We Are Ready to Host the World With Our Understanding of Urbanism
Cover Mar 05, 2021
Taking a series of steps to establish ‘livable, safe and healthy’ cities in
81 provinces of Turkey, especially Istanbul, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning entered 2021 with environmentally sensitive and people-oriented strategies. Environment and Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum explained how squares, housing, social and public areas are designed ‘with a futuristic urbanism approach’ for Explore Turkish Realty readers…
Turkey is a country with deep historical roots and ancient urbanism culture. Our cities are our most important values that keep our civilization and urbanism traditions alive today. Within the framework of all these traditions, as the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, protecting the historical and cultural texture of our cities, we are working in order to protect the safety of our citizens’ lives and property; build more livable, safer and healthier cities for our children, our elderly and our disabled. We are zoning, building and reviving our cities environmentally sensitive and people-oriented, and preparing them for the future.
With its ecological corridors, national parks, cycle routes and walking paths, horizontal architecture that keeps the neighborhood culture and neighborhood relations alive; we carry out an exemplary urbanism work in the world with housing and smart city projects centered on social facilities that is resistant to disasters. We take measures to prevent our cities from being affected by disasters and epidemics due to earthquakes and climate change and prepare the infrastructure of our cities accordingly. In this context, as the Ministry, we have further accelerated our urban transformation mobilization initiated by our President in 2012 with the goal of “Urban Transformation all over Turkey”. We renew all the building stock that carries risk in our 81 provinces, 922 districts, especially in Istanbul, with our transformation projects. Since 2012, we have completed the transformation of 1.5 million homes. Again, every year we transform 300 thousand risky buildings. Currently, the construction of 272 thousand transformation houses with an investment value of 81 billion lira in the field continues throughout Turkey. This year, we started our 80 thousand housing urban transformation and social housing project with a total cost of 25 billion lira.
We act with Smart Cities Action Plan
We’re building the smart cities of the future. We systematically and sustainably anticipate, identify and provide solutions to epidemics and other potential problems that negatively affect city life, such as the Covid-19 outbreak. With Smart Cities Strategy and Our Action Plan that we shared with the public in 2019; we equip everything about city life with smart systems from traffic control systems to energy and waste management, from air pollution to noise pollution, from waste of water to transportation systems. We make the city life uncomplicated with vertical farming which is adapted to city life, agricultural production centers within social facilities, disabled-friendly smart sidewalks that harvest water, smart crosswalk systems, smart and energy-efficient buildings; make it more livable and manageable. In this sense, we also carry out all other projects that we do and will do in accordance with our smart city strategy. We also designed our giant urban transformation project of 60 thousand houses, which is very important for the transformation of Istanbul and which we started in our Esenler district, in the concept of a smart city.
Again, our domestic car, which we will start mass production in 2022, will also be integrated into smart city applications. In order to achieve this integration, we develop navigation applications and build the infrastructures of charging stations. With the Car Park Regulation, at least one of every 50 parking spaces in regional and general parking areas and the parking lots belonging to shopping malls, will be suitable for electric vehicles, where there will be charging units.
National parks to be integrated with ecological corridors
With our Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, we are implementing the largest transformation project in the history of the Republic. We are continuing our work at full speed for the Istanbul Canal Project, which will protect the Bosphorus and will be the most environmentally friendly urbanism project in Turkey with its national parks and ecological corridors. Istanbul Canal is a smart city project. It will include R&D centers, technology bases and universities. 52 percent of them were allocated to green space and social facilities.
We are building disabled-friendly cities that make human life extremely easy, taking nature and green into the center. Today in this sense, in order to increase our green spaces, we plan to finish our 81 million square meter national park 81 province project in 2023. Currently, we are making 278 national parks with a size of 50 million square meters in 78 provinces. We have completed the construction of 42 of these National Parks. Again, at the first stage, our project of ecological corridors, in which there are cycling routes and natural walking paths to cover 22 provinces, where people will be intertwined with nature, continues rapidly. Within the scope of this project, we will create 4 ecological lines from Ankara to Yesilirmak Delta in Black Sea, Foça in Aegean, Patara in Mediterranean and Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia and we will weave our country with green networks entirely. Locally, we will also integrate national parks with ecological corridors. In order to minimize the effects of global climate change and to secure the socio-economic life of our cities, we launched the Zero Waste Project, which forms the framework of all our environmental projects in 2017, under the auspices of Mrs. Today, 70 thousand institutions across Turkey We established a zero waste system. Hopefully, by 2023, we will complete the installation of the Zero Waste System throughout our country. Again, within the scope of our zero waste blue campaign, we keep our seas clean. In this context, we have collected 80 thousand tons of marine litter so far. Again, as an indication that the seas in our country are clean, we increased the number of blue flag beaches to 486.
We have established the Turkey Environment Agency to prevent environmental pollution, protect green areas, create deposit management system. With this agency, we will also support the preparation and implementation of projects on ensuring a sustainable environment, protecting our air, water, soil, natural areas, biodiversity.
We know that all over the world, the construction sector is the engine of economic growth. As the Turkish construction sector, we have a very strong human resources and infrastructure at the point of both our manufacturers and our production quality. As the ministry, we closely monitor our construction sector and closely follow the technical developments in the world. We are doing all these projects that we have developed and made about the environment and urbanism together with very valuable representatives of our construction sector.
Last year, Turkey was the country where real estate was valued the most. This, in fact, is an indication of how resilient the Turkish economy and our sector are despite the recession all over the world. We have taken very important measures in our country to reduce the effects of the global recession in the real estate sector. At the beginning of June last year, state banks pulled the interest rate on housing loans to 0.64 and 0.74 levels. This has stimulated the construction sector, which feeds more than 450 of our sub-sectors. Despite the epidemic conditions, the interest of foreign buyers in the real estate in our country was high. We, as the ministry, give weight to provide social housing besides creating public spaces with an understanding of the environment and nature at its center, we are striving to dominate an understanding of housing centered on facilities instead of an understanding of facilities interspersed around the housing.
Turkey has been a country where both domestic and foreign investors trust despite the pandemic conditions. In the post-pandemic process, Turkey, as always, will continue to be the base of stability and stable development. As the most important center of the reshaped World Trade in areas such as finance, logistics and transportation, it will also be a favorite of foreign investors. Istanbul, especially, is one of the most important cities of global trade and production with a population of more than 20 million people. Our ancient cities, which have always hosted many civilizations in their history, are ready to host the whole world today with their historical and cultural texture and futuristic understanding of urbanism.