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Introduction: Urbanism and Sustainability

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Abstract

While we are preparing for an urban age with a population that will exceed 60 percent of the world's total, sustainability is the buzzword now in urban studies. It has become the goal of urban planners, city designers, administrators, economists, and anthropologists involved in the process of urbanization. Alexandru Balasescu goes further to argue that each one of us shapes the city in which we live. The city is the result of humanity's decisions regarding their habitat; it is the material form of human emotions, desires, and ways of understanding of (and relating to) the world. We shape the city and the city shapes us. Taking Bucharest and Istanbul as examples, he discusses urban sustainability from the perspective of conflict solutions and futures. He reproblematizes the goal of sustainability, which he sees as locked up in the rhetoric of economic growth, and brings into the conversation on sustainability the concepts of cohabitation, negotiation, and harmony.
AUTHOR COPY
Upfront
Introduction: Urbanism and Sustainability
ALEXANDRU
BALASESCU
ABSTRACT While we are preparing for an urban age with a
population that will exceed 60 percent of the world’s total,
sustainability is the buzzword now in urban studies. It has become
the goal of urban planners, city designers, administrators,
economists, and anthropologists involved in the process of
urbanization. Alexandru Balasescu goes further to argue that each
one of us shapes the city in which we live. The city is the result
of humanity’s decisions regarding their habitat; it is the material
form of human emotions, desires, and ways of understanding of
(and relating to) the world. We shape the city and the city shapes us.
Taking Bucharest and Istanbul as examples, he discusses urban
sustainability from the perspective of conflict solutions and futures.
He reproblematizes the goal of sustainability, which he sees as locked
up in the rhetoric of economic growth, and brings into the
conversation on sustainability the concepts of cohabitation,
negotiation, and harmony.
KEYWORDS Istanbul; Bucharest; economic growth; cities;
cohabitation; star architecture; transport
If this town/ Is just an apple/Then let me take a bite
1
‘Human nature’ Michael Jackson
Introduction
I am a serial migrant, along with an important part of the world’s population (Ossman,
2007). I have also always been a city dweller. Since 1997, I have lived in five cities and
one ex-urb
2
on three continents (Europe, Asia, and North America). I am now living in
Istanbul, the city that spans two continents.
Each of those cities speaks a d ifferent language, and projects a different image. Each of
them is the result of a different approach to what a city means, and they reflect the era
in which they were conceived along with all the different eras that followed. For exam-
ple, as central to global flows of capital, humanity, and technologies since the nine-
teenth century, Paris is on the one hand supremely modern and on the other retains
the haussmanian imprint along with its Imperial ideology. Lyon (where I spent one year)
is a combination of a medieval town (now revalued and reinserted into the tourist econ-
omy of the city), nineteenth-century E mpire and twentieth-century development, sepa-
rated by the two rivers that merge spectacularly in the city. Orange County is a place
Development, 2011,54(3), (293–300)
r2011 Society for International Development 1011-6370/11
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Development (2011) 54(3), 293–300. doi:10.1057/dev.2011.52
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that is (like the nearby Los Angeles) a car-culture
utopia, with monofunctional, distanced, and seg-
regated areas, a perpetual Paradise that needs to
be navigated with a compass. Teheran, a multi-
centred, fragmented, networked city of 15 million
inhabitants, is overwhelming with its lack of side-
walks outside the old part of the city. It segregates
betwee n the poor South and the rich North (where
the city climbs up the mountain slopes). From a
distance, it looks strikingly similar to Los Angeles.
Manama, a latecomer in the game of financial
speculations of the Gulf, has chosen to destroy
some of its historic and natural resources of
beauty, landscape, and pearls, and to build
immense buildings on land reclaimed from the
sea, like a poor imitation of Dubai. The new devel-
opments not only cut the island and the popula-
tion from its most important resource ^ the sea
and the sweet water (the island is mostly without
beaches, and the 27 sweet water sources dried
out because of reclaiming land) ^ but also
destroyed the ethnic diversity of the city and its
unique imprint on the architecture.
All these cities became part of me as much as I
became part of them. I was involved at different
levels in each of them, especially in the cultural
life of the city (both creating and consuming it).
