"public space" versus "individual space": Cities made of buildings or buildings made by cities

Yüksel Demir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The roots of today's problematic city structure of Istanbul go back to the city design interventions triggered by big fires in 19th century. These interventions were made under the influence of European city design movements and by European experts The interventions realized under poor conditions became incomplete copies of the inspired examples such as Paris and couldn't be well matched with socio-cultural structure. As a result Istanbul has grown and developed in an unhealthy way missing a proper scientific planning process. This created several severe results: traffic, parking problem, lack of space for pedestrians and children, sun shading and view. Especially the needs and demands of the individual and the individual space; in other words the demands and needs of people, were sacrificed to create an impressive public space image by the 19th century city designers in Europe. In contrary, the problems of individual spaces in Istanbul were created by inappropriate conditions. In both cases there are conflicts that offended the human beings most ordinary right: a minimal, healthy individual space to live in peace and happiness. In order to prevent these problems the city should be considered with all of its dimensions, as a whole, because cities have multi-dimensional structures (Demir, 2000). Planning process should involve design tools and methods at all scales and fields (urban, landscape architectural, product) as well as social, political, economical ones to balance the public profit with individual profit.

Translated title of the contribution"Şehirsel mekan", "bireysel mekan" çelişkisi: Şehirleri oluşturan binalar ya da binaları oluşturan şehirler
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalA|Z ITU Journal of Faculty of Architecture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Individual space
  • Istanbul
  • Neighborhood
  • Public space
  • Urban design


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