Asu Aksoy - Riding the Storm

Asu Aksoy - Riding the Storm - City analysis of urban...

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Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at Download by: [York University Libraries] Date: 12 November 2015, At: 20:07 City analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action ISSN: 1360-4813 (Print) 1470-3629 (Online) Journal homepage: Riding the storm: ‘new Istanbul’ Asu Aksoy To cite this article: Asu Aksoy (2012) Riding the storm: ‘new Istanbul’, City, 16:1-2, 93-111, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2012.662373 To link to this article: Published online: 23 Apr 2012. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 803 View related articles Citing articles: 9 View citing articles
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Riding the storm: ‘new Istanbul’ Asu Aksoy Istanbul is faced with a fundamental dilemma: on the one hand, there is the logic of globa- lizing the city that is animated and driven by a top-down political ambition; with its drive for wealth creation and increase in the standard of living, for some of its inhabitants at least, through producing the city as a real-estate proposition. And, on the other, there is the prin- ciple of the public city with its concern over the common good—inclusive citizenship, the ecological profile, the historic identity and public culture of Istanbul. As the city is colonized by the logic of real-estate-driven growth, becoming globally open, it is losing another kind of openness—the kind of openness that has allowed citizens of all kinds to coexist, and allowed disadvantaged, marginal and incoming migrant communities to survive and make a space for themselves in the city. As Istanbul now becomes a megacity on the trajec- tory of becoming a regional powerhouse, composed of a fragmentary landscape of gated communities, residential complexes, recreational zones and tourist areas, it ceases to be a real city. Historic districts take their toll in this process, becoming, mono-functional, and in fact, dead spaces. The challenge for civic actors in Istanbul is to negotiate an argument for the public city to survive. The only way for the public city argument to make any headway today is to take into account the fact that the growth-based politics has a popular appeal and support. What is needed is a new kind of critical politics that is able to manage and steer the real-estate-based growth for the public city argument. This is no less a challenge than one of finding a way to ride the storm that is caused by the ‘new Istanbul’. Key words: Istanbul, globalization, European Capital of Culture, urban regeneration, historic neighbourhoods, heritage policies, civic actors A s the city increasingly opens itself to the contemporary global order, the fundamental issue confronting Istanbul is about the kind of openness it will harness. There are two possibilities.
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