Fragmentation in Urban Movements: The Role of Urban Planning Processes


Urban plans and projects that aim to initiate the redevelopment and gentrification of urban areas create social and ecological pressures on urban environments and thereby stimulate urban movements. These movements have a lifespan, which evolves in interaction with planning authorities under local or central governments and may be marked by institutionalization and co-optation, as well as fragmentation among the people involved in them. Fragmentations are usually based on conflicting individual and collective interests, but may also be the result of different political perspectives in groups. This article is based on a case study conducted in two adjacent gecekondu neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Gülsuyu and Gülensu, where urban politics have played an important role in efforts to resist plans for urban transformation. It shows that fragmentations are very likely to occur in urban movements during planning processes in a neoliberal era, owing to the different perspectives in the movement on what the just city is.