Cekmekoy River Landscape Design

Location:Cekmekoy, Istanbul
Site:57,304 m²
Client:Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration

The foundation of Cekmekoy and its vicinity dates to the time of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566). Cekmekoy region was a forest and farms town. The people settled in this region were placed in this area to sell wood from Alemdag Vakif Baltaligi, provided that they meet the wood needs of the mosques and imarets of Atik Valide Sultan in Uskudar, Bahcekapi, and other places. In 1845; 23 villages in Cekmekoy had a population of about 115 people. This social and economic structure of Cekmekoy continued until the 1970s with the population number reaching only 300-400 people. The industrialization that started in the 1970’s caused migration to the area, hence changing the socio-economic status and natural structure of Cekmekoy. Subsequently, the population of Cekmekoy increased rapidly and the natural beauties were destroyed due to uncontrolled urbanization, and the view that harbors the most beautiful shades of the green became a concrete conglomeration. Cekmekoy gained town status in 2009 local elections, and its population increased from 75423 to 147372 people. Nowadays, Cekmekoy is a popular area for suburban developments. The project area covers approximately 57,304 m2 area along the 1128 m. river corridor. The aim of the project is as follows: Evaluating the natural and cultural identity elements of the Cekmekoy and using these elements to create a sense of place; establishing a habitat where nature and people are supported in harmony with an ecological restoration approach that responds to existing problems in the area. The area is designed so that the recreational needs of those seeking escape from the city can be relieved by walking paths, bicycle paths and forest trails which are set at different elevations according to different levels of the seasonal flood level. It is observed that the river corridor can be used as an activity area even in the absence of water in dry periods. Restoration of the ecologically disturbed forest texture and the oak and hornbeam trees have been the priority of the planting design.  As the elements of past and identity on the site, stone walls, and wooden logs- referring to the historic woodworking- are used in the design. A multi-layered design approach has been adopted to create different levels of activity between the various segments of the park and the activities that will appeal to all age groups and users.

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