Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Planning, Design, and the Built Environment

Committee Chair/Advisor

Lauria, Mickey

Committee Member

Ellis , Cliff

Committee Member

Gstach , Doris

Committee Member

Yilmaz , Umit


Generative development processes adapt to existing conditions and unfold over time. Generative urban design theory proposes that successful communities must be planned and built incrementally, with current and future users participating throughout the process. The theory critiques the modern development processes of master planning and design that disregard adaptations through the building process. Successful examples of generatively built structures and neighborhoods are often cited from pre-20th century traditional societies and vernacular architecture. Generative approaches to urban design and planning need more modern 20th century examples and case studies of successful generatively built structures and communities.
Informal settlements are often cited as places with innovative and adaptive development processes largely determined by the residents. This dissertation contributes to generative urban design theory by analyzing the Istanbul informal housing settlements of Karanfilköy and Fatih Sultan Mehmet. These two settlements evolved in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in a largely owner built, incremental process. The resulting structures and patterns have many qualities that make these two squatter settlements livable, dynamic, and adaptive to the users' needs. The settlements are analyzed for their generative processes and the resultant structures and patterns that evolved over time. This dissertation is an explanatory case study. Its constructs are living structures, patterns/pattern languages, and generative development processes, as described by Christopher Alexander and Nikos Salingaros. This dissertation expands on the rich and diverse literature of informal settlements in general, Turkish and Istanbul informal settlements in particular, and generative urban design theory. This study establishes the Istanbul informal housing settlement and its processes, structures and pattern language as a defined, modern settlement typology in generative urban design theory.



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