Intensive Programme on Spatial Development Planning being organised by the METU Department of City and Regional Planning, is 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 the 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 to integrate different disciplinary perspectives, use different analytical methodologies and planning approaches. In particular, the IP aims at achieving the following objectives:

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 to tackle urban planning issues integrating different disciplines, approaches, and tools. Thr teaching will focus on making the students acquire following professional competencies:

1. An understanding of the different planning contexts and governance dynamics.

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 cities.


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

Last Updated:
28/02/2024 - 09:57