But it is only upon my return to Bucharest in
2007 that I became involved with urbanism and
development. While on a holiday in Bucharest, I
decided to come back and contribute to the
much-needed rec onstruct ion of my country’s capi-
tal. The last 20 years of economic liberalization
and deregulation, the absence of strictly enforce-
able urban planning and rules, the infusion of
capital in rapid, profit-driven real estate develop-
ments, and the lack of a strong professional com-
munity has created a Bucharest that seems as
much a war-torn city as Beirut. City development
did not ta ke i nto c onsideration any long-term stra-
tegic choices regarding transport and mobility.
Romanian car fetishism ^ a newly and abun-
dantly available object for the (male) population ^
predominates. New housing developments adver-
tise ‘a ne w life’ based around the car a nd moder n
suburbs that exile homeowners in car-dependent
neighbourhoods.The power of the car to symboli ze
individual masculine liberty, modernity, and
progress (values cherished and desired by
Bucharest’s male inhabitants), and the lack of
alternative discourse led to a push for high-rise
roads and speedways for cars (euphemistically
called boulevards) in the middle of the city. In term s
of sustainable cities, this is a disaster. On my return,
I became involved with a com munity of young pro-
fessionals that decided to take action and claim the
right to the city. These young peoples’ networks
organize workshops, manifestations, and confer-
ences in order to save what is left to be saved of the
city and to show that a sustainable alternative is
possible beyond discourses of rapid development,
car dominance, and economic growth.
As I prepared to move to Istanbul, I began to
explore that city fresh from my involvement in
Bucharest urbanism and sustainability. I found it
to be a vibrant city, as any tourist knows Istanbul
has a unique atmosphere and beauty, but I also
saw the mark of modernity that was creating a
new fascination in Istanbul, which was shaping
the contours of the city in every way. Although
these two cities have two very different profiles
and histor ies, what I aim to do i n the article is show
how both cities are currently being shaped by the
intertwined rhetoric of growth and sustainability.
Istanbul: Living in the city too big to fail
Istanbul is one of the world’s growing mega-cities,
with 15^17 million inhabitants and with
hundreds of thousands of more people arriving to
work in the city every day. A city older than life
that renews itself on a daily bas is, de emed by some
‘too big to f ail (Sudjic, 2009).
The Turkish economy is the fastest growing
economy in Europe, registering 8 percent growth
in 2010, while other European countries were
celebrating their exit from the crisis with a timid
2^3 percent. The greater region of Istanbul contri-
butes to a significant percentage of this growth.
It has the highest rate of monthly income per
family in the country at over TL 2,500 (1,200
EUR) and the highest private consumer expendi-
ture ^ 25 percent of the countries’ total. It has a
very high density (2,400 inhabitants per square
metre) and a giant transport infrastructure, with
6,250 km of public transport routes though only
Development 54(3): Upfront
294
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200 km of railways and tramways. The demo-
graphic growth of the country suggests that in
5^10 years Turkey will have a predominantly
young population.
In mainstream economic terms, Istanbul’s
growth i s on a ‘sustainable’ path to gene rate even
more growth. But is this economic growth really
sustainable? Looking at the rapid changes in
Istanbul, the malls, the clogged traffic, the disap-
pearance of the cities’ heritage into tourist traps
makes us rethink our approach to economic
growth; is it fetishism of ‘growth’ that makes us
take GDP a s an i ndicator of a ‘hea lthy’ economy?
Istanbul has diverse socio-historical realities
around the Golden Horn, on both shores of
Bosphorus and few kilometers on both sides of
the Marmara Sea. The oldest part of the city has
Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman architectural
monuments and is now mostly populated by
tourists and the local small businesses or com-
merce involved in tourism. Across the Galata
bridge towards the tower and around it, the alter-
native artistic scene of Istanbul has created its
urban space with confectionery boutiques sell-
ing everything from bathroom fittings to bicycle
accessories. Then there is the Istighlal Boulevard,
heading towards Taksim Plaza ^ the whole area
hosting no less than 2,000 clubs and pubs, and
accounting for a pedestrian traffic of 1 million
visitors every day. It also hosts important Embas-
sies and residences, as well as cultural centres.
