Istanbul/ Public Istanbul : spaces and spheres of the urban

Public Istanbul - spaces and spheres of the urban

Eckardt, Frank. (2008). Public Istanbul: Spaces and Spheres of the Urban. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

The book is a collection of papers which represents an interdisciplinary approach to examine urban evolution and everyday life in Istanbul. The content of the collection is divided into two. The first part takes a closer look at geographical and sociological perspectives. Aspects of urban planning are presented, and public spaces is analyzed spatially and politically. The second part concentrates on everyday life, the micro scale of local places and everyday practices by investigating specific sites, social interactions and individual biographies. Studies in this part suggest public spaces as arena for production and reproduction of the urban.

The article “Old City Walls as Public Spaces in Istanbul” by Funda Bas Butuner is particularly relevant to the influence of Henri Prost’s planning on the public spaces in Istanbul. The article describes the transformation in the symbolic value of city walls from 19th century to 2000s by comparing Galata’s defense walls and Historic Peninsula walls. While the Galata’s defense walls were demolished for the construction of new streets in the nineteenth century, the Historical Peninsula Land Walls were kept under Prost Plan. A green protection zone of 500 meter width was proposed along the land walls, the walls began to function as obsolete monuments since then.

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