Displacement and asset transformation from inner-city squatter settlement into peripheral mass housing

Borsuk, Imren
Eroglu, Ensari
While slum clearance projects in the Global South have displaced a large number of urban poor from the inner city to peripheral areas, peripheral mass housing estates have been developed as a spatial fix to improve the livelihood of the urban poor through slum development projects. Shifting the focus of displacement and poverty studies on changing assets and social experiences of displacement, this study makes an empirical contribution to the literature with a case study from Turkey. It demonstrates that mass housing projects that increase the importance of market-based processes and financial assets at the expense of intangible assets (household relations and social capital) make the urban poor more vulnerable to displacement pressure and external shocks. Using the example of a mass housing project in Turkey designed for the relocation of a highly concentrated Kurdish migrant squatter settlement, this research demonstrates that slum development projects can cause different types of displacement, divesting residents of opportunities to accumulate assets and reconstruct a sense of place. The research demonstrates that the dissolution of intangible assets and the exclusion of social spaces that are important to relocated residents in the mass housing estate bring about community displacement in the case of Kurdish residents. Also, relocated squatters feel pressured by the ongoing and daily experiences of displacement-notably everyday, symbolic and temporal displacement-as the spatial design of the mass housing unfamiliar with the livelihood of squatter dwellers constrains their opportunities to appropriate neighbourhood space in everyday life and enact a sense of place.


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Citation Formats
I. Borsuk and E. Eroglu, “Displacement and asset transformation from inner-city squatter settlement into peripheral mass housing,” EUROPEAN URBAN AND REGIONAL STUDIES, pp. 142–155, 2020, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/65856.