An Analysis of the Changing Role of Istanbul as a Megacity in the World

Author(s): Ahmet Bas; Fatih Eren; Muhammed Ziya Paköz

Abstract / Introduction (download full article at the bottom)

Istanbul is a unique part of the world because of not only its history but also its function as a bridge from the point of economic, social and cultural interrelations. There are many cities, which are settled near a water source; however, Istanbul is the only city that is settled between two continents and two seas. All these features create some opportunities and threats for the city in terms of hinterland relations and the spatial structure.

This paper aims to find out the economic, social and cultural impact of globalization on the spatial structure and the hinterland relations of Istanbul while discussing the city’s contradictory positions as an edge of Europe and as a bridge between the East and the West. Within this scope, we made a multiscale analysis considering inter-regional and inter-urban relations and their socio-spatial imprints within the boundaries of the city. Firstly, we made a comparative analysis to understand the changing position of Istanbul in the world in the 21st century by using global and regional indexes. Secondly, we examined the change in the hinterland relations of the city by investigating the flows of people, goods, services and ideas between other regions/cities and the city of Istanbul in time. Thirdly, we traced the spatial imprints of these flows and interactions within the city in terms of relocations and displacements.

Our study shows the growing importance of the city not only as a part of Europe but also as a node and bridge for the globalized world while emphasising socio-cultural and socio-economic tensions within the city as a result of this process.

Publication: ISOCARP Congress Proceedings, pp.139-153
Year: 2019

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