CREATING SUSTAINABLE CITIES THROUGH DISASTER RESILIENCE IN TURKEY
By 2050, almost 66 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. While the urban settlements provide better living opportunities for people, they are also tremendously exhausting natural resources. Thus, as one of the 17 sustainable development goals, “sustainable cities and communities” is promoted by the United Nations. Over the course of the last 70 years, Turkey has experienced one of the most significant urbanization experiences in the world. Recently, cities accommodate over 75 percent of the country’s population. Furthermore, they are prone to high disaster risks due to their dense population and construction in Turkey. Of note, the two perilous earthquakes in 1999 (Izmit & Duzce), provided Turkey significant experiences. They gave rise to reviewing the entire disaster mitigation system. Nevertheless, the earthquake in the City of Van (24.10.2011) revealed some deficiencies in the process of implementing disaster mitigation measures. To remedy these deficiencies, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU) prepared a new law on “Transformation of Areas under the Disaster Risks” (Law No. 6306). The law sets out principles and standards of disaster mitigation and process and procedures with respect to areas prone to disaster risks as well as buildings at risks in and out of disaster prone areas. In this paper, the aforementioned experience of Turkey will be reviewed in terms of sustainable cities and communities goal. Furthermore, the relevant implementations will be reviewed with a view to creating better solutions as well as decreasing undesired consequences such as compulsory displacement of people and degradation of urban environment.