Turkey currently has a number of urban transformation projects on the go, and many of these are taking place in historic cities. Extensive care is being taken to preserve features within these cities to ensure they don’t lose their unique character.
Such areas are being defined as protected urban areas and include the protection of unique architectural and artistic characteristics that are an essential part of the city’s history.
Although a lot of care is being taken to protect these architectural features, some people feel that more should be done to take into account the local peoples cultural, economic and social status as they are affected by the changes taking place. They feel these people should be included in public discussions on the matter. In addition some also think that newer buildings should also be preserved and renovated.
Architects have pointed out that buildings are designed to do a lot more than merely provide cover, and are constructed to take into account the local geography, climate, topography and vegetation. Their worry is that if urban transformation products don’t take these guidelines into consideration, then the result could be the construction of very bland buildings lacking any architectural features unique to that particular area.
There are also concerns that residents in these areas undergoing urban transformation should be able to stay on in these locations. As such they feel it’s important that local planners make sure there are sufficient resources to provide employment and training opportunities.
This approach is far more holistic than merely trying to preserve ancient buildings, as cities need people to bring them to life. Some of the urban transformation projects have already proved to be very successful, and have managed to retain the historical feel of a city while ensuring residents have the means to earn a good living.