Fener Balat and Ayvansaray are three adjacent neighbourhoods, in which inhabitants are in a long lasting struggle for their right to live in the city. The Rehabilitation Project Website, image and link on the right, give details on the sustainable rehabilitation project, which lasted between 2003 and 2007. More detail can be seen on individual restoration projects on the site. The project aimed to support the inhabitants and work together to provide a better lving environment, complete with social centre, waste management, etc. But, the project was terminated in 2007, and the Municipality of Fatih started a new project, which replaces the individual buildings with large-scale luxury housing, luxury hotels, and shopping malls. FEBAYDER (a community association), link to its website is the image on the left, fights for the rights of the inhabitants and opposes the new project which aims to transform the district together with its physical and sociocultural structure.
Our questions include, what is the role of the architects in the large-scale transformation of the city? What is participation? Can we honestly explore and involve in participatory practices? Does participation work both ways: local people participate in design and development process, architects and others participate in the everyday life in order to better understand the locality?