Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis, Vol 2, No 3 (2010)

Istanbul and the Heritage of the European City

Katharina Sucker


“The society, which has produced form and shape of the traditional European city does not exist any more.” (Siebel 2004) Raising our conscience on this circumstance as it as been pointed to by Walter Siebel does make planning issues re-appear in the light of knowledge that problems tackled on the basis of realities no longer there, are not going to be solved. In spite of this knowledge however the discourse around the European city seems to narrow a perspective to fully grasp reasons for the stagnation of its spatial form in the backdrop of socio-cultural change.
For this reason I want to include another city into the discussion, which by Siebel’s definition is a typical European city and therefore fit for a comparison with postfeudal European Cities around which Siebel´s theory is oriented. At the same time however Istanbul lifts itself from an euro-centred context by never having fully internalized culturally the mechanisms of spatial production based on western capitalism. In this contribution I will look at the role of this cultural heritage for the prevalence of spatial specificities.
Without the cultural backbone of civic management and social redistribution Istanbul is now, in the late stage of capitalism, a city that has integrated the global tendencies of neo-liberalism directly into the production of urban space. It demonstrates therefore clearly the realities of society through the characteristics of the built environment.
Possibly the image that prevails with its new more explicit forms of urban segregation and the rise of gated communities is a glimpse upon social realities which have gained validity also for the European City.

Article in Germany

Article in: Lithuanian

Article published:

Keyword(s): Legacy of European city; Istanbul; planning strategies

DOI: 10.3846/mla.2010.050

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Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis ISSN 2029-2341, eISSN 2029-2252
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