15 Components for Urban Transformation
Nov 13, 2017

Istanbul Technical University (ITU) presented its work on the principles and criteria of urban transformation to the Environment and Urban Ministry authorities.

The ITU Rectorate and the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning General Directorate of Spatial Planning have completed the "Project for the Development of Planning Principles and Criteria in Urban Transformation Applications" that began in May 2017.

15 components and 195 criteria were determined within the scope of the project, which will form the next road map of urban transformation applications. The criteria were set out from the data of the three pilot applications proposed by the Ministry in Istanbul.

The identified principles and criteria were outlined in the workshop organized in Istanbul. ITU Vice Rector, Prof. Dr. Alper Ünal, the Undersecretary of the Environment and Urban Ministry, Dr. Mustafa Öztürk, the General Director of Spatial Planning, Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning Yavuz Erdal Kayapınar, ITU Faculty of Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning Department Head, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ocakçı and a large number of academics attended.

The Head of the Department of Urbanand Regional Planning of the Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and, at the same time, the project director, Dr. Prof. Mehmet Ocakçı, the Faculty Member of Urban and Regional Planning Department and project group member, Prof. Dr. S. Şence Türk and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatih Terzi shared the urban planning process components and criteria prepared for urban transformation applications and the project findings with Ministry officials.

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"Model neighborhoods were created"

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, our Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Alper Ünal, said that rapid urbanization of the past and present and the current urban composition of towns make revitalization and renewal efforts an invetibility. Dr. Ünal emphasized the need for urban transformation to be made to unhealthy and insecure building structures, and that urban planning should be designed by merging cities together with the green areas, social and cultural areas, infrastructure and transportation systems. "Urban transformation is a very important issue for our country. We believe that this is an important opportunity for research in our university. I think that the principles and criteria determined within the scope of this project will be a guide in the creation of model neighborhoods. We would like to thank the Ministry of Environment and Urbanism for their support of our project. "

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"It will make a significant contribution to the social and economic development of our country"

The Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the Faculty of Architecture at Istanbul Technical University and, at the same time, the project director, Dr. Mehmet Ocakçı shared the findings of the project with the officials. Prof. Dr. Ocakçı reported that the 15 components and 195 criteria were assembled based on data from three different regions in Istanbul.

Prof. Dr. Ocakçı said the following regarding the project details: "When we consider the capacity for urban transformation in our country, that is, as areas where urban transformation is needed, the ones that have been applied so far are quite low. Therefore, we are still at the beginning. As such, what problems have arisen as a result of any applications made to date? What underlying problems exist behind these problems, how can they be solved and how can the principles and criteria based on all the above be determined? We have implemented such a systematic approach, and from here we have developed principles and criteria. "

Convinced that the identified principles and criteria would be a road map in future transformation studies, Dr. Ocakçı continued his words as follows:

"The topic not only addresses improving the existing structural environment in risky areas but at the same time, we think that it will make an important contribution to social and economic development. Is the criteria we set for the transformation areas plausible or not? As ITU, we prepared a checklist for the Ministry. When it comes to the principles, there are principles regarding natural structure and social structure. With regards to residential neighborhoods, there are principles regarding neighborhood resurrection. With regard to population density, there are principles. There are economic and financial principles. There are principles about the mode of production. In other words, we have defined a total of 15 principles and 195 sub-criteria. I hope that the urban transformation studies carried out in our country will be evaluated in the context of these principles and criteria."
Stressing the importance of urban transformation studies’ being carried out in accordance with each region's own character, Dr. Ocakçı stated that he was working on three pilot projects proposed by the Ministry for Istanbul. Transformation has been completed in the Esenler District Airport, one of the three pilot regions. In the Pendik District, the transformation is being carried out in parceled parts and from that point of view holds a very unique characteristic. Lastly, work is being carried out in stages in Örnektepe in the Beyoğlu District.

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"We will be a following the Ministry"

The Undersecretary of Ministry of Environment and Urbanization Dr. Mustafa Öztürk stated that the project will be completed by the end of the year and said:

"In our country, some applications and transformations are being made in the areas of urban transformation within the scope of Law no. 6306. In this context, we launched a project together with ITU in order to establish specific planning principles to guide urban transformation practices and to develop complementary criteria related to these principles. We aim to complete the project by the end of this year. "

Professor Dr. Mustafa Öztürk explained his expectations from the project as follows:

“As a ministry, we had the priority of establishing identifiable and sustainable cities with healthy and safe living environments. In the 21st Century, sustainable development, the most basic goal on a global scale, will become the cornerstone of urbanization. In urban transformation applications, the planning and development of specific criteria and norms for transformation applications, have brought forth a uniform standard of quality in Turkey for urban renewal applications. Key goals outlined for urban transformation applications include the conservation of natural resources, energy conservation, spacial design on the human scale, sensitivity to the existing social fabric of communities, climatic adaptation, design based on the native composition (yöreye özgü tasarım) and architectural sustainability, and transportation. In order to provide all of the above, legislative arrangements will be made with regard to specific issues. As a ministry, together with our university at each stage, we will be following and overseeing the applicability of the principles and criteria set forth in subsequent urban transformation applications.”