The Issue of Spatial Capital during a State-led Gentrification Process in Istanbul

Can A.

AAG Annual International Conference, , Washington, United States Of America, 3 - 07 April 2019, pp.1

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Washington
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.1


State-led gentrification has been a well-researched phenomenon in the Global South but also in the Global North. The consequences of state-led gentrification (i.e. forced evictions, displacement) cause social segregation and exclusion for the working class people as they are pushed further to the urban periphery. Spatial capital refers to the accumulation of resources that would allow an actor to use the spatial dimension of a city to his/her advantage (Levy, 2014: 110).  In this paper, spatial capital is used as a source of inequality as it is defined by Rerat (2018). As a consequence of displacement and evictions the poor inhabitants face, their already scarce spatial capital decreases to the point that they are somewhat isolated from the amenities and transportation infrastructures.

This paper aims to investigate the effects of lack of this spatial capital and what they mean for the poor inhabitants in the gentrifying neighbourhoods of Istanbul. Almost all the urban regeneration/renewal projects in Istanbul that result in state-led gentrification, directly or indirectly forces poor inhabitants to move to the periphery of the city. I examine (i) the concept of spatial capital in the Northern and Southern context (ii) uneven development the loss of spatial capital leads to and (iii) life in low-cost housing developments for displacees in the periphery of Istanbul. Paper is concluded with discussion on spatial capital as a tool to investigate the processes of gentrification from the working class perspective and reflections on the uneven spatial capital to help open a discussion on spatial justice.