REGENERATION OF THE HISTORICAL URBAN CENTER AND CHANGING HOUSING MARKET DYNAMICS: ‘FENER-BALAT’

ELMIRA AYSE GUR

Abstract


The Fener-Balat districts, located in the Historical Peninsula, are among the most prominent historical and cultural sites in Istanbul. The rapid growth of the city since the 1950s, mostly due to rural migration, has affected the quality of life in various sections of the city including Fener and Balat, leaving them almost completely derelict. The Rehabilitation of Fener- Balat Districts Programme is a joint program of the European Union and the Fatih Municipality (sub-municipality of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality). It was carried out during the period between January 2003 and June 2007. Regeneration, revitalization and rehabilitation of historical urban centers, which have become degraded and dilapidated due to sub-urbanization has been successful in most cases. The gentrification process has also paralleled the resulting socio-economic revitalization and regeneration process. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine and investigate the rehabilitation process and its results in these districts, with special emphasis on the gentrification that occurred as a result of this process. In order to explore how the increase in housing prices in the historical residential Fener and Balat districts after the rehabilitation program affected the social structure and how this process resulted in undesired gentrification, a survey design was conducted and social and economic aspects in Fener-Balat has been analyzed and explored in depth with respect to the individual, immediate surroundings and the urban social structure. The resulting gentrification phase is more important than the preceding phases of revitalization and renovation, because it influences the housing market the most.


Keywords


Historical urban center; revitalization; regeneration; gentrification; changing housing market dynamics.

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