Urban transformation projects in Ankara: Challenge for a holistic urban planning system

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009




The global weakening of nation states has isolated cities. On the other hand, the authority of local administrations has been increasing rapidly. Urban planning responsibility is under the authority of local governments. Due to intense competition for attractive solutions, local authorities have tended to use methods that produce immediate results. Therefore, planning approach has been changing and in place of comprehensive plans, we find quick fix projects. According to comprehensive planning approach and the planning legislation in Turkey, urban plans should be made according to the principle of planning hierarchy. This principle defines the consistency of plans in different scales and refers to the holistic principle of urban planning. However, local governments have adopted project-based policy implemented in the form of urban transformation. This policy leads to practical applications that contradict the principles of the discipline of urban planning. Then, it forms a basis for negative results such as unplanned development. This study focuses on projects in Ankara and their consistency with upper scale plans in order to make a rational assessment of urban transformation projects. This thesis aims to show how local authorities and new legislative frameworks encourage urban transformation while ignoring the principle of planning hierarchy in case of Ankara. Local governments prefer project-based policy since development serves the benefit of investors and therefore municipalities. To avoid this situation, legislation should be examined and laws that lead to conflicting investments of authority should be simplified. Additionally, through law, planning agenda should be focused on the structural planning approach.