24th ISUF International Conference, Valencia, Spain, 13 - 16 September 2017, pp.280-298
Being major transportation infrastructure of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the impacts of railways on cities have highly directed urban studies; deforming material edge of cities, encouraging urban extension, forming new territories, and speeding up urban development. However, in recent decades, with newly emerging landscape infrastructure practice, a new idea for a more integrated infrastructure and landscape system has started to be formulated. Railway strips, occurring as territories where solid-void morphology of cities becomes illegible, emerge as generators in the formation of urban green network.
Within this framework, Ankara commuter line that mark outs a route approximately 37 kilometers in length in the city, is a remarkable case for a motivating discussion on railway and landscape confrontation. Penetrating the city in east-west direction, the commuter line integrated with a rural landscape –covering orchards, truck gardens and creeks- that was serving as a recreational field for citizens until 1950s. However, the transformative nature of the railway encouraged the development of new urban lands, industrial areas and neighborhoods along its route, and erased the characteristic landscape fabric. The continuous landscape integrated with green, water and railway infrastructure became fragmented covering only some splits of green and water. In this respect, this study dwells on the lost landscape of the commuter line by mapping the fragmented continuity of the railway, green and water infrastructure from 1950’s until today to show the limited, but potential interaction of these three systems in the current urban fabric.