The Changing landscapes of Ankara

A critical ground for integrative urban and landscape development


  • Selin Çavdar Sert, Dr. Gaziantep University, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Funda Baş Bütüner, Dr. Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture



landscape change, landscape infrastructure, Ankara, landscape fabric


This article offers a critical reading of the changing landscapes of Ankara, exposing the still existing potential for framing integrative urban strategy-making. Ankara has undergone intense urban expansion since the 1950s, and like other cities, it is still dealing with large scale construction/destruction engendering dramatic landscape loss in various contexts and scales. Although change in the landscape is typical of urbanization, nature and landscape were largely undervalued in the implementation of urban development strategies in Ankara. Contradicting per capita green space policies, the well-structured urban landscape, including both natural and planned/designed landscapes from the Republican Period were fragmented and reduced. Valleys creating corridors for fresh air and offering a reserve for agriculture were engulfed by squatter houses, then by new housing projects; streams, defining a blue infrastructure accompanied by fertile lands were partially covered over or canalized. Furthermore, the landscape heritage of the early Republican Period, which played a key role in the modernization of societal and urban life, was also undervalued, while the urban park system has been diminished. This article identifies representative examples of fragmentation and loss of the landscape fabric, as well as the latent potential of the landscape to articulate a sustainability agenda for Ankara.

Author Biographies

Selin Çavdar Sert, Dr., Gaziantep University, Department of City and Regional Planning

Selin Çavdar Sert is a landscape architect. She received her M.Sc. in Urban Design (2010) and PhD degree in City and Regional Planning (2017) from Middle East Technical University. Currently, she works at Gaziantep University, Department of City and Regional Planning. Her major research interests include urban heritage landscapes, landscape conservation and management, urban nature and urban wilderness, urban planning & landscape history and historiography, landscape design, landscape infrastructure.

Funda Baş Bütüner, Dr., Middle East Technical University, Department of Architecture

Funda Baş Bütüner is a landscape architect and urban designer. She received her master’s and PhD degrees in urban design and city planning from Middle East Technical University (METU). Currently she is a full-time faculty member at METU, Department of Architecture where she coordinates landscape design studio and teaches landscape research and urban design courses. Her recent researches engage with landscape infrastructure, infrastructural terrains, post-infrastructural and post-industrial lands, urban nature/urban wilderness and site reading.



How to Cite

Çavdar Sert, S., & Baş Bütüner, F. (2021). The Changing landscapes of Ankara: A critical ground for integrative urban and landscape development. Ekistics and The New Habitat, 80(1), 38–49.