Increasing walkability capacity of historic city centers : the case of Mersin

Belge, Züleyha Sara
Sustainability, livability and quality of life have become widely and in-depth discussed issues in the literature of urban zlanning and design. This study primarily aims to investigate the concept of walkability as a part of the literature on livability. To draw a wider theoretical framework for this study, it first seeks to answer the questions of what the terms of ‘livability’ and ‘quality of life’ mean, and what components they constitute. Then, it focuses on the concept of ‘walkability’ as one of the major components of these terms and as a measurable notion in urban design. Thus, this research seeks to define the notion of ‘walkability’ and to identify a set of measures of walkability in public spaces to be used for the assessment of the ‘walkability capacity’ of urban space. It should be noted that this research particularly tries to use the indicators of walkability which can directly impact on the design quality of urban space. Third, this research focuses on Mersin historic city center which has been in the process of deterioration for a while due to various current urban policies and strategies. As the case studies, it examines Uray and Atatürk Streets which constitute the major thoroughfares of the historic city center by using the set of walkability measures. It investigates the walkability quality of four different character zones of Uray and Atatürk Streets, and identifies their walkability capacities, problems and potentials. Finally, it suggests the policy and practical solutions on the design of these public spaces that will not only improve the walkability capacity of these streets, but also be helpful for the revitalization of the historic city center.
Citation Formats
Z. S. Belge, “ Increasing walkability capacity of historic city centers : the case of Mersin ,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.