Crafting Tools of Planning Practice and Pseudo-Participation: Hegemonic Power Relations in Decision Making Process of Urban Development in Turkey

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The development of urban areas has a strong relation with the cultural structuring and traditional praxis of a community. In planning practice, the cultural context not only affects urban spatial configurations and societal considerations embraced within, but also legislative and administrative systems and their operations dictates the process and production of those spaces. The debates that concentrated on the disappointing side of the reality of planning attempted to unfold the hegemonic relations of power in decision making process (Hiller 2002; Flyvbjerg 1998). This paper focuses on the emerging traditions of planning practice in Turkey whereby quick solutions to end daily conflicts and power relations in planning have altered planning practice. Within this context, this paper is concerned with the ever widening gap between the idealised steps of planning practice and reality, which challenge ethical planning practice and limit democratic participation, in which the lack of the former also distorts the nature of the latter. This paper argues that, the decision making process of planning in Turkey is embedded in implicit structures and relations. It also highlights that participatory and democratic ethos of planning are merely enacted in a superficial and often conditional manner. Therefore, the real practice presents vanishing of that participation and loosening of the professional ethics. The lack of professional and institutional ethics in the planning process is further revealed when it is considered how legislative structures are being crafted in favour of particular interests of powerful actors, thereby diminishing the chance of rightful participation.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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