ID: 19
Twitter: #ap1119
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30 March 2011 Wednesday, 17:00 - 18:00
Hall: Aynalikavak Hall

Type: Panel Discussion
Subject: Commercial Real Estate, Istanbul, Urban Renewal
Organizers: Arkitera Architecture Center

Truly livable neighbourhoods all excel at a few core tasks: they are accessible and easy to navigate, they are centers of attraction and opportunity, they are diverse and interesting, and as a result, they instill a strong sense of pride and community in their citizens. The better a neighbourhood performs at these core tasks, the more desired it becomes, creating a virtuous cycle of increased happiness, property values and quality of life. 
This personality of an urban neighbourhood is often revealed through the vitality or malaise of its retail market. The types of retailers, restaurants, and other businesses that choose to open in a neighbourhood are a clear reflection of the organic composition of the community – of the people that live there, work there, and visit it. Is it luxurious? Is it a creative hub? Is it trendy? Is it pedestrian friendly?  Or is it depressing? Characterless? Dangerous? Just take a look at the shops and restaurants along the streets, they will often tell volumes more than any statistic or market report. 
But what of shopping centers and mixed-use projects, that have in many cases become communities and neighbourhoods in their own right? While urban neighbourhoods tend to gain their character over decades, if not generations, and their leaders are selected through popular vote, urban retail centers are conceived and constructed within a few short years. They are managed by professional appointment, attract millions of visitors per year, they react quickly, and they are shaped directly rather than organically. In short, while they add value to municipalities, they offer direct and powerful competition to street retail and the regeneration of the historical urban fabric. 
As a city where street retail still lags well behind the advance of retail centers, Istanbul is a unique case in point versus its European peers. What can be done to push forward the competitiveness of street retail in Istanbul?  Are the floors of shopping centers destined to become the city streets of the future? Can we find harmony in street and shopping center retail? 
With a general focus on Turkey’s leading street retail district, Beyoğlu, this panel brings together participants that cover the full spectrum from design, local and international investment, urban design, to municipal vision and leadership.

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