New Low-rise Building Scheme in Turkey To Gain Momentum

Low-rise Building Scheme in Turkey

A recent news article posted in the Daily Sabah on the 3rd November 2020 suggests some exciting news in the expansion & development of new low-rise building scheme in Turkey to create a more “urbanized concept” with horizontal architecture & design. This news comes very soon after the disastrous Izmir 6.5 earthquake that took place on October 30, 2020, and understandably alarmed many residents living in high rise buildings.

Here we share this article for some insight and reassurance that Turkey really does do all that it possibly can to provide the best safety and provisions for its people, without compromising in its beauty, style & traditions:

“Horizontal architecture, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called it, will top the agenda of Turkey next year as the government aims to reshape the identity of cities with low-rise buildings. Pilot areas will be chosen in each province of the country for the new concept.

Amid a construction boom, Turkey saw skyscrapers dotting the skylines of big cities in the past two decades. High-rise buildings, no matter how sturdy they are, raised concerns in terms of safety in the face of disasters. It also raised a few eyebrows, including a scathing criticism by Erdoğan who repeatedly laments the loss of “neighbourhood culture” and termed taller buildings as an eyesore in the past. The president has unveiled the government manifesto for a new urbanization concept and put horizontal architecture at its centre.

In 2021, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning will start handing out awards to the cities adapting to this new architecture. The cities will be awarded certificates recognizing them as “Cities Reviving Our Civilization” and “Free Neighbourhoods.” Turkey’s urban culture traces its roots to the Ottoman era and the early years of the republic when each city hosted smaller but numerous neighbourhoods where houses were closer to each other and with fewer floors, allowing people to develop closer ties due to their proximity to one another. But a rise in population and increasing migration to cities especially in the second half of the 20th century paved the way for haphazard zoning practices.

The government now works toward launching pilot projects in 13 provinces where new zoning plans and technical support for municipalities working on the project are being implemented. Horizontal architecture projects will first be applied to the provinces of Amasya, Tekirdağ, Burdur, Kırşehir, Ordu, Kahramanmaraş, Sivas, Sinop, Karabük, Şanlıurfa, Yalova, Muğla and Çanakkale.

The horizontal architecture is already sponsored by the government thanks to projects by the state-run Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI). The housing authority started building apartment buildings with two to five floors, instead of high-rises, in recent years, in a bid to promote better relations between neighbours usually isolated from each other in high-rise buildings and minimize risk from possible earthquakes” By bariş şimşek for the Daily Sabah

For more details on Earthquakes in Turkey please read our blog post:

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts and feeling about low-rise and high-rise buildings? Which would you prefer to live in and why?

In all honesty I have always preferred low rise buildings myself, it just gives me an extra calm for some reason. I lived in UAE for quite some time where there are many high-rise buildings and as beautifully modern as they were, I really never fully enjoyed them or felt at ease in them. Additionally, being a Muslim and aware of the hadith about the competition of high-rise buildings nearer the end of times, well, that’s enough to put anybody off.

In conclusion, there’s no doubt that low-rise buildings will certainly be safer and at least much more manageable in the rare and very unfortunate event of an earthquake, that certain areas of Turkey seem to be prone to.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and feelings on this regard in the comments section below, we can learn and expand greatly by elaborating in conversation and hearing other people’s experiences and thoughts.

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