Harmonious Human Settlements in the Light of the Principles of Ekistics


  • Ruşen Keleş Ankara University & University of Cappadocia, Turkey




SDGs, Ekistics, sustainability, harmonious urbanization, balanced territorial development


Confronted with mounting challenges such as rapid urbanization, global living disparities, climate change, natural disasters, the recent upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Ukrainian-Russian War, the United Nations and other international entities have redirected their focus towards fostering resilient, democratic, cohesive, sustainable, and digital societies. This paradigm shift necessitates a global partnership to conserve, protect, and restore the health and integrity of the Earth's ecosystem. Amid these complex issues, the Ekistics principles provide a comprehensive framework, advocating for harmonious urbanization and balanced territorial development. These principles prioritize the incorporation of ethical, social, environmental, and economic considerations into urban planning and governance processes. Nevertheless, critics argue that sustaining the capitalist system poses a challenge to achieving harmonious settlements, balanced urbanization, and the preservation of natural, environmental, and cultural values. This paper underscores the significance and relevance of Ekistics principles in shaping the discourse around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It contends that revolutionary changes in globalization, communications technology, and industrial development mandate a reevaluation of existing approaches to address the most pressing global issues and their potential solutions. By highlighting the Ekistics principles, this article contributes to a nuanced understanding of the intricate dynamics shaping urban living in the contemporary era. The analysis aims to stimulate a reorientation of prevailing strategies and policies, fostering a more sustainable and harmonious trajectory for global urbanization.

Author Biography

Ruşen Keleş, Ankara University & University of Cappadocia, Turkey

Ruşen Keleş is a Professor of Local Government, Urbanization, Housing and Environmental Policies, at Ankara University and University of Cappadocia, Turkey. He completed his undergraduate education at Ankara University both at the Faculty of Political Sciences and the Faculty of Law. Receiving his Ph.D. from the same university, he undertook post-doctoral studies at New York University, and subsequently at M.I.T., U.S.A. He held various academic positions and administrative roles, including serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences and as the Director of the Ernst Reuter Center for Urban Studies. He served at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University as an associate professor and full professor between 1966 and 1999. He was the elected Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University between 1971-1975, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Middle East Technical University between 1979-1982. He also served as the Director of the Ernst Reuter Center for Urban Studies in Ankara University and at the same time the Director of the Center for Environmental Studies of the same University.

Keleş taught courses on Urban Politics, Local Government, Environmental Law, Environmental Policies, Housing Policies, and Urban Development Law at several prestigious universities in Turkey and Cyprus. He was a visiting professor at institutions such as the University of California, Harvard University, and the International Christian University in Tokyo. He actively participated in public, civil, and international organizations, including memberships in the European Local Government Association, Turkish Association for the United Nations, and the World Society of Ekistics, as the President. He also contributed to monitoring the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government as a member of the Group of Independent Experts at the Council of Europe. In recognition of his contributions, Keleş received prestigious awards and honors, including the Japan Emperor Gold Award, Abdi İpekçi Peace and Friendship Prize, and special awards from organizations such as the Turkish Chamber of Architects and Middle East Technical University. He has an extensive publication record, with nearly 100 books and 700 articles published in Turkish, English, French, German, and Japanese.


2023-12-31 — Updated on 2024-01-02

How to Cite

Keleş, R. . (2024). Harmonious Human Settlements in the Light of the Principles of Ekistics . Ekistics and The New Habitat, 84(1), 22–29. https://doi.org/10.53910/26531313-E2024841678