Ceren Sezer contributed to a book entitled  ‘Public Space Design and Social Cohesion: An International Comparison’ (Routledge) with a chapter on ‘Visibility of Turkish Amenities: Immigrants’ Integration and Social Cohesion in Amsterdam’. This book is edited by Patricia Aelbrecht (Cardiff University, UK) and Quentin Stevens (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia) and available at this link.


This chapter examines the social and spatial characteristics of immigrants’ commercial and communal amenities to understand the dynamics of their visibility on the street. It defines visibility as the observable physical features of immigrant amenities such as signs and practices, important for the integration of immigrant groups to the mainstream society. The research focuses on the visibility of Turkish immigrants in Amsterdam. For the social characteristics, it studies public and parochial realms that are established and maintained by these amenities. For spatial characteristics it examines these amenities at city level in terms of their location and at neighbourhood level in terms of their personalisation, permeability and robustness. The findings of this study indicate that visibility can be an operational concept to improve the amenities for the goals of integration.

Summary of the book

Social cohesion is often perceived as being under threat from the increasing cultural and economic differences in contemporary cities and the increasing intensity of urban life. Public space, in its role as the main stage for social interactions between strangers, clearly plays a role in facilitating or limiting opportunities for social cohesion. But what exactly is social cohesion, how is it experienced in the public realm, and what role can the design of city spaces have in supporting or promoting it? There are significant knowledge gaps between the social sciences and design disciplines and between academia and practice, and thus a dispersed knowledge base that currently lacks nuanced insight into how urban design contributes to social integration or segregation.

This book brings together scholarly knowledge at the intersection of public space design and social cohesion. It is based on original scholarly research and a depth of urban design practice, and analyses case studies from a variety of cities and cultures across the Global North and Global South. Its interdisciplinary, cross-cultural analysis will be of interest to academics, students, policymakers and practitioners engaged with a range of subject areas, including urban design, urban planning, architecture, landscape, cultural studies, human geography, social policy, sociology, and anthropology. It will also have significant appeal to a wider non-academic readership, given its topical subject matter.

Table of Contents

Introduction: From mixing with strangers to collective placemaking: existing theories, policies and practices around social cohesion in public space design

Patricia Aelbrecht, Quentin Stevens and Bobby Nisha

Public Space Design, Development and Management Processes

Top-down projects

Chapter 1. The Making of Democratic Urban Public Space in Denmark

Tom Nielsen

Chapter 2. The Marginalised Others: Memorials to non-Jewish Holocaust victims in Berlin’s Government District

Mirjana Ristic

Chapter 3. Social Cohesion vis-a-vis Spatial Division: The Contradictions of Participatory Design

Rebeka Balazs and Dalia Zein

Chapter 4. The Role of Public Spaces on Social Cohesion and Inclusivity: Metamorphosis of a historic park in Ankara, Turkey

Müge Akkar Ercan and Nihan Oya Memlük

Chapter 5. A Placemaking Approach to Estate Regeneration Projects: A Practitioner’s Perspective

Jane Dann, Tibbalds

Bottom-up projects

Chapter 6. Bottom-up Public Space Design and Social Cohesion: The case of a self-developed park in an informal settlement of Bogotá

Camilo Calderon and Jaime Hernández-García

Chapter 7. UN Habitat’s engagement of residents, refugees and local authorities in a public space design process in Bourj Hammoud, Lebanon

Christine Mady

Chapter 8. Open Green: Placemaking beyond Place-bound Communities in Taipei

ChenYu Lien and Jeffrey Hou

Post-occupancy evaluations

Chapter 9. New Public Spaces of Circulation, Consumption and Recreation and their Scope for Informal Social Interaction and Cohesion

Patricia Aelbrecht

Chapter 10. Visibility of Turkish Amenities: Immigrant’s Integration and Social Cohesion in Amsterdam

Ceren Sezer

Chapter 11. Pop-up Landscape Design and the Disruption of the Ordinary

Susanna Schaller and Sandra Guinand

Chapter 12. Designing for Difficulty: Agonistic Urban Design

Quentin Stevens

Chapter 13. Exploring Social Equity in the Park: Design and Management of new city-centre spaces in Sheffield, UK, and Ahmedabad, India

Nicola Dempsey

Chapter 14. The Streets: a Fluid Place of Social Cohesion

Vikas Mehta

Conclusion: Emerging Knowledge at the Intersection of Public Space Design and Social Cohesion

Patricia Aelbrecht and Quentin Stevens

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