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URBAN REGENERATION, RENEWAL OR REHABILITATION WHAT for and for WHOM ?

Abstract
By : Alper Ünlü

 
Today central neighborhoods of Istanbul like other cities of Turkey has entered a critical stage in urban preservation and urban regeneration issues. This discussion rather than being an academic argument, it exposes many contradictions about the real life especially in central neighborhoods. The reason for being dilemma for these settings ,first, these neighborhoods are typical dilapidated historical environment and they may need urgent decisions for preservation and conservation, second , "the urban transformation law" that we faced for historical environments which is passed from the Turkish Parliament in 2006,coded as 5366. This paper elaborates two set of aspects about the real situation of central neighborhoods. First set is based on the physical and social aspects of the historical environment before the urban regeneration project, the second set of aspects will be related to the aspects of the implementation of the project. The aspects in general sense present insufficiencies in physical and social contexts. These aspects can also be observed in central neighborhoods of Istanbul, like Tarlabasi, Fener, Balat and Zeyrek . The realities which we observed in these neighborhoods force us to conclude that we should rapidly regenerate these neighborhoods that they perceived as the edge of the threshold of "ghetto". The paper presents contradictions about the aspects of the dilapidated environment, and it also predicts possible aspects in new urban regeneration projects that they might be emerged after application of the new law. The insufficiencies stated in new projects bring out a classical question" does the law coded 5366 efficiently change or regenerate the dilapidated central neighborhoods?". Will we have better living conditions in central neighborhoods after the implementation of the law coded 5366 ? The paper ends with the discussion on complicated aspects of the central neighborhoods regarding the issues of new living conditions, the implementation of new law and monetary based opportunities for new land or property developers. The paper draws the attention to unseen qualities of the central neighborhoods and it evaluates ongoing manipulations and legal implementations for building blocks based on short term speculations.
Keywords : Central Neighborhoods, Regeneration, Gentrification, Historical Environments .

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