An Urban Transformation Practice: Thinking about the Individual Stories through the Kadifekale-Uzundere Dilemma

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Kilic E. M., Goksu A. E.

PLANLAMA-PLANNING, vol.28, no.2, pp.201-217, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/planlama.2018.76476
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-217
  • Keywords: Kadifekale, urban transformation, neoliberal urbanization, oral history, Uzundere
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


The current neoliberal urbanization process offers microscale, partial, segmented solutions to urban problems from a perspective of postmodernity; however, the notion of comprehensive, large-scale urban planning based on the axis of modernity, with planning approaches that focus on human rights, participation, and democracy, has been accelerating. The primary critical approach to the state-led, property-led, transformation projects that have often been often at the forefront of the urban agenda as a reflection of neoliberal urban policies is that the projects usually haven't considered the views, expectations, and daily life of the residents of the neighborhood. Rather than solving socioeconomic problems, urban transformation projects have many times been reported to actually cause problems and lead to unjust treatment of residents. This article describes the first large-scale urban transformation activity project in Turkey's third-largest city, Izmir. The Kadifekale Urban Transformation Project, which was implemented with the collaboration of the central and the local government as part of the neoliberal era, is reflected in this article through the eyes of people who experienced the transformation in Kadifekale during the implementation phase. Data were obtained using the oral history method to reveal the expectations and views of groups who were affected by this urban transformation project, including the meaning they attributed to Kadifekale and the new place of resettlement, Uzundere. The oral history method was chosen for this research because it offers important opportunities to increase understanding of the transformation processes occurring in cities under neoliberal policies; it reveals the perspectives of "others," which are often unreadable and unrecognized on the socioeconomic and spatial information at the micro-level. The oral histories of this study record local resistance to the destruction of individual and social interpretations of the meaning of space.