Doctoral Dissertation: Urban Conservation Projects and Governance

Yıldırım, Ayşe Ege, Urban Conservation Projects and Governance: An Investigation toward Developing Applicable Organizational Models for Turkey’s Historic Towns through the Cases of Gaziantep, Kuşadası and Mudurnu,
Doctoral Thesis, Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. EmreMadran, 533p.

This dissertation explores the organizational framework of actors in the urban conservation process, based on recent legislative and social developments in Turkey.

Urban conservation projects for historic quarters in cities of varying urban dynamics and scale have been examined, focusing on the relationship between the organizational framework, the rate of success of projects, and the level of urban

Two hypotheses have been proposed:
1. For a successful project, the organizational framework must include the active participation of all four types of actors, i.e. statutory authorities, sponsors, users and experts, to fulfill the respective requirements of legal, financial, social and scientific credibility of projects.
2. The organizational frameworks of projects are influenced by the urban development pressures and the scale of the cities.

The research findings largely support Hypothesis 1, while Hypothesis 2 is supported only in some aspects.

In the examined projecs, an optimistic outlook and a firm resolution to continue current efforts can be observed. Some successful outcomes include the enhancement of the city’s identity, the transformation of the project area into an attractive destination, emergence of social and economic expectations from the local government and community, improving scientific standards and development of a local preservation culture. Some points of concern also emerge. For projects to maintain their productive momentum without compromising on scientific standards, an effective system of coordination and collaboration is required, based upon balance and coordination between the ‘Regulating’ role of the ‘Experts’ and ‘Users’ and the ‘Executive’ role of the ‘Investors’ and ‘Statutory Authorities’.

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