Urban stigma: a morphological investigation of the marginality in the city

İnce, Büşra
City is one of the most complex and sophisticated artifacts shaped by numerous inputs and many different programmatic layers that eventually form the urban fabric. In modern cities, the fabric is reproduced through standardized and sterilized spatial orders controlled by the local authorities and the state. The marginals (i.e., slum areas, refugee camps, red light districts), in this context, are conceived as deviations where the so-called legitimate spatial syntax is interrupted and deformed. Since the marginal spaces cause fear, moral apprehensions, and a threat to the image of the city, they are exposed to some kind of purification strategies and urban policies. Brothels, as an early type of marginal space, are periodically subject to the different modes of moral cleansing in the name of ensuring public order. Exclusion, isolation, displacement, and concealment are the instruments of the policymakers that aim to keep these immoral territories out of the moral majority’s sight and conscious. This study focuses on the question of the spatial exclusion of the marginal spaces and the dynamics of their territorialization in the case of the legal brothels in Turkey. In order to reveal the spatial characteristics of urban stigma, the marginal spaces within urban fabric, locational relations and morphological structure of the active brothels have been analyzed. In this framework, a focus study on the brothels in İstanbul, İzmir, and Adana has been conducted to identify the three basic typologies (i.e., center, inner fringe, and outer fringe), respectively. The cases were investigated in terms of location choice, spatial structures, syntactic formations, land-use patterns, visibility, typo-morphological characteristics, and boundary conditions in a multi-scalar view. The research eventually aims to expand the limited scope of the current knowledge on the issue from the sociological to morphological perspective.


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Citation Formats
B. İnce, “Urban stigma: a morphological investigation of the marginality in the city,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.