Urban transformation projects in squatter settlements: The case of Ankara, Şentepe urban transformation project

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

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

Approval Date: 2008




Squatter settlements still represent the worst of urban poverty and inequality in Turkey. Yet the world has the resources, know-how and power to reach the best experiences. Urban transformation has become a topic of growing interest in many cities in the world. It has also become popular in Turkish cities and the most common urban transformation projects in Turkey are implemented in squatter settlements. However, while the scope of urban transformation interventions generally aims to improve the quality of urban life, increase the livability of cities in various aspects and provide cities with the ability to trace other cities in both national scale and the globalized world, it is still a question mark whether urban transformation projects are successful enough in improving every aspects of urban life and fulfill the promise of development for their inhabitants particularly by improving the lives of the poor and promoting equity. In this respect, this research tries to identify the success level of urban transformation projects implemented in squatter settlements. Since many urban transformation projects implemented extensively in squatter settlements in Turkey, generally with the aim of increasing the density of buildings and gaining rent over these areas, the concept of urban transformation has an indisputable importance to be researched. The key purpose of this thesis is to reveal the components of quality of urban and community life in terms of physical, environmental, social, and economic dimensions and provide both objective (quantitative) and subjective (qualitative) approaches over these components to assess the success level of Şentepe Urban Transformation Project and increase the success level of urban transformation projects in squatter settlements. This research will reveal up the degree to which Şentepe Urban Transformation Project will respond to the requirements of the criteria of urban quality of life. Further, this research aims to provide inputs for the next urban transformation interventions to guarantee the satisfaction of urban life and well-beings of local community in terms of various issues related to urban life. The key proposition of this research is ‘The success level of an urban transformation project depends on how far it provides an urban quality of life whose main indicators are both physical, environmental, economic, and social and objective and subjective aspects.’ This thesis utilizes the experiences of one of well known project in the world which provides quality of urban and community life due to the multi-dimensional characteristics of urban transformation. Then, as stated above, the research focuses on ‘Şentepe Urban Transformation Project’ in Ankara as a field survey and evaluate the success level of this project due to the success determinants proposed by this thesis. Finally, this thesis intends to increase the success level of urban transformation projects in squatter settlements and puts forward the success level of ‘Şentepe Urban Transformation Project’ in terms of providing well-being of inhabitants in accordance with quality of urban life indicators and four dimensions of urban regeneration; physical, environmental, economic, and social.