On the slopes of the hill towards the Bosphorus,
in Cihangir, are the expats, who prefer to live in
the are a becau se it i s like a ny other Eu ropean city.
Across Bosphorus towards North East, neighbour-
hoods such as Uskudar offer bustling commerce
and small busy neighbourhoods. The Uskudar
market abounds in locally produced food and
fish. On the shore of Marmara, Bagdat street
(relatively close to Haydarpasha Railstation) and
its surrounding is one of the preferred residential
area for young professionals in Istanbul. The
occupancyismixedandbuildingsarelow,they
‘meet’ the sidewalk with commercial spaces,
easily and readily accessible. Traditional cafe
Łs
where men are playing backgammon may be side
by side with modern pubs (or contemporary art
galleries inTaksim).
If one turns North and follows the Bosphorus
on both shores, prestigious universities and exclu-
sive residential areas border the water. And as we
move inland on both sides, a different face of the
city arises: high-speed motorways and freeways
cross residential high-rises, and there are exits
signed to huge commercial centres that become
landmarks for appointments (I remember being
asked to meet at the IKEA on the Asian Side while
involved in a marketing study in Istanbul in
2010). Gated communities carbon copies of
Southern California residencies are out of sight,
hidden by walls and vegetation ^ unless you drive
in the access-way and have a friend inside. Segre-
gated use of space and functions are the rules for
the newly and rapidly developed Istanbul, signs of
the neo-liberal logic entering the city’s walls
(Caldeira, 2000; Candan and Kolluoglu, 2008).
For all the people living here, there are over
60 malls, with the award-winning Kanyon Shop-
ping Mall dominating. Dependency on car, credit
card, and mobile communication defines life for
most of Istanbuls population. This combines with
locally/community-built human relations, the high
importance of extended family links, and a strong
valorization of the local identity that one may feel
immediately in the culinary choices offered, even in
the fast food restaurants of the malls.
Historical layerings
The nineteenth century marked the decisive
opening of the Ottoman Empire to European
influences, and this implied not only reforming
the military, but also (and mainly) infusion of
capital and technology in Istanbul. French and
German concessions battled for the new market,
with the need for new type of workforce resources
and infrastructure. Ever since, Istanbul has been
successively rebuilding itself as the capital of an
ambitious Empire and felt, until recently, into
the oblivion causing the collective melancholy
(huzun) that Orhan Pamuk caputres in many of
his books. Today, the rhetoric of progress is split
between the old-time Republicans and the Islamic
progressist wit h ‘progress’ seen as a core value of
Turkis h society, cl early indicate d in the cit y’s rapid
development.
Balasescu: Introduction
295
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Since the 1980s, Istanbul has striven to be a
‘world city’, with accelerated growth and urban
development based on local and foreign invest-
ment (riding on the wave of privatizing of state
industries). With no overall urban planning, the
city developed differently in different sections.
The rhythm of building in Istanbul is a measure
of the country’s growing economy. Every other
month, in the outskirts of the Asian side of the city,
a new neighbourhood is born with its need for
utilities and transport, delivery of food, water,
waste management, energy, and eventually green
parks and leisure spaces. The historic part of
Istanbul has become a living museum, while
the newer, modern neighbourhoods (developed
during the accelerated industrialization in the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries) project them-
selves as the holders of Turkish arts and culture
and strain to restore and reconvert the industrial
heritage of this part of the city. Just as the Golden
Horn of I stanbul was the focus of the 1950s ‘Prost
plan of urbanisation’, these areas of Istanbul
reflect the dawn of a post-industrial era.
Some of these projects are Anatolia^Thrace High-
way, construction of a second bridge over the
Bosphorus and its freeway system, international
luxury hotels, skyscrapers, office buildings, etc.
(Steele and Shafik, 2010) Star architectural projects
lead the way, such as Haydarpasha Port reconver-
sion, Kartal Pendik and Galata Port projects. Kartal
Pendik is a 555 ha project on the Asian side of the
city, integral part of the attempt to transform
Istanbul into a multi-centric, networked metropolis.
