Productive landscapes and resilient cities

Akyol M., Eşbah Tunçay H.

A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol.10, no.2, pp.133-147, 2013 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Journal Name: A/Z ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.133-147
  • Keywords: Community development, Productive landscapes, Resilient cities, Social and ecological environments, Urban agriculture
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Creating a resilient urban matrix has become a fundamental issue due to natural and human caused disasters, economic and ecological crises last few decades. Subsequently, integrating productivity in cities via landscape and planning tools and developing a sustainable infrastructure become inevitable. This study explores the role of productive landscapes in creating resilient cities. More specifically, the paper focuses on urban agriculture as one of the major components of productive landscapes. Pioneering models of productive landscapes and urban agriculture go back to 19th century with the works of Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Right, and Ian McHarg. Obviously, cities have been blended with nature for centuries; the only difference now is that industrialization has made food production invisible. Istanbul is presented as the case study. Through the rich history of Istanbul, food has a strong influence on city's image. It is still possible to see the traces of agricultural uses along the Theodesian Walls, and some old neighborhoods. Some foresighted organizations and individuals promote agriculture in inner urban areas. However, dealing with rapid urbanization problems, agricultural lands have been transformed into settlement areas in time. As we are in the age of sustainability, combining agriculture with the new technology and recent architectural trends as well as sustainable master plans incorporating productive landscape concepts will encourage urban agriculture in the city, hence creating more resilient urban environments.