Öykü Özkan Tuna, who is an Urban Planner in Harmoni Real Estate Appraisal addressed Bayraklı Urban Transformation Project which is carried into effect in line with the objectives of New City Center Project in İzmir.
With globalization, the country borders lost its significance and this situation caused a change development of the cities, futures and also expectations. The City concept, which overrides the country borders and country individuality, constituted a competitor policy and there become an urban competition environment in the global level. Every city with its competitor characteristics joined the cut through competition in order to get a share in the global capital. The concept which came to the fore in this process and came in the possession of new favorite concept is urban transformation projects concept. With globalization, the fact that the expectation from cities are changed, provided an opportunity environment for the regions to be reconsidered as a competitor which are defined as old pieces of the cities that may not be able to keep pace with globalization, imaged as subsidence, slum areas. Urban renewal areas rouse from the basis of reconsidering these areas in respect to social, cultural, economic and physical dimensions. However, “urban expectations” which is a basilar for urban transformation projects, caused a hesitant ground for the development structure of these projects: expectations of living public from the city, expectations of city management from the city.
Bayraklı, which is located in the third biggest city of our country, İzmir and which is the biggest results of wrong migration policies, takes its place among the cities which competes in global structure trying to take its share. In İzmir, which joined the competition by Expo process, urban renewal projects became essential for city agenda. İzmir is among the cities which is exposed seriously from the wrongly managed migration policies in country general. Main residents in the city rapidly surrounded by shanty houses and there became a significant development in the city squatting. The first and the biggest slum region became Bayraklı district. Bayraklı district, in fact, has a structure that can be the face of İzmir concerning to its location. This advantageous structure caused by its location provided a huge potential for globalizing and competing İzmir and with New City Project and Bayraklı Urban Transformation Project which is a complement project, an utterly different Bayraklı became the main topic.
Bayraklı Urban Transformation Project, which is a complement of New City Project, plans to turn İzmir into the center of service sector with New City Project. As part of the project MİA (Central Work Area) legend brought to the region and skyscraper started rapidly to rise in the city as an inescapable structure of global system. Bayraklı Urban Transformation Project, which is a complement of New City Project, is an extensive big-scale urban renewal project including the Fuat Edip Bakısı, Alparslan ve Cengizhan districts which makes approximately 600.000 meter square area. In the scope of the project, basically, it is planned to achieve the clearance of structures in slum style and replace them with modern sites and apartments. It is underlined that green areas are planned to be quadrupled with green corridors, playgrounds, and open area playfields. The most impressive subject is emphasized with moving walk Platform which is armed with viewing platforms. By using the benefit of public squares of Smyrna Door, Akdeniz Door, Homeros Door, taking their part in the city identity, the city is tried to show a new face, to acquire a remarkable and competitor qualification with “city centers” gulf side, and moving walk platform surrounded by “viewing platforms” in project are entrance points. Furthermore, it is emphasized that, with Moving Walk Platform, human-sea relation is going to be improved. It is stressed that this platform is going to be supported by sun panels meaning that the environment and clear energy production is going to be provided.
The Socio-Economic Dimension of the Plan is Insufficient
When we examine the new functions, physical, cultural and social structure brought to Bayraklı district with Bayraklı Urban Transformation Project according to two main perspectives which urban renewal projects take as a basis that we mentioned firstly, it seems good to emphasize clear energy and positive advertisement face. However, it can be seen that the problems like people’s economic problems, working potentials, cultural interaction remain unanswered. The subjects that should be discussed among the others are the creation of places that appeal only a part of the city people in social and economic terms, addition of a socio-economic dimension to human-sea interaction. Another aspect that is needed to be thought again is the identity losing risk with just physical level analyses of the important points under the competing image of city which are Smyrna and Homeros Squares taking place in the identity and image of the city.
In addition, it is obvious that the green areas in the project scope which are quadrupled in order for the city to take breath is going to be insufficient besides the planned highrise apartments in the region that creates intensity. Increasing the intensity of the region out of proportion will cause insufficiency of urban infrastructure and urban services. As a result, unfortunately urban transformation projects of İzmir are done to take its share in the global capital with impatience as soon as possible and by ignoring essential dynamics of the city, identity and not examining the zoning data in detail. For this reason there projects takes its place among the projects which are aimed at constructing ordinate city places and getting short term unearned income. As in the example ofİstanbul Historic Peninsula, where damages to morphological structure of the city and basic identity elements are done, it should be realized that the main power of the cities depend on the city identity and city image. I should also be understood that the city identity and city image can developed as a means of the characteristics brought by the city history and knowledge maps, not as a means of crowned projects.