Academic journal article Urban Studies Research

Production of Quality Housing in Urban Transformation in Areas under Disaster Risk: Osmangazi and Yildirim, Bursa, Turkey

Academic journal article Urban Studies Research

Production of Quality Housing in Urban Transformation in Areas under Disaster Risk: Osmangazi and Yildirim, Bursa, Turkey

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In recent years, significant changes in the international approaches and policies on urban risk were performed, and the need for disaster risk reduction for sustainable development was highlighted. With the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, sustainable development became a basic policy, the significance of which was recognized worldwide. The most significant contribution of Rio Conference to the concept of sustainable development is the emphasis on the need for the participation and initiative of local government units, nongovernmental organizations, private sector organizations, and individuals beside central government units in the decisions and implementations on political, economical, and social planes for the implementation of the concept of sustainable development [1].

Participation is a voluntary act that occurs when people become conscious of the value of participatory action and deem it desirable to become involved in the different activities undertaken in a participatory project or initiative [2]. The bottom-up planning process involves extensive opportunities for community participation and some unique elements, including community surveys, focus groups convened at the neighborhood level, active involvement of the city's youth, public hearings, and public awareness campaigns [3]. Participation in the formation of urban space takes place on varying levels and forms depending on the characteristics of the participant parties, the nature of the participation issue, and local characteristics. There are some excellent examples of success in this area: Rotach Street and the "Industriequartier" housing area in Zurich (Sweden) [4], Cureghem, Brussels (Belgium) [5] and Freiburg, Breisgau (Germany) [6], Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area Project (Nepal) [7], and Temple Bar, Dublin [8]. In Turkey, applications within the scope of "Dikmen Valley Urban Transformation Project" and "Portakal Cpicpegi Valley Urban Transformation Project" in Ankara were the first to adopt the participation of local beneficiaries in the decision-making process [9].

In almost every city in Turkey, there are economically, socially, and environmentally deteriorated living spaces which lack quality and which did not come about in accordance with planned or orderly urbanization. The relation between disaster and city must be requestioned, quality of urban life must be improved, and urban transformation activities must be carried out to create safe living spaces in these areas. To create sustainable urban spaces in urban transformation applications, it is important that residents take part in the decision-making process and put forward their demands and expectations, legal and institutional processes be managed properly, and housing units be designed and built according to user needs, lifestyles, and local conditions.

After the 1999 Marmara Earthquake, efforts to create safer urban living spaces intensified in Turkey. To this end, urban transformation work, which commenced in previous years, began to gain its place on the agenda in 2000s. One of the most significant steps towards legitimatizing urban transformation was "Municipal Law" number 5393 of 2005. Article 69 of the law titled "land and housing production" and Article 73 titled "urban transformation and development" cover regulations on urban renewal [10]. Urban Transformation Act number 6306, enacted on May 16, 2012, covers the transformation of areas defined as areas under risk. With this law, the target is to construct approximately 14 million housing units within the scope of urban transformation in the next 20 years in Turkey. As urban transformation work became a current issue, it led to discussion on the concepts of livability-quality of life and sustainable urban development. In this context, qualities of housing that takes account of user preferences became a prominent issue. …

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