Trees in the urban context : a study on the relationship between meaning and design

Cihanger, Duygu
Urban places, besides their physical characteristics, are regarded as grounds where personal or communal meanings are created and accumulated. An individual can capture the meaning of a place, or create a new meaning by relying on his/her own feelings and experiences. This substantial role of urban places makes them the core concepts of environmental perception and urban design studies. This research, by discussing the idea of togetherness of meaning and design in urban spaces, presents trees both as place making and meaning generating features, and raises the term tree-places. The reason behind this is the capability of trees in terms of place formation, and their meanings for people which are shaped throughout the history. However, the attention of urban planners and designers towards working with trees in urban spaces is inadequate. They tend to focus solely on aesthetic appearances and biological contributions of trees. Moreover, trees are mostly thought afterwards, outside design processes. This attitude can be overcome through the identification of design principles with trees in urban exterior spaces. In this respect, this research presents a two-fold study, one of which is the meaning and the other is the design. Trees, in this context, are seen as the bridge connecting these two phenomena. While answering the question why trees have been chosen to relate meaning and design, an investigation is made on the deeply-rooted relationship between man and trees, and its traces on urban place. In order to strengthen the argument of the place making characteristics of trees, the existing urban places defined by trees are discussed under the term of tree-places. The study concludes with inferences from the theoretical discussions and case research that provide guidelines for urban design with trees. Trees are the essentials of people and cities, and the silent witnesses of history. For this reason, they are presented as valuable beings and design elements that create distinct urban places while supporting the concept of meaning.


On urban architecture
Kömez, Esin; Aközer, Emel; Restoration in Department of Architecture (2009)
The term “urban architecture” has different meanings and is open to many interpretations. This thesis aims to highlight and further elaborate some definitions of “urban architecture” in which it is mainly characterized as architecture in the urban context. The Second Volume of Harvard Architecture Review on “Urban Architecture” is referred as a main source in discussing the content of the term. The concept of “urban architecture” can be identified in several theoretical contributions to the field of archite...
Urban compactness : a study of Ankara urban form
Çalışkan, Olgu; Günay, Baykan; Urban Design in City and Regional Planning Department (2003)
Sustainable urban development is mentioned together with the concept of urban form in contemporary planning literature. The main reason behind this is a need for determining an ideal physical development scheme and its main principles of urban future in a broad term. Besides, the operational side of urban planning requires a concrete set of design codes in order to transform urban space in both macro and mezzo scale. At this point, the concept of urban compactness and the idea of Compact City have come into...
The political struggle on and at public space : the case of Kızılay Square
İlkay, Yasemin; Aksoy, Şinasi; Department of Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments (2007)
In Turkey, by 1980, a transformation has been observed on both the character of the societal opposition and the meaning, function, and spatial form of public spaces, which were characterized to be essential political spaces of a period. Kızılay Square was ‘the preferred space’ by the opposition during the struggle against Democrat Party in 1960’s; however demonstrations were expelled out of the square by legal regulations and sanctions. On one hand, legally, Kızılay Square could not be the scene of societal...
Heritage conservation via social sustainability in historic urban landscapes: principles, strategies and proposals for sakarya quarter in Ankara/Turkey /
Güner, Beril; Bilgin Altınöz, Ayşe Güliz; Restoration in Department of Architecture (2015)
Historic urban landscapes comprehend the natural and built environment as well as the social and cultural practices, values, meanings and identification of the communities that interact with them. In this sense, historic urban landscapes, with their entire tangible and intangible characteristic, have been shaping and evolving continuously by the communities and have been transferred to present generations. Thus, providing the sustainability of the communities is necessary to provide the continuance of histo...
Re-mapping contemporary architecture in Turkey based on the relationship between urbanisation and architecture: Eskişehir road development in Ankara
Günel, Ahmet; Güzer, Celal Abdi; Department of Architecture (2020)
The purpose of this thesis is to re-map contemporary architecture in Turkey through the transformative and correlative relationship between urban and architectural scales because the contemporary transformation of architecture in recent years is considerably related with its urban meaning and its role within the urban context. In order to achieve this, a theoretical background, which includes a comprehensive literature survey and a general framework of architecture and urbanization relation in Turkey with h...
Citation Formats
D. Cihanger, “ Trees in the urban context : a study on the relationship between meaning and design,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.