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Usability Of Large Urban Facilities In Spatial Transformation - Case Study Of Regional Shopping Centers In Istanbul


  • Darcin Akin


  • Esra Demircioglu



Due to the dynamic nature of the urban development in developing countries in parallel to rapidly changing economic, social and technological environments, decisions based on master plans do usually fail. Therefore, spatial transformation is the number one prerequisite to create more livable cities in countries where land use and location decisions do greatly divert from master plans that ill-fully represent the nature of urban development in rapidly changing environment. It is very unfortunate that like many developing countries, central government as well as local governments in Turkey have adopted this approach which is totally inappropriate to their changing environment due to rapid urbanization. In middle and low income economies, urbanization has increased by an average of 3.5 and 3.7% per annum, respectively, compared with an average of 1.5% per annum in the industrialized countries (the rate in Turkey was 4.35% from 1965 to 1985). The percent of urban population in the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul, was 24% in 1980 compared to 18% in 1960. The population of Istanbul was 11.2 million in 2000 compared to 11.3 million of Paris and 11.1 million of Osaka, Kobe (World Development Report by World Bank, 1984). In the periphery of the metropolitan city of Istanbul, there are numerous neighborhoods and urban centers hat need spatial transformation or renewal for the betterment of urban space. Renewal was defined as clearance and redevelopment until the mid-1960s. This approach for the urban betterment was changed in the 1970s by establishing legal ground via improvement and development plans. In contrast to this, in parallel to the radical changes in economic policies in the 1980s, renewal policy for the problematic locations in large urban areas were again equaled regeneration, and spatial transformations were made for the capitalization of global interests in the name of urban rent by transformation projects (Dündar, 2001). The former— improvement and development plans— failed due to the reason said in the beginning. The latter— transformation projects— have found limited application (Portakal Çiçegi, Dikmen Vadisi, Zafer Plaza transformation projects and some others) due to two great limitations: finances and public acceptance towards transformation projects. To overcome these obstacles in general, some approaches are developed, such as YHT-YHTr-Real-estate planning tools, master plans for earthquakes and natural disasters (Istanbul Metropolitan City), KED Model (Çelikhan et al., 2004). However, these approaches have not found widespread application yet due to necessary legal changes they require and most importantly the finances needed for the transformations desired in urban areas. Under the economic and social conditions in developing countries, what expected from ideal transformation approaches are to create financial tools during the process and to offer the urban rent to land owners primarily in order to speed up the transformation process towards the desired direction by creating voluntarily participation at the utmost level and to reduce the legal problems due to the introduction of new developments and land use planned by the transformation projects to be applied. This study is originated from the idea that large urban developments attract new land uses and users to their proximity or repel current land uses and users around them. This process can be seen as a “voluntarily transformation” process. Since large shopping centers or malls are built in almost every largely populated urban area all over the world in the last 20-30 years due to new shopping habits and global capital investments, we studied the effects of large shopping malls on land use in their proximity as being large developments they create urban transformation process in their proximity, as a case study in Istanbul, Turkey. To support our approach, Dennis at al. (2002) interestingly reported in their study in Northern London that the fist step in urban renovation is to renovate retail shopping and shopping centers. In this context, we performed user surveys in residential and commercial areas as well as at real estate agents in the proximity two large shopping centers; namely, Akmerkez (Etiler, Besiktas) and Tepe-Nautilus (Acýbadem, Kadýköy) in Istanbul. In addition, in the study areas the data on land use changes provided by State Statistics Institute of Turkey have been examined. It is concluded the shopping centers stimulated urban transformation on real estates in their close proximity, and in time they created transformations from residential to commercial within their primary influence boundaries, and beyond those up to a certain distance they became an attractive zone for residential use.

Suggested Citation

  • Darcin Akin & Esra Demircioglu, 2005. "Usability Of Large Urban Facilities In Spatial Transformation - Case Study Of Regional Shopping Centers In Istanbul," ERSA conference papers ersa05p616, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa05p616

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