Upgrading slum settlements in Turkey: Sustainable housing strategies in low-income communities
Authors: Dogu, Tuba
ABSTRACT: Being a developing country, the mindset in Turkey regarding slum upgrading plans is
limited to an understanding of housing supply only in response to population growth, while the larger
frame involving human resources is underestimated. However, creating a sustainable environment
and improving life involves more than just providing housing. According to UN-HABITAT, Turkey has a
slum population 23% of the total urban population (UN-HABITAT 2003). In response to policy
initiatives, the country reduced its proportion of slum households from 17.9% in 2000 to 12.4% in 2010
(UN-HABITAT 2010). But this fact raises a question: how did it impact on the built environment?
In response, this paper considers the squatters of the settlements of low-income communities in
Turkey. Revealing the existing social, environmental and design issues of those settlements, the
potential role of sustainable housing strategies is researched within the frame of social justice and
environmental development. In highlighting the problems that have ccompanied slum-upgrading
projects in Turkey, the paper will also propose social and design strategies for better and sustainable
outcomes to meet the environmental and social needs of slum communities.