The architect office Zada Hadid
3
won the bid in
2006. The webpage of the project specifies the crea-
tion of new spaces dedicated to arts and culture,
and speaks volubly of sustainability without really
specifying what this means. The client is Istanbuls
municipality, who paid for the plans. The financial
resources for this project will come from public and
private funding; however, there is no precise date of
its commencement. The project seems to be on hold.
Meanwhile, on the peripheries (both on the
Anatolian and the European side), real estate
developments continue to spread, following the
logic of capital investment. There are plans for
development towards the city of Silivri ^ some
80km west of the centre ^ with a new airport to
regulate the spreading of the greater Istanbul
along the coast of Marmara.
Urbanism in Bucharest
Bucharest seems to be in marked contrast to
Istanbul. Romania, in the first quarter of 2011,
announced an exit from the recession, with 0.5
percent growth with a strong move of migrants
away from the city.With an estimate of 2.5 million
habitants, Bucharest is in the middle of the
Danube plain, watered by a river-turned-canal,
Dambovita, with an infrastructure that is best
described as ‘problematic. The per capita of the
city is below that of Istanbul, although averages
do not cap ture the e normous gap betwee n the rich
and the poor. The density of greater Bucharest is
around 1,300 persons/km
2
, with an overwhelm-
ing 9,000 persons/km
2
in the urban Bucharest
and one car registered for every two people.
Bucharest is based on the 1950s theories of
urban modernization: solving the traffic pro-
blem, and ‘cleaning t he ce ntre’ of its ‘undesirable’
inhabitants were among the most used and
adopted arguments in order to allow for economic
growth. Although there are now voices speaking
up against such logic, with legal battles involving
NGOs and the public administration, the city
suffers consequences. The results are evident; the
EU started on 25 May 2011 an infringement proce-
dure against Romania because of the high level of
pollution in Bucharest.
4
Here I want to tell the story of a group of
young architects, urbanists, sociologists, and
anthropologists who teamed up under the Asso-
ciation for Urban Transition (ATU) to voice their
worry about the municipality’s development
plans. This includes investments worth million of
euros that will demolish the heritage of the city
in order to make way for speed-ways to cross the
city from North to South and from East to West,
which, as studies around the world show, will only
increase traffic rather than ease congestion (Lupo
et al., 1971; Gehl, 2010). This campaign follows the
win of the NGO ‘Save Bucharest’, against the
municipality that wanted to tear down an entire
historic neighbourhood and evacuate illegally, in
full w inter, its inhabitants. That plan was declared
Development 54(3): Upfront
296
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illegal, a nd the campaign agai nst the fre eway als o
hopes to prevent the building of the freeway and
suggests an alternative sustainable green and
people-centred plan that respects the needs of the
local population.
However, the campaigners are up against
twomajorforces.First,historicallyspeaking,the
development of Romanian capital is subject to the
obsession of modernization, which has dominated
urban plan ning sinc e the 1920s. The plan for fre e-
ways is a carbon copy of the projects proposed
between the two world wars, when Bucharest
was a modern(ist) city embracing the future pro-
mised by the car industry. Those plans of the tota-
litarian regime between 1950 and 1989 destroyed
half of the city’s old neighbourhoods.
The second set of forces is turbo-urbanism
(Vockler, 2010). This is the rapid and fragmented
development of a city determined by the short-term
interests of real estate investors and developers
that build in disregard of, or even against, the
surrounding environment. A major factor is that
a weak, corrupt, or incompetent municipality ^
more often than not in complicity with hired spe-
cialists ^ retreats strategically from the process of
regulating the urban development, thus actively
creating legal loopholes, which in turn allows
investors to speculate for individuals’ immediate
gain. This turbo-urbanism is very common in
Central and Eastern Europe scarred by the war of
ex-Yugoslavia. It is common to many ‘frontier c ities,
those that are at the intersection of financial specu-
lation, new or ‘emerging’ market interests, and
‘weak administrations or states. Ironically, the
result is that the city look s strikingly similar to t hat
of the top-down politics of the totalitarian regime:
large avenues lined by high-rises.
