliers. In gecekondu area the problem is more acute. When the distribution of family sizes and the distribution of dwelling sizes are studied together, it becomes apparent that the families in this district do not live in dwellins large enough for their needs. j The results of the S.S. reveals that in a housing market I where•the exchange value is regarded as more important than the use value some social groups inevitably suffer. A sufficient amount of use value cannot be obtained although a large amount of exchange value is created. This is symptomatic of the distortion in the allocation of resources in housing. "The maximization of exchange values by diverse actors produces disproportionate benefits to some groups and diminishes the opportunities for others!'29 The Ankara examples present unbelievably low environmental standards. It is surprising that such standards may even be lower in the so called luxury(!) areas. The low environmental standards are the indications of the indifferent attitude towards human life in a market where the basic concern is the exchange value. What is interesting here is that the occupiers(both the tenants and the owner occupiers) of these high income dwellings do not yet fully suffer from the lack of urban services in their environment. Perhaps it is more correct to say that they are not yet fully aware of alternative conditions of living. However, it can be assumed that in coming years, with increasing car ownership, these occupiers will prefer to move out to suburban settlements where they can obtain better services. Under the light of our empirical findings what is expected to happen in large Turkish cities can be summarized as follows: The dwellings will continuously lose their use value for the higher income groups, since no attention is paid either to physical maintenance of buildings or to the environmental standards. However this will not reduce the exchange values of dwellings for there will always be some lower income social group ready to accept the conditions no matter how undesirable they may be. It is almost impossible for public authoritie's to supply the necessary urban services to such areas since the land and building prices are extremely high within the city. The authorities can more easily supply services in the areas out of the city where the land prices are relatively lower. Therefore, it is natural that the high income groups will prefer to move to areas where the environmental standards are higher. The public investments in such areas will create high exchange values. Unless this increase in values returns back to the public, this will mean a transfer of benefits to high income groups. After absorbing whatever benefits they could obtain within the city, the high income groups will now start to look for new areas where they can obtain new advantages, from public subsidy. The high income group can be viewed as a noble herd devouring its grazing grounds and moving on to new grounds leaving its place to lower species. It is not a wild guess to see the future of sub-area like Kavaklıdere, for example, as a slum with owners living outside in the prosperous suburbs of Ankara


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Citation Formats
T. Okyay, V. Yazar, and Ö. Altaban, “Housing And Environmental Standards As A Product Of The Free Market Mechanism: An Example, Ankara,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 271–294, 1975, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://jfa.arch.metu.edu.tr/archive/0258-5316/1975/cilt01/sayi_2/271-294.pdf.