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Title: Applying a Morphological Approach to Istanbul’s Urban Landscape
Authors: Oliveira, Vitor
Arat, Muzaffer Ali
Fakülteler, Mimarlık ve Tasarım Fakültesi, Şehir ve Bölge Planlama Bölümü
Keywords: Urban Landscape
Issue Date: 2022
Abstract: Change of the physical, economic, social, and environmental aspects, have existed in each city’s life, from the formation of the first settlement to today’s city or metropolis. The twentieth century has been the turning point for the urban transformation of many cities. Istanbul is one of these cities. For more than 1500 years, Istanbul was the capital of three great empires, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Over this period, the city has experienced a dramatic transformation in its historical urban landscape, particularly stemmed from wars, fires, and earthquakes. Over this process, the city has not been able to avoid the loss of a significant part of its built heritage. The historical core of the city, namely Fatih district, is the most prominent region that suffers from the interventions which are being maintained in the building fabric. Most of the traditional buildings were replaced with contemporary buildings, not considering their type, size, and height. While substantial changes were becoming in the street patterns, the plot system lost its shape, size and its arrangement in street blocks. The policies and decisions of agents and agencies responsible for change, particularly local planning authorities, initiators, architects, and builders have a great role in those changes. While new plans and design proposals are prepared for the city, in particular for the historical core of the city, they still lack an historical framework and a systematic understanding of urban form. In the Turkish planning system, urban regeneration projects many times contribute to the destruction of unique built heritage; reconstruction and rehabilitation projects tend to lack scientific support, and mainstream practice does not consider a consistent approach for maintaining the structural elements. Spatial planning should offer a more effective and protective framework for structural elements to be transferred to the future. This paper proposes a methodology based on the concept of morphological region and the method of morphological regionalzation to deal with these issues. The concept has been proposed by M.R.G. Conzen in the early 1960s, and promoted by J.W.R. Whitehand and his colleagues at the University of Birmingham mainly from the late 1980s. A morphological region is an area that has unity in respect of its form that distinguishes it from surrounding areas, based on a combination of town-plan, building fabric, and land and building utilization (Conzen’ s tripartite division of the urban landscape). The methodology is based on a set of criteria considering the tripartite division of the urban landscape. Age of streets, streets geometry, plot layout and building coverage are four criteria offered on the basis of the town-plan. Architectural style, building material and height are proposed on the basis the building fabric. Finally, land and building utilization is used to design the methodology. The methodology is applied to the Fatih district, the historical core of Istanbul. A four-tier hierarchy of regions is identified. The map of first-order morphological regions can offer the basis to produce a map of planning zones - a key tool to guide urban landscape management. Lower order regions can support the formulation of regulations for each planning zone, framing the design of new forms, assuring a strong relationship with extant urban forms. These ideas, detailed in the paper, are of great relevance for spatial planning, particularly for Turkish planning, where regulations are very generic and do not acknowledge the specific character of each urban landscape.
Appears in Collections:Mimarlık ve Tasarım Fakültesi Koleksiyonu

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