A green urban age
What is needed in both Istanbul and Bucharest is
a much stronger public debate on urbanism and
sustainability.
As Pavan Sukhdev argues in Istanbul, City of
Intersections:
A Green Urban Age will have to recognise and con-
front the social and developmental challenges facing
cities today head on.We now realise that urbandwellers
are not only those who fully benefit from cosmopoli-
tan urban lifestyles, but they are also the two billion
people without access to safe drinking water and
sanitation, victims of all kinds of inequalities. Beyond
good planning and carbon-free technological solu-
tions, the postmodern sustainable city should also
be a well-organised place with low unemployment,
social equality, green open space, social interaction
platforms and universal education with provisions
for ba sic need s. (Sukhdev, 2009)
Nevertheless, we need to be careful that in talk
of a green urban age’the concept of sustainability
itself does not become an empty bubble, creating
a market for ‘carbon emissions’ where corpora-
tions and, in the future, maybe even cities may
‘buy themselves out’ and reduce their carbon
print.While it is important that practical solutions
such as a more efficient, greener transport, ecolo-
gical habitation, multiple centres and develop-
ment of different work practices (tele-commuting
on local as well as global scale) are put in place as
part of the new green economy, what is more
important is that we need to find ways to envision
life beyond economic growth.
Urban life beyond economic growth
In order to accommodate human needs, increas-
ing population and the limited resources of our
planet, profound changes must take place at the
level of human habitation and life patterns. The
future of humanity does not lie in the unlimited
development of how and what we are now (even
if we would do it in a ‘sustainable manner’), but in
our capacity to transform how we live in order to
adapt to the environmental transformations that
our actions cause. As we gradually transform the
natural environment, we must also transform
both our habitats and our mode of interrelating
to each other, at individual and cultural levels, in
order to preserve what we have, prevent the possi-
ble negative influence of human development,
and create a harmonious f ut ure in which e nvi ron-
ment is not perceived as separated from, but inte-
grated in, and defining part of humanity.We must
imagine the cities of our future today, and envir-
onmental standards along with human moral
Balasescu: Introduction
297
AUTHOR COPY
and ethical concerns must be integrated in their
design. The very design’ of the su stainable/gree n
economy’shou ld ponder upon t he poss ibility of li fe
without economic growth.
Mixed residences, mixed functions of spaces,
democratic access to all public spaces and means
of transport are some of the basics of an ethical
city. Access to the decision making regarding city
planning and transformation may be a more ele-
vated ethical matter; nonetheless, participant
urbanism is equally important in constructing a
sustainable future for the city. Star architecture pro-
jects or landscapes of fascination (sometimes and
in some places suspended freeways are still a mea-
sure of progress and modernity) may bring tour-
ists but alienate locals. (Kay, 1997; Featherstone
et al., 2005; Lutz and Fernandez, 2010)
Cohabitation, negotiation, and harmony
A green economy needs to create its own para-
meters. The discourse on sustainability and its
automatic link with the development (and
growth) would, if follows, come under closer scru-
tiny. A city is a complex identity made up of body/
space/time/design/technologies that produces
our understanding of humanity. The friction
betwee n our idea o f humanity a nd the c omplexity
of the city appear separated but are in reality
intertwined. The friction of living in a city pushes
us towards new ways of living in cities, changing
our understanding of law, ethics, and morality.
Humans change as the city does. As Jan
Gehl puts it, ‘we build cities and cities build us’.
Therefore, the favourite expression for real estate
developers ‘build and they will come’ must be
revised and profoundly understood in terms of
‘build and W E wi ll b ecome’.
At an environmental level, dramatic transfor-
mations are underway, increasingly visible and
concerning the entire humanity. In order to
accommodate human needs, increasing popula-
tion, and the limited resources of our planet,
changes must take place at the level of human
habitation and life patterns. This imperative falls
short sometimes in facing long-entrenched habits
or customs that constitute the very identity of a
culture. Changing them means changing an
important part of the unquestioned emotions
related to them (as in the case of the individual
car strongly linked with feelings of liberty and in
many cases mascu linity).
