Urban transformation is a term that we see frequently especially in the recent years. Since it is a subject that people mostly hear about somehow, but most have insufficient knowledge about, it is quite open for misunderstanding. Urban transformation, which we encounter with questions such as "Will I be homeless?" or "I wonder if I can benefit from it too", is actually not a complicated subject if it is addressed simply.
In this article, we will briefly explain what urban transformation is and about its benefits as a general introduction to the subject for those who are unfamiliar about it.
Why Urban Transformation?
Based on the definition of Turkish Language Association, urban transformation can be defined as demolition of a city's buildings which are unlicensed and not suitable with the zoning plan of a city, and the creation of mass settlement areas suitable with the zoning plan.
Urban transformation projects, which became popular and put into effect after the acknowledgement of the 'Draft Law Concerning the Transformation of the Zones under Risk of Disaster' after coming into question after the earthquake of 7.2 that happened in Van in 2011, have enabled construction of safer and modern buildings with green areas in place of many buildings across the country that are not convenient for settlement for various reasons. Approximately 7 billion TL in total has been spent so far in Turkey within the scope of the urban transformation projects.
Which Buildings can go under Urban Transformation?
According to the current regulation, the buildings of more than 30 years of age are considered as having completed their economic lives. In another words, if the building that you live in - or you own - is of 30 years or more of age, it has the opportunity to be considered within the scope of urban transformation. In addition, the buildings constructed before the Marmara Earthquake in 1999 are also considered mostly in the status of risky structures even though they are not of 30 years of age, since the building safety standards have changed after the earthquake. It is decided whether the buildings constructed before 1999 can be taken within the scope of urban transformation as the result of the risky structure analyses that can be performed by competent authorities.
Benefits of Urban Transformation
Especially considering that 71% of population and 66% of the land of Turkey is on the 1st and 2nd seismic belt, it can be seen that successful urban transformation projects are of great importance in terms of safety of life and property. We can briefly list the prominent benefits of these projects as follows:
- Preventing shanty settlement and hence unplanned urbanisation,
- Removal of buildings that have run out of their economic lives and are not reliable against risks such as earthquakes,
- Minimising the losses that may emerge in cases such as natural disasters due to more durable buildings being constructed,
- The modern settlement places constructed contributing to the business world and social life with the business centres, cultural and art complexes and entertainment centres they contain,
In a nutshell, urban transformation projects both help the formation of safer living spaces and increasing of the living standards. From this perspective, it can be stated that urban transformation is a quite important part of the development process of the developing countries.