- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
(Re)-Making Space for Globalization: Entreprenuerial Urbanism and the Politics of Dispossession in Istanbul
In its attempts to craft Istanbul as a “global city,” the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is spearheading an ambitious campaign of “urban transformation.” This dissertation investigates the Municipality’s “urban transformation” agenda as a lens to study the shifting dynamics of poor people’s mobilization in Istanbul. It examines how political, cultural, ethnic, and class-based differences influence residents’ responses to urban transformation projects. It focuses on two neighborhoods: Basibuyuk, site of a squatter redevelopment project located on the Asian side of Istanbul, and Sulukule, a historic neighborhood adjacent to the old city wall and home to one of the oldest Roma settlements in the world dating back to the Byzantine Empire, which is currently being demolished as a part of the local Municipality’s urban renewal program.
Islamic Urban Governance: A Transnational Perspective
This project offers transnational perspectives on urban renewal policies. It examines what sorts of “best-practices” of urban renewal are transferred between Istanbul and other cities of the Islamic World and what sorts of investment partnerships emerge through transnational interactions between policy-makers and between developers. It tries to understand the extent to which Islam functions as a “network resource” in the formation of these linkages. It is the first stage of a larger project that will carry out a comparative study of what’s referred to as “dispossession through urban renewal” in various metropolitan regions across the Middle East including Cairo, Amman, and Istanbul, all of which are at the forefront of urban renewal.