A socio-spatial analysis of urban transformation at a neighborhood scale: the case of the relocation of Kadifekale inhabitants to TOKİ Uzundere in İzmir
Demirli, M. E.
Ultav, Z. T.
Cities: the international journal of urban policy and planning
140 - 159
Item Usage Stats
Particularly in the last two decades, urban governors have presented urban transformation projects as ideal solutions to help low-income urban residents improve their living conditions. However, the way they have been carried out and their consequences mean that these projects do not, in most cases, bring the expected improvements. Most projects involve relocating residents to new, more peripheral districts of the city, which causes social isolation and certain socio-spatial incompatibilities between their previous and new habitats. Using a case from Izmir in Turkey, this study aims to analyze such socio-spatial incompatibilities in the lives of low-income residents that are caused by relocation within the framework of urban transformation projects. One of Izmir's earliest inner-city gecekondu neighborhoods, Kadifekale was chosen by Izmir Metropolitan Municipality as a site for urban transformation due to the risk of landslide in the area. Before the start of the project, the neighborhood contained 7324 housing units accommodating rural-to-urban migrants, mainly from the southeast of Turkey. This urban transformation project aimed to relocate at least some of the inhabitants from their homes in Kadifekale to recently constructed apartment blocks in the TOKI˙ Uzundere Public Housing Project on the periphery of the city. Although many residents were reluctant to exchange their houses for new apartments, some were persuaded to move to TOKI˙, which was presented as the ideal solution by the municipal officials. This study critically evaluates the Kadifekale urban transformation project, particularly with regard to the relocation of some Kadifekale residents from their one- or two-story houses in Kadifekale to apartment blocks on the periphery of the city. The analysis is based on a comparison between the socio-spatial experiences of migrants in Kadifekale and their recent experiences in Uzundere and the possibility of certain incompatibilities in these two experiences. The argument aims to demonstrate the changed conditions of social life and daily life practices as a result of altered spatial properties at a neighborhood scale: their use of outdoor spaces, the meanings they attributed to neighborhood space ("intimacy of place" within categories of sensual (visual and olfactory) recognition), and their sociospatial network. The argument draws both implicitly and explicitly on Henri Lefebvre's spatial triad and De Certeau's conceptualization of tactic versus strategy as the major conceptual inspirations for this study. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Low income population
Izmir [Izmir (PRV)]