Forthcoming Special Issue: Turkey, Urbanism and the New Habitat


In the last century, Turkey has undergone many urban issues as a consequence of the increasing urban population and heterogeneous quality, the expansion of urban areas, the intensification of developments within existing cities and towns, and the continued proliferation of the high rise and other intensive building types which have compelled the deterioration of overall character in cities along with the loss of natural and social-cultural resources. The multiplicity and complexity of the design and planning issues found in Turkish cities and the emerging challenges of different natures have stimulated us to compose this special issue. I am delighted to put it in order as the first issue of Ekistics and the New Habitat following a pause of thirteen years in the journal’s history.

The current special issue, following a thorough evaluation process, has compiled seven articles that address different planning and urban design issues around the generic themes of urban and landscape development, sustainability, urban public spaces, liveability and imageability, with varied research methods and case studies on Turkish cities.

In the opening article on future sustainable cities in Turkey, Oktay (2020), providing a critical assessment of contemporary paradigms of sustainable urbanism in the light of the current realities of the world cities and analysing the traditional Turkish (Ottoman) city as a model, suggests that urban planning and design should be seen as a process through which the habitats are consciously shaped and managed in line with the requirements of sustainability.

In the second article of this special issue, “Eco-Villages as Sustainable Human Habitats: Challenges and Conflicts in Turkey”, Güleryüz Çohadar and Dostoğlu (2020) look at the eco-village initiatives, which were based on the dream of creating a sustainable and self-sufficient community, assessing their success in terms of their fulfillment of ecological and social dimensions of sustainability.

Pasalar, Demir and Hallowell (2020) then explore the issue of sustainability in the context of affordable housing in Turkey by dwelling on the idea that a truly affordable housing is possible only through a multidisciplinary approach that caters for both affordability and sustainability, and using an integrated and comprehensive approach to affordable and sustainable housing development has the added advantage of reducing costs in other areas, such as energy bills, transportation, healthcare, work opportunities, life-cycle and maintenance expenditures, and so forth.

Sert and Bütüner (2020) focus on the fragmented and shrunken landscape fabric of Ankara, in order to provide a critical reading of the changing landscapes of the city. It exposes the still existing potential for framing an integrative urban strategy-making.

Akkar Ercan and Belge (2020) explore the concept of walkability and provides an assessment model to measure the level of walkability. The findings of their research and case study in the historic city centre of Mersin indicate that walkability is multi-dimensional and qualitatively and quantitatively measurable.

Seçmen and Türkoğlu (2020) subsequently explore the spatial characteristics of urban waterfronts of Istanbul, the transcontinental city straddling the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea.

In the final article by Mutman and Yorgancioğlu (2020), the urban transformation strategy implemented in Istanbul for the last 15 years is identified as a tool to promote the ‘new’ urban discourse and the cityscape. In this context, the actors, roles, and branding images of selected urban projects dwelled on a top-down planning approach are decoded and analysed.

EKISTICS AND THE NEW HABITAT Forthcoming Special Issue: Turkey, Urbanism and the New Habitat 2020, Vol. 80, Issue 1

Guest Editor:

Derya Oktay (BArch, MSc, PgDipUD, PhD), Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.



Derya Oktay ( (

1. In Pursuit of Future Sustainable Cities in Turkey: A Critical Approach

Derya Oktay (Maltepe Univ.) ( (

2. Eco-Villages as Sustainable Human Habitats: Challenges and Conflicts in Turkey

Merve Guleryuz Cohadar (Kültür Univ.) (, Neslihan Dostoglu (Kültür Univ.) (

3. A Framework for Increasing Sustainability in Affordable Housing: Case Studies in Turkey

Celen Pasalar (North Carolina State Univ.) (, Ozlem Demir (Amasya Univ.) (, George Hallowell (North Carolina State Univ.) (

4. The Changing Landscapes of Ankara: A Critical Ground for Integrative Urban and Landscape Development

Selin Çavdar Sert  (Independent Scholar) (

5. Measuring Walkability for More Liveable and Sustainable Cities: The Case of Mersin City Centre

Muge Akkar Ercan, (Middle East Technical Univ.) (, Zuleyha Sara Belge (Middle East Technical Univ.) (

6. Spatial Characteristics of Urban Waterfronts: Evaluations on the Historic Waterfronts of Istanbul

Serengul Secmen (Bahçeşehir Univ.) (, Handan Turkoglu (Istanbul Technical Univ.) (              

7. Re-reading The Tools and Actors: Commodification of Urban Space and Promoting the Image of ‘New’ Istanbul

Demet Mutman (Özyeğin Univ.) (, Derya Yorgancioğlu (Özyeğin Univ.) (

Book Review

The Cities, Security and Poverty (Eds: Meltem Yılmaz & H. Çağatay Keskinok, 2015)

Onur Tumturk (