Chapter 7: Mapping the territory: finding spaces for pop-up neighborhood events

Neighborhood and Urbanization

Neighborhood did not have a fixed and static concept in geographical science of city (Urbanization) and other sciences such as urban planning, social science, and political science in the last century. At the present time this concept has undergone fundamental changes so that its concept and its dimensions are subjects of controversy. In fact, the term neighborhood varies in each academic scopes based on their particular basis (Williams, 1985, 30). Neighborhood or neighborhoods can be counts as the oldest and best known part of urban division providing and forming semi-public life for citizens.

Urban neighborhood as a geographical complex entity is where you call it home or shelter providing some opportunities and potential for you. Due to the lack of a single and popular definition, each neighborhood benefits from its own unique features that inspire a particular emotion in people. The concept of neighborhood can be defined in many senses such as social, psychological, mental, cognitive, physical and political dimensions presenting their particular definition. On the other hand, these definitions can vary in different communities and in different historical periods (Barton, 2003, 16)

Community space is one of the main urban spaces where has flow the civil life in the neighborhoods. In the past community space were places for social cohesion and urban spaces where social institutions rooted in the lives of urbanization. Furthermore neighborhood center as collective space is a space for social meetings and staying in all hours of the day. Hence it can recreate the social relationships by its dimension that effected to dwelling like physical features, place dimensions, and meaning. However, neighborhood center has more depth and social meaning because of simultaneous access to several spaces, and creates the space experience by continuous motion.

Public spaces of the city are spaces of sociability, where social encounter can and does take place. For example, the formation of distinctive neighborhoods, with a centrally located public space aimed at facilitating social interaction and integration, is one way of giving a distinctive flavor to the spaces of sociability (Madanipour, 2003). 

Urban spaces in Bursa Turkey

Urban in the Islamic period are include the mosque, Madreseh (religious school), bazaar, Maidan (square), neighborhood, and specially neighborhood center which will remain important part of culture and social life of Ottoman urban areas. As Bursa is the first capital city in Ottoman Period the influence of Islamic values also is deniable on social life of the people and development of traditional Bursa City centre. Public open spaces are the most fascinating parts of  Busra. Open spaces in historic areas are based on the hierarchical movement from the central part of the city, the main streets, alleys which lead to neighborhood centers, secondary alleys, of the houses, entry halls and the court yards. This hierarchy is a movement from public space to private space. The central space of the neighborhood is the most excellent manifestation of urban design in a period of time by the people who used it.

The square is the most distinct element of the urban structure. As a clearly delimited place it is most easily imaginable, and represents a goal for movement. The square is determined by the same formal factors as the street, with the difference that the buildings should form continuity around the space. The ‘Meydan’ (Square) is the main public space in each neighborhood. Normally every neighborhood has a square, which is surrounded by cultural and service elements. This squares mostly located in the centre of each neighborhood. 

Bursa is, par excellence an immigration city taking in at various times refugees from the former Ottoman Empire, workers from the rest of Turkey and now refugees from the further afield, and thriving on its ability to deliver jobs, housing and a civic identity to the newcomers.

Working with neighborhoods: mapping the territory for immigrants and refugees

Urban spaces have been considered as urban life cells since long ago and play a basic role in urbanization. In this space in not long ago different events such as sports, religious and entertainment had displayed but now because of urbanization improvement and cities development they lost their importance. This makes some problems such as environment pollution, problems in travelling, insecurity paths, degeneration of historic center and quality drop in urban spaces.

Urban space role or a place for social relations and also a place for providing social culture is dropping gradually in Turkey. Dominant conditions in cities offer a modern life style. For example shopping

Cars are now dominant in urban spaces and building paths and urban spaces are now far away from walks’ needs and determinants, so social and cultural values and attractions decreases. In such a progress content and application of urban factors such as neighborhood, street, square, and pass, dormitory and … changed and lost its human content. According to physical and functional aspects of urban spaces and social and cultural features as well as social behaviors and relations and also evaluation of conceptual- behavioral features which are effected by physical aspects are some important cases that paying attention to them can affect on vitality of urban spaces. 

