Building Resilience: Learning from the Court Cases Related to Regeneration Schemes in London and Istanbul

Monday, 16 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Gumec KARAMUK, University College London, United Kingdom
This paper addresses the place of courts in providing a contestation over regeneration schemes that result in dispossession of homes and jobs in London and in Istanbul, and their potential in reconfiguring resilience through the participation of the civil society. While the instrumentality of law in underpinning the legal framework for the formulation of policies ultimately structuring and planning the built environment has been widely acknowledged (Newman/Thurnley 2002), its impact as a channel to challenge spatial decisions made by authorities has been gaining special prominence (Sheppard et al 2017). This is also highlighted by a globally shared assumption that indicates a universal “judicialisation of politics”, since an intensifying recourse to judicial remedies is undertaken by those who are excluded from the politics of spatial arrangements (Bahn 2016, Sheppard et al 2017). While the political economy literature explores this exclusion related to the increasing non-transparent practices accompanied with the financialisation of cities, learning from spatial conflicts that found their way in court could shed light on the strategic use of knowledge and information in the legal form by various actors, which might substantiate the claim for public interest and therefore resilience (Holston 2007, Valverde 2003). In that vein, the paper will observe court cases related to regenerations that have been taking place in Mecidiyeköy, Istanbul and Vauxhall Nine-Elms, London, in the hope to offer a different but crucial perspective that might contribute to wider debates on how spatial justice can be established. Paying attention to the different configuration of actors in the legal setting and different administrative and legal systems, the paper aims to elucidate a shared spatiality of the urban (uneven development represented in the legal arena), as an effort motivated by the latest theoretical and methodological works pursuing the aim of making urban studies “more global” (Robinson 2015).