The inevitability of post regeneration rent increases in heritage places: The assessment of two urban renewal projects from Turkey

Özçakır, Özgün
Mıgnosa, Anna
Bilgin Altınöz, Ayşe Güliz
Cultural heritage places embody socio-cultural and economic values and as a result of which, heritage places become the subject of renewal interventions. It is evident that every renewal intervention is alteration to its values, then interventions will change the values that heritage places involve. Economic values, mostly the rent value of heritage referring to the real estate value, will also be effected by the renewal interventions. This cause and effect relationship between the renewal and real estate values has raised an interest in heritage, both from the conservation and the economic point of view. Investigating this relationship in close-up, this study aims to illustrate the changing real estate values of heritage places after the urban renewal projects by comparing two renewal projects from two metropolitan cities of Turkey: Tarlabaşı (İstanbul) and Konak (İzmir). The significance of these projects originates from the opposing renewal strategies in terms of approaching to real estate values and the existing ownership. Tarlabası was built in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries as a primarily middle-income, non-Muslim neighborhood. At the time being, the district lost its original population, then it became a dilapidated area. Due to the decrease in rent, the buildings became an attractive housing area for rural migrants with low-income. The renewal project in Tarlabaşı – entitled Taksim 360 – aims at constructing a brand new luxurious mixed-use complex to provide “economic benefit” for private investor by displacing inhabitants from their original location. This is followed by the expropriation of the buildings before the implementations have been initiated. As a counter example to Taksim 360 project, renewal project in Konak – entitled İzmir History Project – considers different values of cultural heritage and the needs of residents for “sustainable conservation”. Konak Renewal Area is a multi-layered and composite heritage place with residential, commercial, administrative and religious buildings belonging to different time periods. Currently, the heritage place is mostly occupied by immigrants from eastern cities of Turkey and war-torn Syria. In İzmir History Project, strategies have been defined by local authority for preventing changes in ownership and increases in rent values. Considering the initial aims of Taksim 360 and İzmir History Project which are totally different, an increase in real estate value following the implementation of the renewal projects has been observed in both cases. The change in real estate value is extremely drastic in Tarlabaşı comparing to Konak due to the economic potential of the site and the profit oriented interventions throughout the project. In Konak case, although the precautions are taken to prevent the risk of rent increase, there is still a rise in real estate values which may also lead the residents to leave the area in near future. By examining these two contrasting cases, the paper aims to illustrate the (potential) effects of renewal projects to the socio-cultural and economic values of heritage places by emphasizing inevitable increase in real estate prices regardless of the initial intentions; either in the name “economic benefit” or “sustainable conservation”.
Citation Formats
Ö. Özçakır, A. Mıgnosa, and A. G. Bilgin Altınöz, “The inevitability of post regeneration rent increases in heritage places: The assessment of two urban renewal projects from Turkey,” presented at the The 20th International Conference on Cultural Economics (26 -29 June, 2018), Melbourne, Australia, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: