MERSIN City Lab
a collaborative planning space
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21 February 2019


Game Session #4


Local Economy and Urban Transformation


A holistic approach including transportation, cultural and ecological elements in relation to new building construction have been carried out in the game session ‘urban transformation’ . A common agreement was reached before the session about two major development conditions:

-the building distance to the river is min 50m.

-building heights in the area can not exceed the Yumuktepe mound  

The session was played in two game rounds. In the first round, a group was formed with the related to roles of various stakeholders on the 2nd round themes were formed based on the interest groups.

Game Session First Round

City Resident

From our perspective a relevant urban transformation process could improve sanitation of the dwellings, direction to the sunlight and access to open and green space either as private or collective space. Low-rise and high density redevelopment can be made on the scale of building islands. Organic market and workshop possibilities needs to expand to each street for improving the economic life of the residents of the neighborhood. Urban agriculture can be a serious local stimulant for the local economy.

For neighborhood children, workshops and safe sport-play areas are desired and special attention to traffic reorganization around schools should be considered for slower traffic.

Business Owner

There are many restaurants in and around the Soğuksu Street. There should be a system to store and collect the waste oils obtained from food stores, cafes and restaurants. (maybe in household waste).

Cars parked on the side of the street interfere with the flow of traffic and block the workplaces in the Soğuksu Street. Parking needs re-organization by studying side streets leading to this main street or introducing parking garages.  

Icel College Students

On the edge of the river, a multifunction container library associated with the bridge connecting the two sides can be proposed.

Shelter areas and feeding units can be placed for street animals and fauna on the edge of the stream.

Bicycle stations can be created at the beginning of the bridge where solar energy can be provided for wifi stations or lighting to be generated by stationary cycling.

Developer enacted by Semih Temizkan

This area has a tourism and cruise potential that can be exploited than the current situation today. Along with a tourist route along the river, electric vehicles and bicycles could be an effective step toward this route.

An Archeological park in literal and physical connection with the Yumuktepe Mound would a highlight inviting local as well as national tourists.

Limiting existing daily car traffic and making space for slow transport could  cater to the needs of the vehicle traffic in this tourism route.

TOKI enacted by Dr. Ekim Tan

Commercial axis should be defined and sustainability of people's economic life should be considered while planning Muftu’s transformation.

The transformation should be progressed in carefully defined phases and as the first stage, the zone between the 72th Street and Soğuksu Street should be considered.

Public transport should be integrated along the Muftu’s waterbank.

Transformation must be a gain for all actors and not disturb the neighborhood culture.

Some local centers should be identified for re-densification and  these new centers should support reintegration of existing residents and new work spaces.

Metropolitan Municipality

There will be an urban transformation based on the feasibility of the Muftu River and its surroundings. Considering the density and well desired recreation areas in and around the area, it is inevitable that there will be high rise constructions in Demirtaş; as we speak 1:5000 and 1:1000 plans are in preparation.
 
Environmental Engineers Mehmet Ali Kurt, Hüdaverdi Aslan, Mutlu Yalvac

Immediate land expropriation can be proposed in Muftu’s flood zones. A holistic urban regeneration should consider pronounced recreational areas. Additionally sports areas for locals should be formed in the north and south of the river.

Units that store groundwater and aboveground ecosystem should be considered together. Alongside a drip irrigation fitting the local climate system should be encouraged along the neighborhoods of Muftu.

Compost system should be recommended in market areas. Local government can obtain economic gain from these systems. Information about this system can be done and the compost system station can be considered for the residents.

Landscape Architects Semih Dede, Şeniz İşcan Ateş

Urban furniture on the edge of Muftu can be created with recycled materials. Creative workshops can be created for this. Active recreation and passive recreation areas along the Muftu could support each other.

Game Session Second Round

On the 2nd round themes were formed based on the interest groups defined in the first round.  

Transportation and Tourism

In the urban transformation, which will be progressed in phases, the neighborhood should be treated as four related residential districts, where  traffic is limited within these districts. The creation of public spaces, which are currently missing, could be used jointly and separately in the center of these districts.

Creating an alternative Axle to currently overloaded Soğuksu Caddesi will highlight new potentials for secondary streets and the ground floor urban and tourism activities.

To emphasize historic and urban landmark function of the Yumuktepe mound, heights restriction to the buildings around slowing down of the surrounding of the vehicle road is required.

Local Economy

Small enterprises will be positioned in the centers of residential districts  proposed in the previous chapter. Conservation and expansion of Soğuksu Street by new trade axes created will  support the local economy

Additionally, developing the Muftu’s waterfront with a quiet, open green development where the contrast to the urban density becomes a tourism attraction with careful reception points for visitors.

Housing Improvement

A holistic transformation that preserves the mixed nature of the urban fabric where work, trade, farming, living and leisure is flawlessly combined.

Planning redensification and mid-rise blocks carefully is necessary that wont collide with the quiet and open nature of the Muftu riverbank.

Development along the Muftu River

Expanding recreation facilities on the edge of the Muftu and connecting new centers and axes formed within the neighborhood districts toward the water will help an integrated approach of various development aspects named in this planning session.

Urgent expropriation decision for buildings in the waterbank of Muftu is an important safety condition for further development.

The compost system needs to be installed in the vicinity of the market for economic en environment sustainability. In order to prevent noise pollution in the market area to create an underground unit of worm fertilizer production. To manage pollution on the edge of Muftu an integrated water cleaning system with the river is advised. Gathering fish and frog species that prevent mosquito larvae could support the natural and functional ecology along the river.

Providing solar energy on the [sunny] Toroslar side of the riverbank and determining a pilot area for this project is another symbolic demonstration for innovative intensions of an alternative transformation.

Local Governments

At the end of the session, it was decided that a technical team would be able to present the game in the Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and this game tool could be used to improve the communication between the local Toroslar Municipality, the Metropolitan Municipality, the residents and to become a reference for future applications.