Gentrification in Fener Balat neighborhoods: the role of involved actors

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Tuğçe Eken



Gentrification emerged as a middle-class interest in renovating houses in old city cores. The process changed in parallel with the economic and political restructuring during the last decade. In this period, urban regeneration became an urban strategy used by the local governments as well as a mask for gentrification. It aimed at restructuring the urban land in line with the preferences of wealthier groups rather than the social needs of existing residents. The governments intend to remove poor images of cities through the displacement of poor inhabitants. This, in turn, increases the risk of dilapidating the authenticity of the existing social, cultural, and historic fabric of the regeneration areas. Against this trend, international conservation agencies promote rehabilitation projects to benefit existing communities of historic neighborhoods. In line with the international declarations, they intend to rehabilitate socio-economic conditions of long term inhabitants along with the conservation of historic heritage. Accordingly, the unique architecture of Fener and Balat neighborhoods has been the focus of international efforts during the last decade. Besides, the neighborhoods attracted the local governments’ interest and were declared as urban regeneration area in 2006. In this regard, thesis intends to compare Rehabilitation of Fener Balat Districts Program (RFBDP) based on the partnership of Fatih Municipality and EU and Fener Balat Neighborhoods Regeneration Project (FBNRP) based on a model of Fatih Municipality and private sector partnership, with a focus on conserving existing communities and preventing displacement.