Past and present situation of refugees and Immigrants in Bursa

For much of the 20th century, Turkey was best known as a country of emigration. Migration from Turkey flowed largely to Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and the former Soviet Union. Labour migration agreements in the early 1960s with Western European countries, most notably Germany, led to historic outflows of Turkish labourers. When the need for labour migrants in these countries lessened in the 1970s, Turks continued to migrate for family reunification. From the mid-1970s onward, Turkish labour migrants headed principally to MENA and CIS countries. Today, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates more than 5 million Turks live abroad, a population equal to 6 percent of the country’s total inhabitants.

As the Turkish economy has stabilized and begun to grow over recent years, Turkey has become a place of attraction for expatriates and their families. For example, there are at least 34,000 Britons in Turkey, mainly of people married to Turkish spouses, British Turks who have moved back into the country, and students and families of long-term expatriates employed predominately in white-collar industry. There are also over 50,000 Germans, primarily people married to Turkish spouses, employees, retirees and long-term tourists who buy properties across the Turkish coastline, often spending most of the year in the country.3 Finally there are the more recent, but highly significant, effects of forced migration to or through Turkey from other countries in the region. Turkey is currently the country in the world hosting the highest number of asylum seekers and refugees. It is also the most important transit country in the context of the current migration to Europe. There has consequently been intense European focus in the past year on enhancing cooperation with Turkey and, in particular, on exploring legal avenues to return to Turkey asylum seekers, refugees and migrants who transited through Turkey to Europe. Almost 3.5 million people who have arrived in Turkey and have achieved some form of residence permit from the government. However, it can be imagined that there is a much larger number of people who have not been formally recognised by the State, or who have had their request for status rejected.

Bursa describes itself as a city formed by immigration to the extent that one scholar claims that

“Today immigrants constitute 90% of its population”, although one assumes this figure includes internal as well as international migrants.

There have been various immigration waves to Bursa through history. During these immigrations, various people and populations came to Bursa from various regions. From the 15th century, many people escaping various parts of Anatolia have settled here and between 1530-1573 the population doubled. After the end of the 1877-78 Ottoman-Russian war, Bursa hosted an immigration wave of people leaving Rumelia and Caucasia, including 30,000 alone from the Bulgarian city of Ruse. Many settled on the mountainside in the suburb of Mollaarap, whilst those coming from Crimea settled in Alacahirka and Yeni Mahalle, and the ones coming from Caucasia settled in Yildirim districts. Further new suburbs had to be created to accommodate a new wave of refugees from the Balkan War in 1912, with most of the ethnic Turks in the occupied Balkan regions coming to Bursa. With the Exchange of Immigrants in 1924, Turks were housed in place of Armenians and Greeks who left the city. In this period alone a further 39,808 immigrants settled in Bursa. Bursa was also the preferred refuge of people immigrating from the Balkans, especially from Bulgaria, from the beginning of 1950s onwards, with an estimated 154,000 arriving in 1951, 115,000 in 1968, and more than 200,000 in the mandatory immigration of 1989.

The website of Metropolitan Bursa describes the make-up of the population as a consequence as: “19% natives, 34% people from abroad, 13% people of east-southeast origin, 18% Caucasians, and 9% Karadeniz (Black Sea) people”. 27 Following a rapid growth of industrial facilities in the 1970s, Bursa received a huge influx of immigrants from the Eastern Anatolia region since the beginning of the 1970′s, which has led to the mushrooming of shanty housing development in Gürsu and Görükle districts. For example, in 1984, 90,000 of 155,000 buildings in Bursa had been erected without a license. To accommodate the Bulgarian refugees of 1989, there was a rapid construction of cheap high-rise apartments especially in Orhangazi, Kestel, and Osmangazi. However, in the last ten years or so, the number of Turkish immigrants coming to Bursa has decreased, to be replaced by non-Turkish refugees.

