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The "Revitalization of Hatay" Project will Bring Hope First to Hatay and Then to the Whole World

Within the scope of the project, Türkiye Design Council voluntarily coordinated extensive research and data collection activities on historical and archaeological values, the natural and sociological structure of the region, urban memory, and architectural texture in Hatay. Design processes involving various disciplines, ranging from urbanism to detailed scales, were collectively conducted in pilot areas identified in Antakya, as well as in the centres of İskenderun, Kırıkhan, Defne, and Samandağ districts. These processes were led by the Türkiye Design Council Hatay Design and Planning Collaboration Group and involved 46 national and international offices.

In this framework, a collaboration scheme was established along with platforms where the opinions of relevant NGOs, central administrative institutions, and the public were gathered, aiming to create a more participatory, transparent, and comprehensive process. Since the beginning of the study, numerous meetings, workshops, and press events have been organized with public institutions, local civil society organizations, and the local community. Meanwhile, the Türkiye Design Council has also implemented the “TTV Hatay Community Center” project with the aim of making design and art accessible to disadvantaged groups. The project aims to support children in discovering their creativity in a life filled with design and art and to help them realize their dreams.

A collaborative work in a spirit of solidarity and with the greatest regard for the people of Hatay.

TTV Board of Trustees Member Mehmet Kalyoncu, who began his address by highlighting their excitement about a dream becoming a reality, stated in the launch’s opening speech, “We are truly excited, since we believed a dream with you, and you supported us bring this dream into “life.” After all that sadness. Please be assured that everyone, but especially the Ministries, has been working hard to carry out these projects as rapidly as possible. However, construction and city establishment are two fairly separate things. As a person who grew up participating in extremely challenging construction projects, I can tell you that building is easy; developing a city is more demanding. Hatay people, above all, desire and deserve proper urbanization.”

Kalyoncu highlighted the potential shift in Turkey’s urbanization strategy post-extensive damage, comparing it to the rebellious flow of the Asi River. He emphasized the aim to unify the architecture and urban planning communities, noting that the Turkish Design Foundation, led by Bünyamin Derman, brought together nearly 20 architecture offices in a collaborative effort. This project was carried out with a strong sense of responsibility and solidarity, focusing on the well-being of Hatay’s residents.

First, together we will lift Hatay back on its feet. Then, it shall revive us and our hopes.

Türkiye Design Council Chairman of the Board Furkan Demirci stated that the Türkiye Design Council, established in 2016 with the goal of contributing to Türkiye’s social and economic development through a design-focused approach, aims to create awareness for design for a better world. Demirci explained that the Türkiye Design Council combines resilient and human-centred design to address contemporary challenges, emphasizing comprehensive planning for city renewal post the February 6, 2023, earthquake. The “Revitalization of Hatay” project focuses on preserving the region’s heritage, enhancing urban identity, and ensuring future resilience against natural disasters. The initiative aims to design 5,000 houses over 50 hectares, fostering a sustainable and livable environment while honouring Hatay’s historical and cultural legacy. This project aspires to rebuild Hatay and pass its valuable history to future generations, restoring hope and resilience in the community.

This project should be a “Guide”.

Kalyoncu emphasized the significance of the Hatay Revitalization Project in urbanism history, comparing it to city plans initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for Hatay. He highlighted the project’s comprehensive approach, covering detailed planning scales from 1/100,000 to pilot areas, making it a pivotal urban planning example. Kalyoncu also noted Turkey’s recent infrastructure advancements and the need to enhance urban quality, particularly in earthquake-prone cities like Istanbul. The project serves as a model for other affected cities and underscores the importance of preemptive planning for Istanbul, with the council ready to assist in this task.

Our goal is to serve as an example for the revitalization of all cities affected by natural disasters.

TTV General Manager Assoc. Prof. Dr. Serhat Başdoğan stated that the “Revitalization of Hatay” project aims to bring out the potential of the city and target cultural and economic revitalization.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Başdoğan emphasized that the February 6 earthquakes caused significant physical and socio-cultural damage, necessitating urgent restoration of various city structures in Hatay. The rebuilding effort is described as a complex social responsibility, needing diverse expertise and strong community involvement. The Türkiye Design Council is focusing on preserving the urban memory of Antakya’s new and historical centers, advocating for a rapid return of the local population and starting revitalization from the city center to prevent urban memory erosion. The study integrates historical, cultural, and architectural heritage into current urban planning processes.

About Türkiye Design Council

Türkiye Design Council, since 2016, aims to contribute to Turkiye’s social and economic development through a design-focused approach. The council organizes various design events and conducts its work in a publicly accessible manner. Additionally, the “Design Library” brings together various publications from different design fields, providing an open working environment for everyone. It conducts various activities to support the development of young designers and to create a platform for producing high-quality designs. Among these initiatives are the design-focused video content platform www.iskele.co and the Iskele Blog, where articles by different designers are published. The TDC Hatay Design and Planning Collaboration Group launched the “Revitalization of Hatay” project after the February 6 earthquake to preserve Hatay’s historical and cultural heritage, revive its urban identity, and create a safer urban structure. This comprehensive project, implemented with the participation of different disciplines and considering the needs of the local community, supports urban transformation and renewal.

More Information: ttvhatay.com

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