Birge Yıldırım Okta - Associate Dr. Architecture
Burak Arifoğlu - Architect
İzel Beşikci - Urban Design Specialist, Landscape Architect
Kerem Yavuz Arslanlı - Associate Dr. Urban Planner
Gürkan Okta - Architect
Itri Levent Erkol - Water Engineer
Oral Yağcı - Associate Dr. Civil Engineer
Osman Uzun - Professor of Landscape Architecture
Asena Sonbay - Landscape Architecture Student
Aslıhan Şişli - Landscape Architect
Ece Yakupoğlu - Landscape Architect
Işınsu Sopaoğlu - Architect
Maral Taşçılar - Architect
Mehmet Yalçın Demircan - Architect
Talha Karaçizmeli - Architecture Student
Meles is a natural and cultural heritage, reflecting Izmir’s history, industry, contradictions, dreams, mistakes, hopes for the future and all the natural and cultural realities that make up the city. This project develops a long term plan for the Meles stream region in Izmir with micro strategies that aim to allow nature to reclaim its space in the landscape. The Natural Life Corridor hopes to sustain Meles socially and physically and to revitalize Meles as a living landscape infrastructure.
River canalization, practiced globally since the industrial revolution, has destroyed the living entities of rivers and streams and necrotized the basin structures. Since the 1990s, environmental movements have begun to rethink the vitality of streams and many rivers have regained some of their natural qualities due to strategic planning, funding and design efforts. Today, contemporary examples of river restorations are integrated within nature, so that they do not reveal the transformation undergone and the scientific infrastructure of this transformation. The acquired naturality that we propose within the scope of Meles is a contemporary equation on nature-human and error-compensation.
Planning is transforming. We believe that sensible solutions are hidden in strategic actions, knowing the process of time, logic, budget and natural systems. What we mean by micro transformation is to look at İzmir embracing its weaknesses such as the port, highway, canal and Halkapınar Lake from the reality of the 2020’s. The main basis of our project is a multidisciplinary reading that looks at canal sections, delta, urban transformation areas or re-functioning from today’s genuineness and skills, using all the flexibility that an idea project offers.
Meles Natural Life Corridor Project aims to comprehend, to be a facilitator, to be a part of the place, to spread ecological awareness in the public by making information accessible, rather than proposing a drastic and holistic change. It helps to recover the web of life that disappeared with urbanization, by reading the effort of rediscovery in structural and natural landscapes. It looks at the concepts of Resilience and Ecology by trying to understand the possibilities of common life specific to the city and society, instead of large interventions that are seized in an unreal romance.
Tracing the Intention of the Water
The water ecosystem, struggling with its fresh water, alluvium, algae and waste, continues to flow with its unbearable smell. The islets of sediment that accumulate on the concrete canal and the plant communities growing on it are a clear reflection of the stream’s inclination to return to nature.
The places where it leaves marks express where Meles wants to flow and multiply. Micro interventions, the basic approach of the project, put these points at its center, marking the first strategic move of initiating the Meles Natural Life Corridor proposed for through small-scale interventions. The fact of life is that; big changes start with small steps.