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NEWS Turkey targets to improve neighborhood culture and safety against earthquakes via low-rise buildings

9 Nov 2020

During the last decades, Turkey has been largely a scene of vertical construction. Skyscrapers adorning the silhouettes of major cities have drastically increased in number.

During this time, two main important issues have been observed, in regards. First, tall buildings, no matter how robust, have raised safety concerns in the face of disasters. Secondly, as noted by experts, high structures have contributed negatively to the characteristic of neighborhood culture, which has been very valuable for Turkey, throughout centuries.

President Erdogan has announced the government manifesto for a new concept of urbanization and personally stressed that the government aims to reshape the identity of cities with low-rise buildings, and therefore the issue of horizontal urbanization will be at the top of Turkey's agenda next year.

Accordingly, pilot areas will be selected in each province of the country for this new concept. In fact, the government is currently working to launch pilot projects in 13 provinces where new zoning plans and technical support are provided to municipalities working on the project. Horizontal architecture projects will be applied in towns such as Amasya, Tekirdağ, Burdur, Kırşehir, Ordu, Kahramanmaraş, Sivas, Sinop, Karabük, Şanlıurfa, Yalova, Muğla and Çanakkale, to start off with. Special incentive awards will be given by the state to the cities that manage to accomplish the best practice.

Horizontal architecture is already being supported by the government thanks to the projects of the state-run Housing Development Administration (TOKI).

Instead of the Housing Authority's two five-story apartment buildings, high rises, in recent years, buildings have often begun to promote good relationships between neighbors isolated high above each other and minimize the risk of possible earthquakes.

The housing authority started building apartment buildings with two to five floors, instead of high-rises, in recent years with the target to contribute to improving relations between neighbors, otherwise isolated from each other to a great extent, in high-rise buildings as well as to minimize risk against heavy damage and loss due to possible earthquakes.

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