CROWD ORIENTED PUBLIC SPACE APPROACH ON THE ISTIKLAL STREET, ISTANBUL: MANY PEOPLE, IN THE SAME PLACE, AT THE SAME TIME

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2021-7
Kesici, Neslişah
The concepts of public space and crowd have been in a close relationship in every period of history. Especially in today's metropolises, this relationship leads to significant changes and transformations in urban dynamics. Approaches on human-oriented public space focus on the relationship between space and people but people is often dealt as an individual but not as a crowd. People’s spatial perception and behavior also rely on many other people who are present in the same space at the same time. This thesis aims at making theoretical, methodological and practical profesional contributions to the existing human-oriented public space approaches by establishing the relationship between the space and crowding. It does that by reviewing multi-disciplinar studies on the crowd and public space approaches in association with global trends. This association allows identifying different aspects of the crowd including social and psychological, the behavior of the crowd triggered by that in public space, physical movement dynamics, crowd management, public life activities and the use of the crowd as a resource. Istiklal Street, the most iconic pedestrian street in a crowded metropolis like Istanbul, is chosen as the case study area for analyzing the social and physical aspects of the crowd. Istiklal Street is a living system consisted of three main public squares and various small public spaces along two pedestrian street segments. The crowd data is collected from the local newspaper and internet news archive. Observable videos and text contents of 80 cases documented on crowding events between 2006 and 2019 on the Istiklal Street were systematically watched and scanned to identify crowding types and the characteristics of the places where crowding occurred. The analytical part was conducted in three phases. First, the network analysis of social and physical aspects helped group the cases with similar crowd patterns, which revealed three basic contexts including daily life, mass gathering and chaos. Second, the creative mapping method was used to illustrate the relationship of crowd contexts with different social identities and physical dynamics with spatial features. To do that, the macro and micro scale spatial analysis maps were overlapped with the maps representing locations of crowding cases containing the social and physical analysis. Third, The synthesis of the findings is made by interpreting the relationship between those layers was interpreted seperately in reference to different evaluation criteria obtained from the literature synthesis. Respectively, for everyday life crowds, the attributes of attractiveness, capacity, functionality and legibility are used. Mass gathering crowds are based on the criteria of inclusivity, memorability, and permeability. Chaotic crowds deal with the relationship between space and crowding on the principles of public safety, controllability and evacuation. The result of the study covers the evaluation of crowded cases in the sections of three squares and two street segments on Istiklal Street. In addition, there are some suggestions such as simulation, design guideline and crowd management application that can improve the relationship between public space and crowd in the final part of the thesis.
Citation Formats
N. Kesici, “CROWD ORIENTED PUBLIC SPACE APPROACH ON THE ISTIKLAL STREET, ISTANBUL: MANY PEOPLE, IN THE SAME PLACE, AT THE SAME TIME,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.