Reclaiming pedestrian-oriented places to increase walkability in city center the case of Yüksel Street, Ankara

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2014
Farnian, Saideh
Walking as the basic, cheapest and the most affordable way of transportation, recreation and socialization is a significant means of experiencing a city. Walkability of a city is a measure of how friendly, safe and attractive a city is to walk within it. Walking in a city and the extent to which the built environment supports walking is signifier of civilization and popular walkable spaces particularly in city center are considered as part of collective memory of a city. Accordingly, a well-designed walkable urban space can become where many social, political and many other important urban activities take place. After advent of motorized vehicles, automobiles have occupied urban spaces and the forms of many cities as well as Ankara has changed according to requirements of automobiles rather than pedestrians. Despite of many advantages and convenience that automobiles have brought to people’s lives, excessive car usage have brought many social, physical and economic outcomes. A wide range of literature is reviewed and based on their scopes, these literature are divided to four groups: the first, deal with the relationship between built environment and walking, the second investigate behavioral factors of human and choice of travel mode, the third group study walking as a transportation mode and the fourth group of literature studied for this thesis deal with walking as a means of socialization. The influential walkability factors suggested by each group are categorized and based on them, four main groups of criteria contributing to walkability of an urban space and being influential in increasing walking rate are identified. These four groups are: lifestyle factors, locational factors, urban design factors and personal factors. Each of these groups have inclusive subcategories by which walkability of a street or an urban space can be evaluated elaborately. This thesis mainly studies the relationship between physical features of built environment and level of walkability of an urban space. Hence, a potentially walkable street is chosen as case study which is Yüksel Street located at CBD of Ankara. This street is considered as one of the signifiers and indicators of republic ideology in the capital city and exists from Jansen Plan (1932) but today it has lost its previous functionality as being a green mixed-use residential district planned by Jansen and later in 1980s being designed as an art street for intellectual activities. The planning history of Ankara, CBD and Yüksel Street is studied to find the main reasons of this decline. Then, walkability level of this street is analyzed by the use of criteria developed via reviewing literature. Yüksel Street is divided to several different segments and based on walkability factors developed through literature the walkability potentials and problems of each segment is analyzed in detail. Additionally, a questionnaire survey is conducted to understand the insufficiencies and requirements of the street, from perspective of users of Yüksel Street. Findings of this research and recommendations proposed in it, can be helpful in developing plans for Ankara CBD and taking actions to reclaim the primary functionality of Yüksel Street as an important part of capital city. Additionally, the criteria developed in this study and findings of this research can be guiding in designing pedestrian-oriented places and encouraging people to walk.

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Citation Formats
S. Farnian, “Reclaiming pedestrian-oriented places to increase walkability in city center the case of Yüksel Street, Ankara,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.