The Role of Public Spaces for Strengthening of Disadvanteged Neighbourhoods

Başaran Uysal A.

4th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL SCIENCES&HUMANITIES, Ankara, Turkey, 12 - 14 June 2020, pp.123-124

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Ankara
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-124
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes



Disadvantaged neighborhoods, where the proportions of unemployment and poverty are high and where people of different religion or ethnic backgrounds are concentrated, at the same time lack qualified housing, built environmental quality and urban infrastructure. In this paper, two examples are examined that follow the strategy of improving public spaces to strengthen disadvantaged neighborhoods, one of them from Turkey, and the others from Germany. In results, the role of public spaces in the development of neighborhoods is discussed.

First experience is from Turkey, a Roma (Gypsy) neighborhood where is named Fevzipaşa in Çanakkale city. Fevzipaşa Neighborhood where unemployment and poverty are experienced the most in the city, is located in the historical city center. Çanakkale Municipality chose Fevzipaşa Neighborhood as a pilot neighborhood in 2007 to prepare a "Participatory Budget". The participatory budget method, which was applied for the first time in Porto Alegre, Brazil, can be summed up as the residents' decision on how to use the budget allocated for their neighborhood. A referendum held after a series of meetings in Fevzipaşa Neighborhood. Residents of Fevzipaşa voted the strategy of “developing public space areas” among the options offered to them. Thereupon, the Municipality opened a social center in the neighborhood and renewed a square (Zafer Meydanı) that met the residents of neighborhood and the citizens.

The second experience is from Berlin, the capital of Germany. Magdeburger Platz where is an old working class neighbourhood, and contains a diversity of cultures, religions and ethnicities, has high unemployment and poverty rates, and mostly Turkish origin lived there. The urban development national program “Social City”, was launched in 1999 with the aim of counteracting growing socio-spatial polarization in German cities and upgrading and stabilizing deprived neighborhoods. Social City Program that based on the neighborhood council model, the improvement of public spaces in disadvantaged neighborhoods is adopted as a one of the basic strategy. Neighborhood Council of Magdeburger Platz focused on public space and neighbourhood relationships.

A "Family Garden" has been created in Magdeburger Platz where families - especially women and children - can come together.

Public spaces where people meet and encounter, are the place for neighbourhood's residents common use. The proliferation of face-to-face encounters strengthens the sense of security and belonging. The improvement of public spaces has contributed to the encounter of the locals and the citizens in the example of Fevzipaşa, and the meeting of neighbors with different language, religion and ethnic origin in Magdeburger Platz.

Keywords: disadvantaged neighborhoods, public space, Berlin, Çanakkale