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The dileman of flexibilit in the spatial development of science parks : the case og METU-Technopolis

Kızıltaş, Mustafa İhsan
In 1970’s, significant shifts occurred both in planning and design theories as a response to the decreasing role of state in property relations and widening arena of private property. This shift in planning approaches led to an increase in the importance of ‘flexibility’ concept. However this study proposes that flexibility in the control of spatial development is not an indisputable solution, but rather it is a dilemma. This is because; the definition, degree and effect of flexibility may change in every step of the process depending on the actors in the process. While it may be a way of solution in one case, it may be the problem itself in another. In the study, this dilemma is discussed in the context of spatial development in science parks. The concept of flexibility has a particular importance in respect to science parks which host especially technology based firms. Due to market changes and technology shifts, the spatial requirements of market and also the tenants change in time rapidly. That is why flexibility becomes a necessary tool in the physical planning of science parks. In this context, firstly the role flexibility in different planning and decision-making approaches is discussed. Then the structural characteristics of science parks and specifically METU Technopolis are defined. Within this framework, the physical development process of METU Technopolis and the role of flexibility in planning and decision making processes is examined. Finally some suggestions for controlling the flexibility in planning and design processes are developed.