Deniz Ay

Research Fellow

Fellows Political Science (POLI) Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research Centre of Expertise Gender, Diversity and Intersectionality (RHEA)
  • Current position Research Fellow

Deniz Ay Research Fellow 2019-2020

Deniz Ay is a researcher specialized in transnational planning, urban development, and displacement. She completed her doctoral studies in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. In her dissertation, she studied the local community responses to residential displacement pressures in the context of state-led urban renewal implemented in major metropolitan areas in Turkey, which is an extreme case of a national development program. Her analysis focused on the conditions under which formally neglected urban communities mobilize at the neighborhood level to fight the displacement pressures of top-down exclusionary development agenda.

As a research fellow at the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies, she studies how city governance responds and adapt to growing diversity by focusing city-level “welcoming programs” for immigrants and refugees. Building on her research experience and expertise on urban governance and urban change, her project explores the role and the function of knowledge exchange networks in shaping the local immigrant integration strategies. Her project aims to test whether a ‘global’ urban policy of immigrant integration is emerging through knowledge and policy exchanges taking place at a transnational level. This comparative study of immigrant integration strategies in European and North American cities also aims to explore how various welcoming strategies fit into the broader cultural and political economy of cities. Research outcomes of this project primarily contribute to the academic debates on local integration strategies, their effectiveness, as well as their diversity depending on the contextual spatial and socioeconomic differences.

Deniz was previously employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern, Institute of Geography. She also worked as an Adjunct Professor at The Ohio State University, City and Regional Planning Section, where she taught courses on international development and transnational planning. Deniz also studied Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc., 2009) and at the Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey (BA, 2008).