The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Monday, 30 January 2017 01:00cat

About 7 million buildings will be demolished and rebuilt earthquake-resistant in Turkey

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About 7 million buildings will be demolished and rebuilt earthquake-resistant in Turkey Murad Sezer/Reuters

A far-reaching plan to demolish some 7 million buildings -cited as earthquake hazards- and rebuild earthquake-resistant structures in their place began in 2012 in Turkey. The Urban Renewal Project will take 20 years to complete and has an estimated cost of $400 billion. After two earthquakes in 2011 in the eastern province of Van that killed more than 600 people, the government decided to take firm steps towards replacing unsafe buildings and renewing aged ones.

Turkish cities suffer from poor infrastructure and weak structures, due to the unplanned urbanization that was the result of migration waves from rural to urban areas. Although almost half of the population lives in these cities, only 11% of the residential stock was built after 2001, meaning that the majority of the buildings are unsuitable for earthquake prone areas and do not meet the required safety design codes. Taking into account that Turkey is located in a region featuring the most active fault zone on earth and is always facing earthquake hazard and risk – in fact such considerations apply to 96% of the country’s surface-, the Urban Renewal Project seems more than necessary. The project is based on the new law “Regeneration of Areas under Disaster Risk” which was legislated in May 2012 by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and City Planning and overrules all other preservation and protection regulations. The Law specifically focuses on risk areas that are defined as areas that may cause loss of life or assets during disasters.

The Urban Renewal Project will focus at first on the high earthquake risk cities of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, Burdur, Mersin, Aydin, Adiyaman, Giresun and Balikesir and the neighborhood of Fikirtepe in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district will be the pilot area for the project. The Turkish government has also promised interest-free loans for new properties to the owners of demolished buildings and a one-off payment to the inhabitants. Moreover, all contracts, procedures or transactions for the project will be tax-free and the entire account will be exempt from bailiff transactions.

Source: The Urban Developer


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