LIVING SITESRethinking the Social Trajectory of the Tophane Area in Istanbul The aim of this research is to account for the life of an industrial site and to show the dynamism of the site by exploring what its trajectory in space and time can tell us about socio-economic and political tendencies occurring during its lifespan. This research will focus on the micro life of a particular industrial site in order to grasp the rhythm of societal change including its cultural and political overtones, and to explore the strategies of transformation of industrial sites in contemporary societies. In addition, this research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the concepts of waterfront regeneration and urban transformation by investigating the life of an industrial site. The objectives of the research are firstly to understand the site life and the rhythm of change of the examined industrial site with the intention of understanding the urban transformation, urban policy and planning. Secondly, to discuss how the site has been transformed, redeveloped and reused through time; and lastly to analyse the roles of various actors involved in the trajectory of the site. In order to support this argument, this research will benefit from inter-disciplinary literature studies. Three main bodies of literature will be put forward; these are waterfront redevelopment, cultural geography, and architectural theory. The dynamic life of the Tophane site in Istanbul is the case study that is analysed in this research. The Tophane site has been, and still is, a very controversial and multi-dimensional site with respect to its use and transformation. Due to its strategic location at the connection point of the Golden Horn and the Bosporus, overlooking the historical peninsula. It has been used for a variety of functions in its history, such as artillery barracks, warehouses, exhibition spaces for the Istanbul Art Biennials, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts as well as cruise port. It has been subject to some of the most controversial urban transformation proposals in Istanbul, both regarding the use of the site as well as the bidding processes associated with these proposals. This PhD will cover the different phases of this site's lifetime from the beginning of the twentieth century until 2014 and investigates the crucial roles played by various actors in its transformation and in the resistance to its transformation.The innovative aspect of the dissertation is that it crosses the boundaries of cultural geography and architectural theory. In addition, the original use of research methods such as thick description, actor network theory, controversy mapping and layering aspires to contribute to architectural studies. Furthermore, the focus on the Tophane site in Istanbul aims to expand the geographical scope of both waterfront redevelopment and cultural regeneration literature. The ultimate contribution of the dissertation is to demonstrate how a thorough analysis of the complexity and the versatile nature of a site, including its changing phases and layers, can lead to a better understanding of the macro scale processes that shape the urban environment.