Journal of Geography
The Cellular Dimension of the City: An Essay on Bağcılar (İstanbul)Gülcan Sarp, Kadir Temurçin, Yolcu Aldırmaz
Our knowledge of urban areas is constantly being renewed and diversified depending on new data sources. Spatial data plays a particularly major role in this change. Currently the elements of a given city can be analyzed in high resolution and with great accuracy. Such progress guides the observation of the specific structure of urban spaces more easily. This study focuses on the spatial construction and current situation of Bağcılar, one of the most problematic urban areas of the city of Istanbul. This research has been conducted using high-resolution remote sensing data and positional information from companies. The findings of the study are based on four different processes in the city. The first interprets the development form of the urbanization process which starts with urban sprawl and develops into a “monstrous industrial city” (Güvenç, 1993). The second includes changes in housing presentation patterns over time and their mismatches. The third process focuses on the recent transformation and its consequences in various parts of the city, but especially in areas where large industrial enterprises are located. The final one questions the distribution pattern of the companies that have shut down and those that are operating in the city. All four cases show that a significant part of Bağcılar’s current problems stem from spatial irregularities.
Kentin Hücresel Boyutu: Bağcılar (İstanbul) Üzerine Bir DenemeGülcan Sarp, Kadir Temurçin, Yolcu Aldırmaz
Şehirsel alanlara dair bilgilerimiz yeni veri kaynaklarına bağlı olarak sürekli yenilenip, çeşitleniyor. Bu değişimde özellikle mekânsal veriler başat rol oynuyor. Artık şehri oluşturan unsurlar yüksek çözünürlükte ve doğrulukta analiz edilebiliyor. Böyle bir ilerleme de kentsel mekânın özgül yapısının daha rahat gözlemlenmesine rehberlik ediyor. Bu çalışma da İstanbul kentsel bölgesinin en problemli şehirsel alanlarından olan Bağcılar’ın mekânsal inşasına ve mevcut durumuna odaklanıyor. Bunu da yüksek çözünürlüklü uzaktan algılama verileri ve firmalara ait konumsal bilgileri kullanarak yapıyor. Çalışmanın bulguları ise şehrin dokusundaki dört farklı sürece dayanıyor. İlki saçaklanmayla başlayan şehirleşme sürecinin adeta “azman sanayi kentine” (Güvenç, 1993) bürünen gelişim şeklini yorumluyor. İkincisi zaman içerisinde konut sunum biçimlerindeki değişimi ve bunların uyumsuzluklarını içeriyor. Üçüncüsü yakın zamanda kentin muhtelif bölgelerinde ama özellikle büyük sanayi kuruluşlarının bulunduğu sahalardaki dönüşümleri ve sonuçlarını ele alıyor. Sonuncusu ise kentte kapanan ve faaliyetini sürdüren firmaların dağılış kalıbını sorguluyor. Söz konusu dört olgu, Bağcılar’ın mevcut sorunlarının önemli bir kısmının mekânsal düzensizliklerden kaynaklandığını gösteriyor.
There is a common rhetoric among those who have been living in Istanbul for a relatively long time: these areas used to be fields or swamps. This sentence is of key importance in making sense of the urban development of Istanbul. Indeed, the inclusion of a new district or municipality in the urban area in Istanbul can happen in only a short period of time in a human lifetime. For these areas, the beginning of the story often happens in a similar way and for similar reasons. Intense migration, industrialization and informal settlement are the most frequent reasons. However, as the narrative progresses, different processes and conclusions for each place are listed one after the other. This is reflected above all in the spatial fabric of the related sites. Therefore, the analysis of the fabric of the city is very important for interpreting both the development of these areas and their current problems. With this approach this study focuses on Bağcılar, a settlement area with one of the most problematic spatial structures in the urban area of Istanbul.
In this context, two different data sources have been used in the study. The first source is comprised of images with sub-meter resolution obtained by remote sensing techniques. They provide an adequate framework for an object-oriented interpretation of the city’s texture and evolution. The second data type is comprised of positional information of recently closed and currently existing enterprises. The enterprises have been spatially coded and the representative texture of both closed and existing enterprises have been analyzed. Thus, the association between the perceived shape of the city from a given height and the utilization under that structure has been established.
The findings of the study can be collected under four different categories. The first is that the oil stain growth, which has been the basic course of development in Istanbul until this period, has been relatively ineffective in Bağcılar. The development of the Bağcılar urban area initially started in the form of sprawling. Every area in the district was covered with buildings within a short time, so much so that in many places the land cover is comprised only of buildings and roads. Therefore, the phenomenon of sprawling is limited to a short-term effect. The second category includes change in the forms of housing presentation and their asymmetrical appearance. Gecekondu, which were widespread in the urban area of Istanbul until the 1980s, have been partially interrupted in Bağcılar and replaced by apartment buildings. At the beginning of the 2000s, luxury housing presentation forms became widespread in the district. Some stand side by side and are often in zoned areas for various sectors, while others are found irregularly dispersed among industrial plants. When they all converge, spatial conflicts increase. The third is the transformation observed in various parts of the city in recent years, especially in large industrial buildings. These structures are being replaced with Istanbul’s favorite projects. However, this change does not mean that the industrial sectors of both Istanbul and Bağcılar are on the decline. While large enterprises are dispersed in various parts of Istanbul, small facilities still dominate the spatial outlook of Bağcılar. The last textural feature is based on the distribution pattern of enterprises. The positional information indicates that enterprises have chosen a location in the city according to their wishes, except for a few restricted zones. This means that even discordant sectors are located side by side and on top of each other. The fact that the enterprises which are closing down have the same distribution pattern as the existing ones is a reflection of the recurrence of the problems. In short, the irregular structure formed by the buildings deforms their utilization.
In conclusion, the premature evolution of Bağcılar has caused a problematic structure in its existing texture. Although today there are some attempts to regulate the texture of the city, it is not easy to realize this in one of the busiest settlements of Istanbul. Even the ratio of the site that is planned to be restructured is as high as 70%. In short, Bağcılar faces a pathological problem. This problem has resulted in the residents of the district leaving the area. Indeed, the population of the district has started to decrease for the first time in the last few years.