Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health, vol.6, no.8, pp.1-30, 2020 (Non Peer-Reviewed Journal)
This paper examines how the Turkish capital city, Ankara, employs the key standards of urban planning and design to support a good population mental health. Although there are numerous studies are investigating the relationship between urban planning and well-being, the number of research studies understanding Ankara's specific situation regarding urban planning and mental health is low. Taking this gap into account, in this study, it was intended to ensure a broader insight into the opinions of Ankara based urban design professionals and psychological health specialists.
In line with this aim, first, we provide the current situation of psychological health in Turkey and Ankara, the transformation of urban planning in Ankara, plus information about Ankara’s socio-economic situation. Then, we present the findings obtained through qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews. The findings indicate that some factors are essential for creating a mental health friendly city. These are walkability, access to restorative environments, access to public transportation, safety, pro-social places that promote positive social interactions, reducing the negative effects of pollution, planned urbanization, and equal access to the city. The analyses also revealed political, financial, and informational barriers to implement mental health in urban design in Ankara. Findings suggested that some developments in urban design and policymaking may positively shape the future of Ankara’s design.