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Changing urban environment and lifestyles: a study on housing enclaves in Bursa

Cesur Türkmen, Suzan Çağıl
Bursa has been particularly subject to rapid urbanization and migration due to its location and its part in the economy of Turkey as an industrial center. With the rise in the population, the increasing density in the city center and the emergence of traffic problems, the middle and upper-income groups have left their residences in the city center and searched for a different habitat. The increasing popularity of gated housing in Bursa has created urban enclaves leading to detachment from the city center and accentuating social segregation. This study aims to determine if these housing enclaves affect the lifestyles of the inhabitants, how much did the users adopted the lifestyles suggested by the affordances of the new built environment and are they happy with their new way of life. Based on a review of the literature on Environment – Behavior Studies (BHS) and architect Amos Rapoport’s discussions on the subject, semi-structured in-depth-interviews conducted with the users of the chosen housing enclaves in Bursa namely; Saygınkent, Korupark, and Bursa Modern. Analysis of the responses demonstrates that gated housing has become a norm for the upper-middle-income group and define a new lifestyle embraced by its users. The results indicate that housing enclaves affect the lifestyles of the upper-middle-income groups, the city center has lost its importance, and the already existing social segregation has become more emphasized. Further research is needed on the future of the city center and the sustainability of the new housing model as housing enclaves.