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ANKARA/ÇANKAYA — The Capital of Turkey seeks for Nature Based Solutions to meet its urban challenges

Dernière mise à jour : 25 sept. 2018

Ankara/Çankaya is one of the 4 pilot cities of the Nature4Cities Project, together with Alcala de Henares, Milan and Szeged.

Participating cities are located in 4 different countries and different climate zones (mediterranean, continental, semi-arid and oceanic), allowing to test the replicability of our tools in several geographical contexts.

Ankara, the capital of the Republic of Turkey, is located in the northwest of the Central Anatolia Region. Its surface area is 25.437 km2 and the altitude of Ankara Plain on which the city center is located, is approximately 850 meters. Çankaya, mostly located in the city center, is the largest district of Ankara in Turkey which has approximately 1 million resident population (day time population over 2 millions).

Water and flood management, heat waves and lack of green spaces: key challenges for Çankaya

According to the city plan of Ankara, the city is located in Ankara Plain, which is literally a “bowl”. 50 years ago there were vineyards all over the city creating a balanced, connected ecosystem and Fresh air. In time, due to dense urbanization those vineyards unfortunately disappeared causing “the bowl” becoming polluted. Unorganized traffic problem worsened the situation more and more as the population rises substantially. Unhappily there are not enough green areas which are able to clean the bowl’s air anymore. The existing green areas are small and unconnected parks in Çankaya province.

The bigger green areas (mostly man-made region parks not natural forest) are in the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality’s jurisdiction not in Çankaya Municipality’s jurisdiction which causes a huge property problem.

The city requires a strong green infrastructure framework but the property issue can be a serious problem in the infrastructure implementation process.

Moreover, the city center of Ankara is Çankaya/ Kızılay region that is a vehicle focused center instead of being dedicated to pedestrians. The pedestrian zones are small street based areas and this traffic limit zones are split up with Highways, pedestrian zone connectivity does not exist.

Ankara’s climate seems to be changing considerably over time causing drastic temperature changes in consecutive days, drought and extreme precipitation and a shifting of the seasons. Extreme precipitation causes two main problems; in city center because of the impervious ground cover storm water destroying urban areas, in rural areas blood causes erosion. Inhabitants of the city including the fauna and the flora are affected negatively because of this considerable weather changes and an adaptation strategy should be implemented before the problem gets worse.

Located in the semi-arid central Anatolia region, Ankara witnesses seasonal and yearly variation in precipitation. Besides, nearly all the water sources in the city (streams, groundwater sources) have been turned into sewage systems. As Ankara’s urban population is rapidly increasing and due to the lack of the snowy days in winter, there is a shortage of potable water and industrial water. Streamlining the way in which the city manages water will be necessary to ensure a sustainable water future.

First steps were taken to face these challenges

Çankaya Municipality aims to adapt itself to climate change and to reduce its impacts. This policy is linked to the European co-operation movement “Covenant of Mayors”, which proposes a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. Çankaya Municipality has prepared a “Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2015-2020” to implement relevant projects to meet this commitment. Çankaya is also committed to reduce carbon emission by 25% by 2020.

Çankaya Municipality has been part of the EU project “Climate Resilience through Rain Harvesting”. Management plans of two pilot areas both in rural and urban spaces about water retention landscape had been designed as outputs of the project.

Moreover 3 biological sloughs have been built in Çankaya borders. One biological slough has been awarded by the “Healty Cities Association”.

Çankaya envisions its involvement in the Nature 4 Cities project as a way to contribute giving hope to its citizens and provide them a greener and more healthy and livable environment with clean water. There are impressive examples worldwide showing that creating more livable cities is possible through efforts and sharing experiences with Çankaya.

Are you facing similar challenges? Do you want to be informed about Nature4Cities pilot implementations for greener resilient cities?

Are you a citizen from Çankaya and you wish to be invited to the upcoming participation process?

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