Reconstruction of satisfactory and culturally appropriate neighbourhoods in Turkey

SAGLAMER G., VELIOGLU S., Turkoglu H. , DIKBAS A., Erkut G. , BERK O.

OPEN HOUSE INTERNATIONAL, vol.31, no.1, pp.47-53, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Page Numbers: pp.47-53


In the year 2000, a team from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) developed the "Urban m(3) - Respect for Life Project", which was aimed of providing shelter for those people who were left homeless as a consequence of the earthquake in 1999, in the districts of Arizli-Kocaeli in Turkey. This earthquake hod a catastrophic effect on one of the most densely populated and industrial regions of Turkey whose population accounts about 20 percent of Turkey total population. In addition to providing shelter, the major objective of this project was to re-establish those humanistic and natural values that hod been lost or obscured in respect of the traditional, Turkish life-style and culture, as a result of the rapid urbanisation which took place after the 1950s. In 2000, research was conducted to evaluate the prospective residents' preferences in respect of their future housing and its environment needs. For this purpose, 400 people, who hod been living in temporary housing in the area affected by the earthquake, were the forget group of on in-depth survey. The main objective of the study was to determine whether the prospective residents' perceptions and evaluations matched the project designed by the ITU team. It was assumed within the project planning and design that people would prefer the socially, and physically rich environment offered by the project. Based on the research findings, the ideology, philosophy and concepts underlying the "Urban m(3) - Respect for Life Project" could be evaluated as on alternative design approach, which provides not only environmental protection and disaster mitigation, but also a high level of socio-cultural satisfaction. Thus, the paper suggests strategies for improved past-disaster (re-)construction.