I come from Turkey, a country which has been experiencing a rapid urbanization process for fifty years similar to many developing countries. I have been faced with this experience as a citizen, struggling with its daily problems; as a city planner, trying to find solutions to these problems; and as a university professor, trying to make some conceptualizations and theoretical explanations. Throughout these fifty years, both the phenomenon we have been experiencing and our ways of perceiving it have changed continuously partly due to our failures as city planners. These will continue to change in the future as well. With the aim of comprehending this experience, I will try to explore this issue by concentrating on the mutual interaction of three variables which I find worth considering nowadays. These three variables are; 1) a dominant populist attitude in the political field in those countries or the patron-client relationships, 2) an urban land-rent economy, 3) a lack of the formation of citizenship in those cities, or 'urbanization without citizens'. Presenting the mutual interaction between these variables will expose more clearly the barriers which stand in the way of development of healthy and safe urban forms and the enrichment of the quality of urban life in developing countries. On the other hand, it should be noted that these three variables, though very important, will only partially represent such a phenomenon as complex and overdetermined as urbanization. What I seek to do in this paper is to attract attention to various relationships which have barely been considered.