Evolution of city squares and transformation of publicness

Demir Kahraman M., Türkoğlu H.

A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol.19, no.1, pp.69-87, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/itujfa.2022.15483
  • Journal Name: A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.69-87
  • Keywords: City squares, Public space, Public sphere, Publicness, Urban historiography
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi, Faculty of Architecture. All rights reserved.Although it is still very limited, there is a rising concern on the relation between publicness and public spaces over the last two decades. On the other hand, there are significant differences in how the term “public” is discussed from mainly two perspectives that Iveson (2007) defines as “procedural and topographical” approaches. In the procedural approaches, “public” is described as “any place used for collective action and debate,” whereas “public” is considered as “a specific kind of place” by the topographical approaches that are repeatedly concerned with the accessibility of “public spaces.” This study, which might also be seen as a reading of urban historiography, em-phasizes the necessity of understanding the notion of “publicness” as described by the procedural approaches to reveal the public spaces’ topographical evolution better. Here, we claim that squares set on a city scale with representational and historical backgrounds reflect the transformation of publicness. In this sense, this study aims to interpret this messy and dynamic structure of publicness and the spatial and functional evolution of city squares together. Consequently, the most significant contribution of this study to urban planning and design literature is the discussion of the historical evolution of city squares from both procedural and topographical approaches.