(Un)-building the Metropolis: Istanbul at the Age of “Urban Transformation” : Noria Research
Très belles photos de Fikirtepe et Basaksehir
The two contributions presented here shed light on the ongoing urban mutation of the Bosphorus megalopolis. They present two facets of the so-called “urban transformation” policy (“kentsel dönüşüm” in Turkish) at work in Istanbul. The policy is of considerable significance and has thus increasingly attracted the attention of the social sciences that for too long over-focused on Sulukule. Launched more than a decade ago by the Turkish authorities, the “kentsel dönüşüm” gained momentum after the 2012 Anti-seismic Law that aims to “replace” hundreds of thousands of residential buildings in order to meet with earthquake resistance regulations. This “urban transformation” plays a major role in creating new urban polarities through the renewal of the housing stock and above all the increase in land values. The two photographic perspectives presented here are critically complementary. The first series of pictures, in Fikirtepe, crudely unveils destruction at the hands of the policy. Meanwhile the second one, in Başakşehir, quietly observes the new urban model that emerges from this metamorphosis orchestrated by the elite.