in: Regional and Urban Regeneration in European Peripheries: What Role for Culture?, L. Malikova,M. Sirak, Editor, Bratislava: Institute of Public Policy, Comenius University, Bratislava, pp.84-98, 2008
Due to the changing economic, environmental and social conditions as well as the dynamic human needs the notion of urban regeneration employs the urban planning agenda increasingly. Current era of globalisation and the trend of free movement in Europe, on the other hand, encourage the interaction between the European states and societies, enabling the cultural similarities and differences be used as a tool for strengthening this interaction. At this point culture has been reinvented as a triggering, evoking and attractive instrument within the framework of urban regeneration policies and programmes. This is primarily because culture can be a critical focus for effective and sustainable urban regeneration with its social, physical and economic dimensions. The aim of this paper is to examine culture’s contribution to urban regeneration in the European context, particularly through the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) programme as an important culture-led urban regeneration catalyst, in order to derive lessons for Istanbul on the way to host ECOC in the year 2010. Upon this purpose the paper examines the case of Zeytinburnu Culture Valley Project as a culture-led urban regeneration initiative in Istanbul, to propose a strategic approach for testing measurable culture related variables, which have an impact on urban regeneration. Thus, the main arguments of theoretical inputs and the case study are compiled in the paper to provide guiding recommendations for Istanbul ECOC 2010 to support the practical implementation of culture driven regeneration programmes.