- Waterfront Revitalization as a challenging urban Issue in İstanbul    click here to open paper content1101 kb
by    Bas Butuner, Funda | basfunda@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In recent years, waterfront revitalization has become one of the major concerns of Turkish coastal cities. In this context, this study criticizes waterfront revitalization attempts in Istanbul as a standardized and homogenized process in the global sense.
Cities are not static units. With the improvements in technology and new demands of the society, they are subject to change by initiating radical transformations in their economical, physical and social structure. Post-industrial cities are the most impressive examples of this transformation. In the mid of 20th century, with the removal of industrial activities from city centers, large amount of urban lands turned into derelict spaces waiting for redevelopment. Especially port zones, with the shift of port facilities from city centers to outer city zones, became the most potential vacant urban lands of post industrial cities. After this recession period, waterfront revitalization projects emerged as the main concern of cities and in the second half of 20th century, many waterfront revitalization projects were implemented almost in every coastal city in the world. Although waterfront revitalization projects had many successful outcomes, there are also some controversial results. Under the dominance of global economy and changing dynamics of urban life, distinctive characteristics of waterfronts ignored in many projects. Waterfronts reveal as a means in the development of urban economy and reformation of city’s image in the global sense. This approach created a standardized waterfront revitalization model with large green areas, high-rise residential blocks, commercial and cultural centers.

Like the many other world cities, Turkish port cities are also dealing with a transformation process for their waterfronts. In recent years, some projects were developed for the waterfronts of major Turkish cities. İstanbul, being an important port city throughout the history, is a remarkable case that experiences this process. A similar model to the other world cities waterfronts were applied in the projects that were developed for İstanbul. Although most parts of these projects are not implemented yet, there are some controversial issues that can be discussed based on this paper’s argument.
port zones revitalization, post-industrial waterfront, waterfront revitalization projects in İstanbul
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