Research Topic: A Tale of Three Public Squares: Developing Management Strategies for Continuity of Historic Urban Areas through the Cases of Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay in Ankara
Ms. Ayhan-Koçyiğit’s research interest mainly focuses on discussing and developing a management perspective for the continuity of historic public open spaces and seeks to propose a holistic approach for conservation that focuses both on social, cultural and economic aspects. Parallel to my research interests, during my studies for “Kaplan Junior Fellowship in Archaeological Site Management”, I am planning to focus on a project titled “A Tale of Three Public Squares: Developing Management Strategies for Continuity of Historic Urban Areas Through The Cases of Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay in Ankara”.
Most of the public open spaces of Historic Ankara – are located within the territory of either archeological or urban site – embody physical and social qualities of different cultures and continued to be used from the Roman period onwards. Because of this reason, a holistic approach which is derived from analyzing and evaluating these spaces in a historical continuum should be developed to understand and conserve their multi-layered characteristics. Therefore, three squares namely Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay which reflect public open space understanding of different periods in Ankara, are selected within the scope of this project. The first case, Atpazarı Square, which is located in front of the Citadel gate, was used from the Byzantine times onwards and can be regarded as the most important square of the city in terms of commerce, arts and crafts during classical Ottoman Period. On the other hand, Ulus Square, which is located at the foothill of the historic Ankara, assumed to be used as a part of the Agora in Roman Period and with the decline of Yukarı Yüz (especially after the fire that occurred in 1881), this square becomes the one and only public open square of Ankara in the late Ottoman Period. Different than other cases, the last case Kızılay Square, which is located at the center of Yenişehir district, was produced from scratch as a response to the demands of modern city planning of the capital in the early Republican Period.
Consequently, the project aims to discuss transformation process of Atpazarı, Ulus and Kızılay Squares and tries to understand main factors that affect physical and socio-cultural context of these spaces. In this respect, the research discusses the possibility of developing a management strategy for public open spaces by means of historic urban landscape approach that considers not only physical qualities, but also functional, social, spiritual qualities and discusses how the space is perceived by the users and sustainability of everyday activities. By this way, outcomes of the project will create a basis for future activities to define a holistic approach for conservation and management plans of historic urban areas.
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