- Sustainable Development and Regeneration of Rural Areas at the Metropolitan Fringe: Sile District Of Istanbul    click here to open paper content488 kb
by    Dincer, Iclal & Enlil, Zeynep | zeynepenlil@gmail.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
One of the principal problems of planning today is the rapid transformation of urban and rural areas, and the risks borne by it. It is in this context that the projects proposed for the re-organisation of urban areas as well as the emergent settlements in the rural areas at the metropolitan fringes face serious criticism regarding issues of sustainability and livability.This paper discusses alternative ways for sustainable development and regeneration of the rural Sile District, at the metropolitan fringe of Istanbul.
In cities and rural areas, today, one of the main problems of planning is the ongoing change and transformation process and the risks it carries for our future. In this context, while sustainability of urban transformation projects for restructuring deteriorated areas in cities are being criticized; the rural areas are being destroyed as a result of urban sprawl. In Turkey, for many years, problems of rural areas have been among the major issues on the planning agenda and the focus of discussions has been the impact of migration from rural areas on cities.
However, today, there is a need to shift the focus of discussion to rural areas because the deterioration of rural economy places a great threat for the sustainability of environment and rural life. The rural areas located on the metropolitan fringe form a distinct category the sustainability of which is under an exacerbated threat. Located in the fringe of the Istanbul Metropolitan Area, the District of Šile which is belongs to this category is the subject matter of this paper.
Although Šile the largest district within Istanbul, it is the lowest in terms of population. Šile is an attractive district with its own identity and powerful genius loci determined by the lush green forests, steep cliffs and the rough Black Sea. The rising demand for vacation homes in Istanbul increasingly puts a greater pressure for development in the forest areas and the coastal zone. On the other hand, declining economic activities and decreasing employment opportunities result in the de-population of the villages. While the region is facing a rapid social and economic decline and loosing its local population, its natural assets are threatened by vacation homes which stay idle for the majority of the time.
Agriculture, forestry, fishery and tourism are sectors which can potentially be developed in Šile without jeopardizing the natural environment. Instead, however, mining and construction of dams to meet Istanbul’s need for water constitute major investments, which pose important risks for the sustainability of the region. Given these facts and in light of the rural development strategy documents of Turkey, we aim to open to discussion alternative ways for sustainable development and regeneration of this rural area at the metropolitan fringe of Istanbul with an eye to its cultural and natural assets that needs to be protected.

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