The future of humanity does not lie in the unli m-
ited development of how and what we are now (even
if we would do it in a ‘sustainable manner’), but in
our capacity to transform how we live in order to
adapt to the environmental transformations that
our actions cause. As we gradually transform the
natural environment, we must also transform both
our habitats and our mode of interrelating to each
other, at the individual and cultural level, in order
to preserve what we have, prevent the possible nega-
tive influence of human development, and create
a harmonious future in which environment is not
perceived as separated from, but integrated into,
and as a defining part of humanity.
We must imagine the cities of tomorrow start-
ing now. We must integrate in their design not
only our environmental concerns but also our
human dimension and moral concerns. Maybe
the very ‘design’ of the ‘sustainable/green econo-
my’ should be built on the possibility of life with
no economic growth. And it should definitely
reintroduce ethical concerns (included but not
limited to ecology) and un-commodified emotions
into the measurement that indicates performance,
starting with the performance of brushing one’s
teeth without letting the water run.
In f act, the ‘story o f the two cit ies’ in th is ar ticle
holds three elements that should constitute the
basis of any conversation on urban sustainability:
co-habitation, negotiation, and harmony.
Cohabitation is the basis of any human settle-
ment ^ cities are (or should be) the expression
of the accommodation of difference ^ as those
between Sevi and her brother-in-law or between
the ATU, the NGOs and the Bucharest municipal-
ity. Up to now, more often than not, many cities
solved’ the question o f cohabitation by segregation
and ghetto-ization. It proved a solution that back-
fired. It was un-sustainable, creating poverty, frag-
menting the city, and ultimately an anti-political
climate. Cohabitation of differences pushes us to
negotiate our livelihoods, our aspirations, our
visions of the city, or our applied environmental
ethics. The terms of these negotiations may be
Development 54(3): Upfront
298
AUTHOR COPY
conflictual, but only if they degenerate into open
conf lict wil l they scar a cit y. Har mony is an a spira-
tion of cohabitation, but the term is problematic.
I would argue that harmony is not an end result
of the process of negotiation, but IT IS the process
itself. A sustainable city is one that, beyond its
economical and/or environmental parameters,
offers the pre-conditions of a harmonious negotiation
of cohabitation. This may (even must) also be a
built-in characteristic of urban sustainability:
negotiable by design.
Conclusion
Is Istanbul too big to fail? Is Bucharest too small to
succeed? In my opinion, neither is true or false.
But we deal not with one but many futures. In
fact, we are facing an array of possibilities and
they change constantly as our present actions
change the possible paths and outcomes.Whether
Istanbul and Bucharest ^ and any other cities ^
have a future at all depends on t he capacity of citi-
zens, professionals, decision makers, to create
and maintain that framework of harmonious
negotiation. This would allow some parts of the
city to gain life while others might die peacefully
if it is truly the case and not forced in order
to make way for developments promising the
chimera of fast returns.
The shape of the futures of the cities depends on
our capacity to rethink about economy and
growth, and to solve the false dilemmas of life in
the absence of growth. Is life without growth
possible? Maybe, but not in our current state of
mind. The change of our perceptions of the world
will be necessary to bring changes in the way
we understand the city, relate to it, and build its
possible futures. And we are doing it right now,
through our daily action. Does a city like Istanbul
have the capacity to accommodate both star
architecture projects and valorize its historical
inheritance in a sustainable manner? Does it
have the human capability to do it, and the natur-
al resources necessary to keep its economic
parameters as they are? The answer is probably
yes, but only through a rethinking of the para-
meters of consumption of those resources, water
included.
Do smaller and historically less well-placed
cities like Bucharest (or Manama) have a chance
in the global competition? The answer is probably
yes, but on the condition that they learn from the
past mistakes of other cities, and know how to
look at themselves in the mirror, offer the world
their richness, and renounce the mirage of
becoming something that it is not while destroy-
ing what they are.
It is up to the people living in the cities to shape
their ideals of a better life (a slower pace of life
would probably be good for everybody, from the
environment to the humans) and project them
upon the cities in which they live.