The Syrians in Turkey are not part of the country’s international protection system; they are, as a group, subject to the separate temporary protection system. Soon after the first set of arrivals from Syria in March 2011, the Turkish government declared an open-door policy vis-à-vis Syrians taking refuge in Turkey. It was based on the assumption that the situation would soon get better in Syria and these “guests” would go back to their homes

While the adoption of the new framework constitutes a positive step for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees in Turkey, as well as for the overall development of Turkey’s migration and asylum law, maintenance of the geographical reservation means that the overwhelming majority of international protection applicants in Turkey, by virtue of not originating from Europe, will continue not having Refugee Convention-level protection or long-term prospects in Turkey. 

Under the so-called satellite city system, each international protection applicant is assigned to one of 62 designated provinces (out of the 81 provinces in Turkey, excluding big cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa and Antalya). Asylum seekers from countries other than Syria are required to live in assigned cities, and are restricted from moving elsewhere even if there are few job opportunities and limited aid where they are assigned. They must register every two weeks in their assigned city, and must obtain permits even to travel temporarily. Once people are granted conditional refugee status or subsidiary protection (but not those with refugee status), they are subject to similar rules to reside and periodically report in the satellite cities. As a general rule, international protection applicants and status holders are entitled to healthcare, schooling and other services only in the provinces where they are registered and required to reside.

Mapping the territory

The map and territory is a metaphor used to illustrate the difference between the actual world and our understanding of the world as we perceive it to be. The ‘map’ is our understanding of the ‘territory’ of reality, and we must be careful to remember that the map is not the territory! 

Imagine you’re out on a long hike during a weekend off work. You’ve been following your map fine all the way, and you should arrive at your destination soon. But suddenly, as you descend down a hill you can’t find the road to your destination! Your map shows the road, but it’s no longer there – your map must be out of date!

It’s pretty clear what the difference between your map and the territory is. Your map is simply a representation of what someone thought the land looked like, but the territory is the reality we have to deal with (there is no road!). We know that just because our maps show the road, that doesn’t mean the road actually exists. Similarly, scribbling a road onto your map doesn’t make a road pop up in real life!

The idea of maps vs territory extends into a metaphor for the differences between our beliefs and reality itself. Reality exists outside our minds, but we all carry around maps of this ‘territory’. We draw these maps of reality based on what we glimpse through our senses.

Pop-up Events

What is pop-up event?

“Pop-up” has become a ubiquitous expression over the past decade and is used to designate a diverse range of temporary and mobile places and events. While pop-ups are increasingly noted in Geographical literature they rarely given the spotlight, usually mentioned alongside related forms of temporary urbanism. Pop-up demands direct attention as the readiness of diverse groups, including retailers, governments, cultural organisations and charities, to take up the term suggest its logics have a particular purchase in contemporary cities.

Pop-up events have been around for some time, especially in the retail sector and recently pop-ups have become increasingly popular among restaurants and art galleries. More and more, corporate event and meeting planners are using pop-up events for meetings, product launches, and even hybrid events. When they are well executed, pop-up events can create excitement and have a high impact in a short time period. Pop-up events are temporary, unexpected events in unique spaces. They pop up and, after a few hours or days, they pop down. By definition, most events are temporary. It is the element of surprise in unexpected locations that distinguish pop-up events. Pop-up events can be face-to-face, virtual and hybrid.  

How to create a pop-up event? 

Pop up events use vacant lots for public events, art exhibitions, open-air restaurants, or performances. Such an event could be a way of getting neighbors together to think about what to do with a vacant space in the future, or it could simply be a one time activity.

  • Define a purpose and people to help you plan the event.
  • Choose a vacant lot to hold your event on. If the vacant lot needs to be stabilized before holding an event there, make sure to hold a pre-event work day. It may need to be mowed, have dead tree branches removed, or have trash picked-up. Check out the Clean and Green page for ideas.
  • Advertise for the event through neighbors and community organizations like churches, neighborhood groups, and businesses. Ask businesses to sponsor your event if you need some funding.
  • Prepare ahead of time to get food, music, or any other elements that you need on site. Plan games or entertainment that a variety of people can enjoy
  • Brings neighbors together
  • Can create spin-off ideas
  • Requires less time, money, and effort than a long-term project
  • Suitability and Considerations

Organizing a local community event is a different experience than hosting a national conference or trade show. Blogging, email, press releases, and other digital marketing tactics aren’t as effective to promote a community event. Instead, you need to take an on-the-ground approach that caters to the needs and preferences of the specific community.
If you’re planning a community event, you may be worried you won’t achieve the attendance you need, especially if you aren’t familiar with the community. While every community is different and the individual tactics you use to promote your event will vary, here are the best strategies to promote your local event.


