Today, more than 75% of Turkey’s population lives in cities. It is expected to increase to 86% by 2050. This situation causes the obligation of reorganization of our city in terms of sustainability and resilience. Natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, pandemic and forest fires over the last years have shown the importance of reinventing cities in terms of planning.
It is first necessary to identify the problem to address it. In order to do so, we have questioned ways to live in harmony with nature. Even though humans meet all of their basic needs from nature, the gap between nature and humanity widens. As this gap widens, it becomes essential to find harmony with nature to sustain life on earth. Only if we reconnect with nature can we establish a system that fosters change.
Living Parks have been designed as one of the green infrastructure layers of Izmir, to strengthen the economic, ecological and cultural ties between the urban and rural ares of the city. Each of the living parks serves three main purposes: protecting the ecosystem, agricultural production and social interaction.
Living Parks aims to better sustain rural life in the countryside as well as increasing the life quality in the city and move beyond borders to establish the relationship between these two interdependent areas. This could only be possible with a society that lives in harmony with nature and understands the language of nature. By creating open spaces like Living Parks, IZPA also supports this cultural transformation.
In Living Parks, the space is designed so that people are not a separate entity from nature, but as a part of nature. Our aim is to aspire people to explore by walking, with their five senses, to think, interpret, and leaves a mark for change and to open a new path in their life.
Living parks are also an economic model. We include local producers and farmers, who aim to only sell their local products into this system. We want to demonstrate that it is possible to create a business model that supports the preservation of ancient production basins and provides employment without destroying nature.
Living Parks infuse a fresh and exciting meaning into the previously neglected open spaces around Izmir, allowing us to connect with each other and all other creatures in nature. They contribute to increasing the per capita green space in Izmir.
We expect significant contributions towards our goals of building a climate-resilient, prosperous, and nature-compatible city that also preserves its biological diversity from the challenges of the climate crisis.