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GIS as a tool for analyzing legal struggles: an analysis of lawsuits filed by the chamber of city planners Ankara, Turkey.

Yalçınkaya, Özle
Examination of past urban planning practices, reveals that they are used improperly by decision makers, often ignoring the social and environmental impacts of planning processes and the planning principles. That is why professional chambers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other public organizations (like local municipalities) strive to monitor the urban and regional plans and their implementations. In order to stop the implementation of the plan decisions/actions, which are taught to have negative effects on society, environment and economy, The Chamber of City Planners like other aforementioned entities bring the plans and spatial decisions to trial. Even though these legal struggle activities and processes have a geographical basis, they are carried out only by oral decisions and correspondences without using any information system. By addressing the gaps in research area, this thesis aims to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) prototype specific to the legal struggle processes convenient for many NGOs, professional chambers, institutions and other organizations. To this end, first, the legal struggle processes of The Chamber of City Planners are reviewed. Then, the database design, system design and system development processes are applied for tracking and analyzing the legal struggles within a specialized Geographical Information System (GIS). The developed GIS application includes the specific GIS tools and spatial analysis capabilities in cooperation that would satisfy both the users’ and the researcher’s needs. The author developed the application first for providing the rapid and simple access to the information of the lawsuits together with their spatial locations. Second, it is aimed to produce a platform for analyzing the spatial distribution of the lawsuits based on the lawsuit information. It is also aimed to discover the risk areas of the city by using the spatial relations of the lawsuit areas in their own right and their relations with the natural protected areas within the city in order to contribute further to the decision-making processes regarding the production of urban space. Within the scope of this research; the legal struggles of the Chamber of City Planners in the province of Ankara are chosen as the case domain. Next, the lawsuits between the years of 2013 and 2018 are digitized. By using the capabilities of the developed GIS application, the results of spatial analysis and statistics are evaluated and discussed by referencing the characteristics of the spatial areas and the lawsuit information. The thesis concludes with the discussion of the findings and implications for urban planning, legal struggle and the use of Geographical Information Systems.