Contact Previous Event Hosts

If you aren’t sure where to start promoting your community event, it may help to reach out to anyone who has hosted a local event in the same community in the past. You will want to ask three important questions.


“What worked for you?”

This question will help you uncover the most impactful steps you can take to promote your event. This is like skipping all of the trial and error and jumping right to what works. For instance, the host of a previous community event may tell you to reach out to the local Rotary Club because they have a mailing list of local influential people. That is an extremely valuable piece of advice, and something you may not have learned on your own.


“What didn’t work for you?”

You’ll also want to know what the previous host tried that didn’t work. This will tell you what to avoid, so you don’t spend time and energy experimenting with pointless tactics. For example, posting signs on a busy roadway may seem like a great way to build exposure. But if the host of a previous event tells you her signs were routinely vandalized, you may decide to spend your money elsewhere.


“What would you do?”

This is the most valuable question you can ask because it taps directly into the previous event host’s experience. Ask them what they would do if they had to promote a community event in the future.


Leverage Local Influencers

The most impactful way to promote your community event is to reach out to local influential people who could promote on your behalf. This might include a popular community leader, a religious leader, a local politician, a school principal or superintendent, or anyone who has a way to communicate with the community.

A local influencer doesn’t have to be someone in an official position. It could be anyone who has sway with the community. For instance, if the area has a local Facebook group where people discuss local issues, you could reach out to the administrators of that group. When you ask local influencers to share your event with their followers, make sure they have all of the details. It may help to give them some print materials to hand out. In most cases, you will want to offer compensation to local influencers to get their help promoting your event. They may not ask to be paid, but they are more likely to go out of their way for you if there is something in it for them. Their compensation doesn’t have to be much. A small gift or free admission to your event is usually enough.


Look for Free Opportunities

Many communities offer free ways to promote local events. They’re happy to give you broadcast time, sign space, or print space as long as the event benefits the community in some way.  For instance, almost every library in the country has a bulletin board where just about anyone can post a flyer. You’ll want to get the librarian’s permission, of course, but they probably won’t mind. This is an easy way to expose your event to local people who are engaged with the community. 

The local newspaper is another easy win. Local papers usually reserve ad space for community events. Call and ask if you can add an event to their community calendar. There’s a good chance they’ll publish you in the print paper, add you to their website, and even promote you on their social media profiles. 

In fact, local papers want to know about these kinds of events because it gives them something to write about that’s highly relevant to their audience. If you ask to make an announcement in their paper, there’s a good chance they’ll put you in touch with someone who will write an entire article on your event.

In order to find free opportunities, you’ll have to ask around. Don’t be afraid to ask a restaurant or bar if you can hang a flyer, or to ask a radio station if they give any free ad time to local organizers. You’re bound to hear no more than yes, but the yeses are worth the trouble.


Buy Facebook Ads

You’ve heard us make this recommendation before, but it’s just as relevant in this context as any other. Everyone uses Facebook, so it’s a powerful way to communicate with any group of people. It also gives them the opportunity to share the event with others, which has the potential to balloon your promotions.

The trick to getting the most value out of Facebook ads is to take advantage of Facebook’s sophisticated targeting capabilities. You’ll want to drill down to people who 1) live in the area, and 2) like the type of event you’re throwing. Pay special attention to people who have interacted with similar events in the past.

Wherever possible, use photography from the area in your ad creative. This will help local people connect with your ads. For instance, if you’re hosting the event on Main Street, show a photo of Main Street that local people will identify right away. Don’t use stock photography, because that will just look fake.