Two Competing Visions for the Capital City of the Turkish Republic: Léon Jausseley’s and Hermann Jansen’s Planning Proposals for Ankara (1928)

Bilsel F. C.

Histories of Urban Design: Global Trajectories and Local Realities, Zürich, Switzerland, 15 - 17 November 2021, vol.1, pp.130

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: Zürich
  • Country: Switzerland
  • Page Numbers: pp.130
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The diffusion of the city planning practice took place often by the initiative of local actors, and was enabled by the collaboration of international experts in the early 20th century. In the newly founded Republic of Turkey, “international experts” were invited to develop city plans in conformity with the principles of the new “science of town building.” A planning competition was organized for the construction of the new capital Ankara in 1927. Three planners from France and Germany, Léon Jaussely, Hermann Jansen and Leon Brix were invited to prepare their plans for the future capital city. Jansen’s and Jaussely’s proposals reflected a similar understanding influenced from the Garden City model, while they differed in their approach to the old town and the representation of public spaces. Jaussely’s plan that reflected the traits of French Beaux-Arts urbanisme brought a zoning on the basis of neighborhood units with different building typologies. He developed a “système des parcs” formed of a network of green boulevards superposed on the transportation infrastructure. Jansen proposed also a system of continuous green corridors -a network of “freiflächen” that connected the neighborhood units destined to different socio-economic groups. Yet, the attitudes of the two experts vis-à-vis the old town were fundamentally different. While Jaussely proposed to intervene radically on the historical town by opening new avenues and squares, Jansen preserved the historical urban core around the citadel, that he called “the crown of the city.” The local jury found Jansen’s entry more suitable to the “national character” and more applicable. Finally Jansen was given the commission to prepare the implementation plans of the city. The present paper compares various aspects of the two proposals for the new capital city by Jaussely and Jansen, and inquires into the way they were received by the local actors.