Intensive Programme on Spatial Development Planning being organised by the

METU Department of City and Regional Planning, will be held in METU, Ankara

on April 2-14, 2013 

Rationale and Background
Ankara, after its proclamation as the capital city with the establishment
of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, has witnessed huge transformations. The
city was home to only a few thousand people when it became the capital;
but gradually its population has grown at double the rate of the rest of
Turkey. It received large inflows of migrants, particularly during the
1950s-60s, who illegally settled on public land. The two case study areas
–the Dikmen Valley and the Ankara Citadel– are examples of unauthorized
housing and of different strategies to tackle the issue.

The Dikmen Valley is located in the Ankara urban core and covers 290
hectares. In the 1980s large-scale urban transformation projects were
launched in Ankara, introducing new concepts such as public–private
partnerships. The Dikmen Valley Housing and Environmental Development
Project was one of the pioneer interventions of this type, aiming at
redeveloping an unauthorized housing area with a new management model. A
public-private development corporation –an innovation in the Turkish
administrative system– was established by the Greater Municipality of
Ankara to coordinate and implement the redevelopment project. The project
had three goals. The first was to transform the Valley into a recreational
area for the entire city. A second goal was to create a commercial and
cultural urban node. Finally, the project addressed the squatter housing
problem in the area with a redevelopment model based on
self-financing and participation. The project involved five phases,
two of which have been completed so far. At present all squatter houses
have been demolished, a huge recreation area has been created and new
residential units have been constructed for both the former squatters and
high-income newcomers (about 18,000 people). However, the project has also
created new contradictions: service areas were limited, and high- and
low-income groups living in the Valley do not integrate. Presently, the
Valley consists of gated luxurious communities on one hand, and apartment
blocks of former squatter people on the other.

The second case is an urban revitalization process around the Ankara
Citadel in the Ulus Historic District. The Citadel Area was also invaded
by illegal housing of migrants since the 1950s.  After Ankara was declared
as the capital city, a modernization process was started in the city to
make it the symbol of modern Turkey, but during this process the
traditional parts of the city were not given adequate attention and the
area became thus home to the migrants. Since the late 1980s, however, the
Citadel and its vicinity have witnessed revitalization processes by many
different actors ranging from the Municipality to preservation groups. The
physical interventions and new functions have transformed the area into a
tourist attraction with intense commercial activity. Today, the Citadel
area accommodates low-income housing, illegal squatters, craft shops,
museums, restaurants and hotels. While being a revitalized historic urban
site, the Citadel is not exempt from problems and conflicts: it is
overcrowded and congested, with severe transportation problems and
environmental issues, low living quality. Moreover, there are many actors
with different stakes, including the municipality, preservation groups,
shopkeepers and residents.

The Dikmen Valley and Ankara Citadel redevelopment processes showcase
multiple problems, which are specific to the Ankara context but are also
common to many European metropolitan areas and represent, hence, major
contemporary planning challenges. Of particular interest are the issues of
social, economic and environmental urban sustainability on a local and
regional level, which in turn relates to issues of housing,
transportation, public space, governance, environmental and historic
conservation. Such issues need to be tackled with a multidisciplinary
planning approach, to integrate economic, social, environmental and
physical dimensions of urban transformation.

Concrete aims and objectives
In the IP, the redevelopment processes in the Dikmen Valley and Ankara
Citadel will be used to discuss the above issues as well as the planning
strategies to meet the challenges of sustainable urban development. A
critical analysis of such redevelopment processes requires a
multidisciplinary approach from the fields of city planning, architecture,
economics, sociology, geography and environmental sciences. Only such an
approach can reveal the complex relations between the physical
environment, transformative pressures and governance system as a basis for
sustainable urban development strategies.

The main purpose of the IP is thus to enable students integrate different
disciplinary perspectives, use different analytical methodologies and
planning approaches. In particular, the IP aims at achieving the following
1. A broad understanding of urban redevelopment processes via a
multidisciplinary analysis of the case studies;
2. Use of methods to analyze the design, socioeconomic and environmental
impacts of redevelopment projects;
3. Formulation of strategies for a sustainable urban development of the
case study areas.

Innovative dimensions: a multidisciplinary and European perspective
The innovativeness of the IP project lies mainly in its multidisciplinary
and European perspective, in terms of both contents and teaching
methodology. Partner institutions share the same concern with sustainable
urban development –a central concern in the European research agenda– and
multidisciplinary teaching methodology. Multidisciplinary and
multinational staff will give the students access to expertise from other
countries/disciplines, that would not be available at their home
institutions, thus providing a broader perspective on the issues at hand.

Also innovative is the teaching methodology adopted; a combination of
lectures&seminars, field survey, team project work, under close teacher
supervision. This approach, coupled with the multidisciplinary and
multinational perspectives, allows for an interactive learning, and for
the exchange of innovative teaching methods among staff.

Expected learning outcomes:subject-related and transversal competences

The expected outcome of the IP is to enable students tackle urban planning
issues integrating different disciplines, approaches, and tools. Thr
teaching will focus on making the students acquire following professional
1. An understanding of the different planning contexts and governance
2. An understanding of the different dynamics, institutions and actors at
work in urban transformation.
3. A grasp of tools and methods to analyze environmental, economic and
social implications of urban projects.
4. The capabilities to formulate planning strategies towards sustainable

In addition to such subject-related competences, the multidisciplinary and
multinational teaching environment of the IP will enrich students with a
more transversal type of knowledge, enhancing their communicative skills
to cope with cultural diversity in an international academic environment.

Related Documents and Presentations

Ankara Spatial History / Günay

Two Pillars of Urban Generation / Haddock

Urban Regeneration / Saccomani

Polytech Tours Presentation

Methodology Lecture Presentation / Hamdouch