Unsustainable growth of urban transport: questioning mainstream sustainability solutions for Turkish cities

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The automobile, supported by bus, has become the transportation mode which formed the urban physical structure after the beginning of the years of Second World War. By this technology, it was possible for the city to develop in any direction. Initially, urban development occurred between train lines, and then the cities started to develop fifty kilometers away from the central core for the average half-hour journey (Newman & Kenworthy, 1999). When the effects of car dependence are considered in urban areas in terms of sustainability concerns for the future of environment, society and economy, it is obvious that an automobile based urban pattern cannot be sustained. As opposed to car dependency, mainstream solutions are put forth as public transport, walking and cycling. In addition, decreasing policies for car use such as congestion charging, traffic calming, disincentive tax measures for car entrances to city centers and awareness raising campaigns and policies have been seen as supplementary solutions to sustain the future of urban transport. The positive feed backs of those mainstream sustainability solutions have been observed in positive manner over years in especially U.S and Europe –in cycling friendly cities such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Antwerp-. However, cities in Turkey has still been experiencing the hazardous outcomes of car dependency and unsustainable urban transport. Whether the policies has been taken consciously or unconsciously concerning making urban transport more sustainable, there have also been several sustainable solutions in particularly public transport in Turkish cities. These are new urban rail investments, pedestrianization projects, cycling lanes and bike-sharing systems. Therefore, the main question is that “Have sustainability precautions worked so far in cities in Turkey or not?”
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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