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“GAP project-like approach” proposal for the earthquake zone
“GAP project-like approach” proposal for the earthquake zone

While studies were continuing to determine the devastating effects of the earthquakes that occurred on February 6th and its aftermath, discussions on how to re-plan the region gained momentum. City and regional planning professor Baykan Günay shared his approaches and suggestions to open a white paper in the region.

TURKEY - As the measurements of the size of the devastating earthquakes that occurred on February 6th and affected 11 provinces continued, the search for projects that would restore development in the region gained momentum.  Dr. Baykan Günay, the Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at TED University (TEDU), shared his suggestions on the approaches that need to be implemented to open a new page in Southeast Turkey, as well as the before and after of the earthquake disaster.

Stating that the number of aftershocks that have continued since February 6th is approaching 4 thousand, Dr. Baykan Günay said, “It seems that aftershocks will continue for a while. We can evaluate the causes of the destruction from many aspects, from construction sciences to planning and legislation, as well as natural underground activities, which are the subject of earth sciences, and events that are the subject of soil sciences, such as liquefaction.

“Cities have no form, town engineering continues”

Dr. Baykan Günay stated that the discussions on the basic concepts of construction and building sciences continue, but it doesn't seem like they have come a long way. TEDU Faculty Member, who said that the concept of "town engineering,” which started to be talked about in the 1999 Marmara Earthquake, came to the fore again, said, "Local administrations do not have the technical staff to control the quality of concrete with iron and stirrup connections. Even if they comply with the construction rules, we see that the buildings that were built without a ground survey are on its side.”

According to Dr. Baykan Günay, the zoning institution has developed through various stages since the establishment of the republic. Despite this, the magnitude of the earthquakes that occurred on February 6th showed that there were ongoing problems. “There are no slums, although illegal construction continues, there is legislation, zoning plans, disaster planning, risk planning. So where is the problem? There is no healthy mass-space relationship where buildings collapse. In other words, the city has no form," said TEDU Department Head, "Our effort and longing are to build the planning-design axis, but we cannot achieve this."

“We cannot exclude settlement science and planning”

Stating that there is a scene similar to the 1999 earthquake today and that those who look at the subject purely from the point of view of earth science almost exclude the theories developed by settlement science, Dr. Baykan Günay said, “The economic, social and political reasons that make up the place have been reduced to qualities such as distance to the fault line, conformity to ground mechanics, and hilliness. Discourses were developed as if there were no theoretical frameworks learned from life, such as place, central place, the principle of least effort, threshold theory, and basic economics. The forgotten dimension in all these discussions was planning, and it was always excluded. However, while establishing new settlements, we cannot exclude the theories of settlement science and planning. We cannot implement the 21st-century space planning framework in our country, which the theories point to, prioritizing livability and sustainability for the majority, and which includes a commitment to open reasoning processes about the public sphere.”

“GAP Project approach can be adopted”

Pointing out that the approach followed in the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), which is defined as one of the most comprehensive projects in the history of the Republic, with high brand value and entered into the international literature, can be adopted when establishing new settlements in the earthquake zone, TEDU City and Regional Planning Department Head Dr. Baykan Günay concluded his evaluations with the following statements: “Our proposal, which we call the Southeast Anatolia Earthquake Zone Rehabilitation Project, can provide a necessary setup for the determination of earthquake damages and a new settlement system. Establishing an institution in which the members of the affected community have a say, as well as the representatives of central and local governments, would be the most accurate method to follow. If the institution and the project are successful, they can create earthquake zones for the whole country, and the institutions can carry out studies on how to plan before, during, and after the earthquake.”

Contact: Tülay Genç | [email protected] | +31 30 799 6022

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