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Sustainability of urban regeneration in Turkey: Assessing the performance of the North Ankara Urban Regeneration Project

Korkmaz, Cansu
Balaban, Osman
The increasing environmental footprints of cities necessitated the integration sustainability principles into urban planning and development frameworks. The growing attention on urban sustainability also influenced the policy and the practice of urban regeneration. The quest for new methods for regenerating existing urban quarters in sustainable manners resulted in the concept of sustainable urban regeneration. The concept aims to develop urban regeneration projects in line with the three key pillars of sustainable development. Since the turn of the new millennium, urban regeneration initiatives in Turkish cities have gained a new momentum, mainly due to the increasing interest by public and private sectors. As expected, squatters constituted one of the main focuses of the recent initiatives for urban regeneration. Nevertheless, the Turkish experience of urban regeneration differs from the international experiences in terms of the motivation behind and the scope of the projects. Despite the growing link between sustainability and urban regeneration in international practices, sustainability has not yet been a major motivation for urban regeneration practices in Turkey. This research assesses the sustainability performance of one of the most prominent examples of squatter regeneration in Turkey, namely the North Ankara Urban Regeneration Project (NAURP). The project has been evaluated by means of an indicator-based methodology. The research indicates that the project's contribution to urban sustainability has been minimal and thus, further efforts are required to improve the sustainability performance of urban regeneration projects in Turkey. In the light of this finding, policy implications have been made to push sustainable urban regeneration agenda in Turkey.