The Yamanlar Road is one of the Izmir Heritage Routes included in Izmir’s Nature-Based Living Strategy. Izmir Heritage Routes, designed intertwined with ecological corridors, are of particular importance to create an uninterrupted connection between the city center and natural areas. These routes are connected to each other by the Izmir Deniz Coastal Route encircling Izmir Bay. They also provide a green corridor enabling nature to diffuse the inner city and serve as uninterrupted walking roads between urban and rural landscapes.
The Yamanlar Road, as an Izmir Heritage Route, have four main purposes: (1) to ensure the dispersal of biodiversity into the city, (2) to allow uninterrupted access between urban and rural landscapes (3) to promote circular economy and (4) to strengthen cultural diffusion among all urban layers that lie between the city center and surrounding rural areas.
The total length of the Yamanlar Road is 18 kilometers, starting from the Bostanlı Sunset View Terraces and extending along the Bostanlı Stream to Yamanlar Mountain, while passing through 13 neighborhoods.
The Route has several junction points such as Bostanlı Ferry Station, Örnekköy, Yamanlar Living Parks, Yamanlar Village and Yamanlar Sanatorium.
There are two segments on the route. The first segment of 8 kilometers covers the urban layers of the route and ends at the Örnekköy Cemetery. The second segment includes the Yamanlar Picnic Area, Yamanlar Village and Yamanlar Sanatorium. Yamanlar Picnic Area is operated by Karşıyaka Municipality, which serves as a recreational area especially over the weekends. Yamanlar Sanatorium, located at Yamanlar Mountain Nature Park, is a historical entity that is being renovated by Grand Plaza of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality. It will serve as a rural tourism hub.
The Yamanlar Road witnesses four landscape layers all very different from each other:
(i) A dense and relatively regular urban pattern
(ii) An increasingly irregular and unplanned settlement area
(iii) An ancient rural landscape with an outstanding mosaic of olive trees and pastures
(iv) and then a natural forest ecosystem.
In parallel with these urban landscape variations, the sociocultural texture, daily life practices, socioeconomic patterns, natural landscape and culture-nature interactions also mirror major differences along the route.
Therefore, in addition to creating an ecological corridor, the route provides an uninterrupted axis that increases direct interaction among neighborhoods that are traditionally separated. Yamanlar Road meets the recreational needs of the citizens and tourists and protects the ancient production landscapes, flora and fauna. At the same time, it acts as a social corridor that links different communities of Izmir.
The Yamanlar Road redefines the rural-urban thresholds while setting several goals such as (1) encouraging the citizens to explore while walking; (2) designing flexible, renewable, resilient and fluid cities; (3) infiltrating ecological corridors into dense metropolitan areas and urban fabric; (4) creating green and blue corridors; and (5) bringing different rural and urban landscapes and communities together.
While determining the route in rural areas, the ancient paths were traced by walking with the shepherds and other villagers living in the region. The path alternatives after the Örnekköy Cemetery were determined by considering (1) the most suitable paths for walking, (2) the paths with the least natural damage in and around and (3) the paths with the most natural and cultural attractions.