300,000 dwellings to be renewed every year with urban transformation: Minister

300,000 dwellings to be renewed every year with urban transformation: Minister

300,000 dwellings to be renewed every year with urban transformation: Minister

The Environment and Urbanization Ministry aims to renew 300,000 dwellings each year in Turkey as part of urban transformation projects, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has said.

“The target is to have 300,000 dwellings renewed. Of this figure, 30,000 will be undertaken by the [Environment and Urbanization] ministry and [Turkey’s government-backed housing agency] TOKİ,” Kurum said on Feb. 6 at a conference on urban transformation.

Kurum said they aim to have 6.7 million dwellings renewed within the upcoming 20 years.

“Our aim is to renew 300,000 dwellings, but we can do 250,000 or 350,000 as well. What’s important to us is to say that we have done a good job when we look back,” the minister said.

The new era for urban transformation has several fundamental principles, according to Kurum.

Some of these principles are reducing disaster risks, conserving environmental, historical and cultural heritage, working in accordance with horizontal architecture, building disability-friendly cities and distributing the value increase of the renewed dwellings equally, said Kurum.

“We have to build buildings that are in line with our culture,” he said.

The standardized urban transformation will be renounced and transformations in accordance with the regions’ and citizens’ needs will be implemented, according to the minister.

Kurum said that within the scope of urban transformation works, the ministry officials had visited 37 provinces and decided to focus on transformation in historic cities and transformation of buildings in places which have high earthquake risks.

“We are making an effort to develop projects that will put our history and culture forward. In areas with earthquake risks, we are transforming buildings in the order of urgency,” he said.

Every province will have its own “urban transformation constitution,” the minister said.

All municipalities will prepare documents for urban transformation strategies according to citizens’ demands in pursuant of building dwellings as needed, the minister said.

“No project will be undertaken apart from the determined design principles. Beginning and end dates of the urban transformation schedule will be specified,” he said.

Kurum also stressed that contractors will be categorized and only those that meet the criteria will undertake the transformation projects.

“The ministry will permit the sales [of the relevant dwellings] in compliance with the construction’s progress level,” he said.

“In order to have our citizens’ rights under protection, we’ll take 10 percent of the investment value as pledge from our investors,” Kurum said.