Istanbul is the city of transformation and contradiction. As an urbanist, I am trying to keep record and make sense of this transformation and am especially interested in its winners and losers. At the moment we live in a giant construction site, where skyscrapers, mega projects and urban renewal projects are taking place all around. There is a gold rush to real-estate development. — theguardian.com
Maidan Square in Kiev. Taksim Square in Istanbul. Tahrir Square in Cairo. Recent democratic movements around the globe have risen, or crashed and burned, on the hard pavement of vast urban public squares. [...] But too few observers have considered the significance of the empty public spaces themselves. [...]
If public squares are essential to democracy, is their relative absence in modern American life bad for our democracy—or a sign that we’re not as democratic as we imagine? — zocalopublicsquare.org
Our task — and we should well speak as architects — must be making the invisible visible, uncovering and retracing the concealed limits of the city. We must construct barriers and counter-spaces within and against the processes that tame and dissolve the crucial loci of democracy. — Places Journal
Within a few years, rapidly growing Istanbul will overtake London and Moscow as Europe’s largest metropolis. Not coincidentally, Turkey is undergoing a profound shift toward privatization, as seen in the government's plan to redevelop Taksim Gezi Park into a shopping mall with a nostalgic...
New York-based Turkish architect Selim Vural, founder of architecture and interior design firm Studio Vural, has shared with us his design for a Gezi Park Monument. The memorial commemorates the recent protests on Istanbul's Taksim Square against the planned construction of a shopping mall in...
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