When Transnational Capital Simultaneously Touches and Untouches the Global City Space: The Case of Istanbul

Authors: ASLI CEYLAN ONER*, Izmir University of Economics, Cemil Arslan, Marmara Municipalities Union, Ezgi Kucuk, Marmara Municipalities Union
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Eurasia
Keywords: İstanbul, transnational capital, real estate, large-scale projects
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In order to attract global flows of people and capital, global city governments are continuously searching for economic growth opportunities, which is most visible through the large-scale projects in the physical realm of the city (Oner 2008; Sassen 2001; Scott, et al. 2001). “In order to function efficiently, global flows insert physical channels into cities “(Oner 2008, 65). These channels start from transportation hubs like airports, continue with smart highways or rail connections and lead to areas that are identified with global chain hotels, waterfront developments, luxury housing, international chain restaurants, and shopping centres with famous brand-name stores (Graham and Marvin 2001). This is where through the glamorous design of the built environment, the city exerts its economic and cultural power among other global cities (Newman and Thornley 2005). This study focuses on the transformations in the urban space of Istanbul, specifically focusing on the city’s large-scale and high-value real estate projects that are developed or expected to be developed via transnational capital. We seek to offer an inventory of the projects that were completed, not completed and are under construction. Through interviews and media analysis, the paper explores the planning and design dynamics in the completed, planned or unfinished large-scale real estate projects and offers a critical discussion of the process and consequences regarding the role of transnational capital in urban transformation and the global city image of İstanbul.

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