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

Okyay, Tarık
Yazar, Vildan
Altaban , Özcan
The neo-classical approach in location theory has long been the traditional tool for analysing the urban market. However, criticisms of the neo-classical approach have recently appeared and alternative methods of analysis have been discussed in Harvey and other writers including Castells. The arguments against the neo-classical approach indicate its inadequacy in explaining many of the problems existing in the urban housing market and center their attack on its assumption that "use value" and "exchange value" of commodities are always equivalent or identical. This paper attempts to make a contribution to this criticism by analysing empirical data from the city of Ankara. Although the concepts of "use value" and "exchange value" possess considerable analytical usefulness, the transformation from these theoretical concepts to the actual world is often difficult to make. The data we have selected could only be accepted as proxy indicators of "use value" and "exchange value". A further difficulty arises due to the existence of multiple definitions of "use value" in neo-classical economics "use value" is closely related to the concept of "utility" while the concept "utility" itself becomes hazy at the boundaries of micro and macroeconomic analysis. In the analysis of Ankara household surveys this problem with regard to the definition of "use value" becomes manifest. A further elaboration of the existing debate on urban location theory is related to the fact that in most of the cities of the underdeveloped world there exist not a single but usually two separate housing markets. One of these housing markets serves upper income groups while the other serves the lower income groups. The prices in each market are determined at distinctly separate levels. Just the same this paper does not directly deal with the problem of two housing markets (excluded in the neo-classical approach), but rather with the argument on whether the equivalence of "use value" and "exchange value" in any one market is a valid assumption. But then the existence of two separate markets in the city of Ankara is an inescapable fact, so we have selected our examples from two distinct housing areas although we have analysed each market separately within itself. The first section of this paper gives a brief review of the arguments on the concepts of "use value" and "exchange value" in relation to the attitude of various interest groups active in the urban housing market. In the following sections "use value" is analysed with regard to the indoor standards of dwellings as well as the environmental standards. The neo-classical approach provides a very inadequate explanation for the deterioration of environmental standards in most parts of the city. One section in this paper relates the deterioration of environmental standards to the discrepancy between "use value" and "exchange value". The last section studies "exchange value" of dwellings with regard to rent and income and to the distribution of resources in the housing market.


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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.