Place and community driven conservation and empowerment in historic rural landscapes: principles and strategies for Taşkale Village, Turkey /

Asrav, Emine Çiğdem
Historic rural landscapes embody special characteristics and values intrinsic to the place and the community as a result of the reciprocal interaction between man and nature where man acts as the ‘social contributor’ and nature acts as the ‘physical mediator’. This relationship produces the built environment instantly as the ‘indigenous result’. In the dynamic process of formation, transformation and prolongation, a bond is created among these components the coalescence of which provides the sustainability of the historic rural landscapes together with the indigenous tangible and intangible characteristics and values. The sustainability is achieved by change and adaptation in this dynamic composition which is actually achieved by the inhabitants as being active actors with the inherited knowledge and experiences to adapt the current forces and challenges by transmitting the values, meanings, tradition and culture. However, in the rapidly changing world, historic rural landscapes encounter some forces leading irrevocable changes that are threatening the bond and destroying the coalescence among the nature, people and built environment. Thereupon, the thesis focus on the place and community driven conservation and empowerment approaches in historic rural landscapes by developing principles and strategies. Here, the main aim is to provide continuity of the ongoing life that can be achieved by the active involvement of the communities to the whole process as they are the real owners and users of their daily living places. In this regard, the thesis follows multilayered research covering conceptual and onsite investigations as well as deep and holistic evaluations as a result of which ends up with principles, strategies and proposals. The thesis claims that this research should be revised case by case according to the indigenous dynamics of each historic rural landscape. Taşkale Village is taken as a case study in this research as being a representative for historic rural landscapes which also encounters various forces leading major changes in the current socio-cultural and physical structure. As a result of the general evaluation of the historic rural landscapes, theoretical framework is applied to Taşkale Village by considering the indigenous values and characteristics in order to propose a place and community driven conservation and empowerment towards the contemporary forces of development, conservation, protection, promotion and economic advance. In brief, the main considerations of this thesis are detecting the forces and challenges that historic rural landscapes encounter, detecting their indigenous tangible and intangible values and with a holistic approach towards problems, the thesis seeks to conciliate the forces and challenges threatening the local values by offering place and community driven conservation and empowerment approaches.