Notes
1 This is a line from Michael Jackson’s‘Human Nature’, lyrics by John Bettis.
2 A ex- urb is a region, generally semi-rural, beyond the suburbs of a city, inhabited largely by persons in the upper-
income group (Soja 2000).
3 http://www.zaha-hadid.com/masterplans/kartal-pendik-masterplan, accessed May 27 2011.
4 On May 26, I addressed a Congress organized by the Center of Excellency in Sustainable Development along with
the Romanian Order of Architects at the Parliament’s Commission for Development to debate ‘Cities and Freeways.
Dilemmas and Sollutions’. The speaker’s argument looked as if they were carbon copies, although they referred
to different cities: Boston, Wien, Bucharest. I was surprised even given the evidence of the suffering of the
city the speakers insisted (without any obvious research) that people want the freeways to cut through their
neighbourhood s and what remains of the beauty of Bucharest.
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Development 54(3): Upfront
300
Chapter
The past two Internet-focused decades have produced a recurring theme: the planet is shrinking. Technological innovation has enabled communication between people, as well as across nations and cultures, at a level of ease previously unimaginable. However, that sense of the world getting smaller also stems from a heightened awareness of the resources that we must extract from the planet to feed a growing population, particularly in urban centres where residents are typically disconnected from their food sources.
Article
Istanbul has undergone a neoliberal restructuring over the past two decades. In this paper, we focus on two urban spaces that we argue to have emerged as part of this process-namely Göktürk, a gated town, and Bezirganbahçe, a public housing project. We examine these spaces as showcases of new forms of urban wealth and poverty in Istanbul, demonstrating the workings of the neoliberalization process and the forms of urbanity that emerge within this context. These are the two margins of the city whose relationship with the center is becoming increasingly tenuous in qualitatively different yet parallel forms. In Göktürk's segregated compounds, where urban governance is increasingly privatized, non-relationality with the city, seclusion into the domestic sphere and the family, urban fear and the need for security, and social and spatial isolation become the markers of a new urbanity. In Bezirganbahçe, involuntary isolation and insulation, and non-relationality with the city imposed through the reproduction of poverty create a new form of urban marginality marked by social exclusion and ethnic tensions. The new forms of wealth and poverty displayed in these two urban spaces, accompanied by the social and spatial segregation of these social groups, compel us to think about future forms of urbanity and politics in Istanbul.
Book
This completes Ed Sojaa s trilogy on urban studies, which began with Postmodern Geographies and continued with Thirdspace. It is the first comprehensive text in the growing field of critical urban studies to deal with the dramatically restructured megacities that have emerged world--wide over the last half of the twentieth--century.
Article
This book is organized in three parts. Part I, Car Glut, begins by showing how deeply enmeshed we are in the car culture. Part II, Car Tracks, is a history, tracing the car from Henry Ford's mass-produced Model T in 1908 to the present to depict how this happened. It explores how a benign technology to mobilize Americans would transform a human-scaled landscape into the kingdom of the car. Part III, Car Free, takes its lessons into the future. It offers solutions, some new, some traditional, to show how we can relieve this dependence and destruction and secure human and global well-being. It is this book's conviction that we can find, create, and revive the remedies, and that planning solutions depend, in the end, on land use solutions--on mobility based on human movement and transportation beyond the private automobile. A bibliography and an index are provided.
Carjacked: The culture of the automobile and its effect on our lives
  • Catherine Lutz
  • Anne Lutz Fernandez
Lutz, Catherine and Anne Lutz Fernandez (2010) Carjacked: The culture of the automobile and its effect on our lives, NewYork: Palgrave Macmillan.
PlacesWe Share: Migration, subjectivity, and global mobility
  • Susan Ossman
Ossman, Susan (2007) PlacesWe Share: Migration, subjectivity, and global mobility, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Tensions and Transformations in the Master Planning of Istanbul
  • James Steele
  • Rania Shafik
Steele, James and Rania Shafik (2010) 'Tensions and Transformations in the Master Planning of Istanbul', in Urban Transformation: Controversies, contrasts and challenges, pp 1^9, Istanbul:14th IPHS Conference.