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Housing Renewals in Istanbul and Transformation of the Housing Interior: User Evaluation

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Urban transformation has a prominent role in Turkish urban planning, as the Law number 6306 went in effect, which is known as the Urban Regeneration Law. Following the law, the residential areas of İstanbul started to transform rapidly. The
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    ENHR OTB  –  Research for the Built Environment //  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31 15 278 76 18 // Fax +31 15 279 44 22 // E-mail: enhr@tudelft.nl Housing Renewals in Istanbul and Transformation of the Housing Interior: User Evaluation Umutcan Pektetik Istanbul Commerce University, Graduate School of Sciences, Interior Design Department Faculty of Architecture and Design, Interior Architecture and Environmental Design Department, Research Assistant Küçükyalı, Maltepe, 34 840 Istanbul, Turkey  e-mail: upektetik@ticaret.edu.tr El if Kısar Koramaz   Istanbul Commerce University, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Interior Architecture and Environmental Design Department Küçükyalı, Maltepe, 34 840 Istanbul, Turkey  e-mail: ekkoramaz@ticaret.edu.tr Abstract Urban transformation has a prominent role in Turkish urban planning, as the Law number 6306 went in effect, which is known as the Urban Regeneration Law. Following the law, the residential areas of İstanbul started to transform rapidly. The continuing transformation process, occurs in two forms; as area-based regeneration  projects held by macroscale companies, and single building renewal projects held by microscale companies. Through these single renewal implementations, a significant number of apartment buildings had been rebuilt, which resulted with a change of the housing domain in different scales, from the neighborhood design scale to the architectural and interior design scale. This study particularly focuses on transformation of the housing interiors and it aims to reveal how the renewal processes effect the dwellings and their users. With this aim, the  paper questions the changes in the dwellings’ interior layouts, and how these changes are evaluated by the habitants, and which strategies they used for adapting to their new plan schemes. The research is carried out in two residential areas; Bakırköy and Kadıköy: each of which has a planned urban development history and similar socio-economic structures, but face different renewal processes. A qualitative research is carried out in these neighborhoods, and in depth interviews are held with the habitants in the renewed apartment buildings, in order to depict the change in the interior layouts from the users’ perspective and their evaluations for this change. The importance of this paper is that, whilst the current research scope on building renewals in Turkey, mainly focuses on the economic, social and planning aspects, this present research contributes to the research  field with its particular focus on the housing interior scale user evaluations. Keywords: housing, interior architecture, housing renewal, user evaluation Introduction Maslow (1943) has described housing as the first level of his “hierarchy of needs”; among with air, food, water and slee  p. Since housing has such importance in an individual’s life and plays a significant role by becoming the place where a person was born, raised, had children, got old and died (Gür, Ş.Ö., 2000) a house cannot be imagined or described without its users. A person collects the most significant memories at the home and home represents its occupants’ characteristics, their lifestyle and environmental choices via its design, materials used in it and its style as they are decided by the user. Those are the things that make a house “home” and make people attached to that place.  Before the modern era, architecture has been varying on every part of the world due to the climate of the area, local building materials and technics, family structures, socio-cultural characteristics and so on. These parameters resulted in the artifact called “vernacular architecture”. Together with all those    ENHR OTB  –  Research for the Built Environment //  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31 15 278 76 18 // Fax +31 15 279 44 22 // E-mail: enhr@tudelft.nl variables in history, it has never changed that a house might be identified as successful, as if it has only designed properly for its user, in the correct place, on the correct time (Gür, Ş.Ö., 2000). As it is well known, today housing design considers the fundamental uman needs and the spaces shape to meet those needs. In a house, space is organized according to daily activities and are as follows; sleeping space, cleaning space, cooking space and living space. The amount, the distribution and the design of the spaces are generally decided by the architects of the housing authorities, contractors or construction companies. Since these decisions are made without the user, those spaces do not always meet the user’s needs. The higher user needs are met, the higher user satisfaction is achieved. User satisfaction is also associated with place of attachment and psychological wellbeing and happiness. This paper particularly focuses on transformation of the housing interiors and it aims to reveal how the renewal of housing effect the dwellings and their users. With this aim a preliminary research is held in Istanbul, with residents of housing blocks which are recently renewed under Law no: 6306, known as the Housing Regeneration Law. The paper questions the renewal processes, and the changes in the dwellings’ interior layouts, and how these changes are evaluated by the residents, and which st rategies they used for adapting to their new plan schemes on one hand; and residents’ emotional bonds and feelings of satisfaction related to their houses before and after renewal process on the other hand. The research is carried out in two residential areas; Bakırköy and Kadıköy: each of which has a planned urban development history and similar socio-economic structures. However, the renewal processes occur in different forms; in Kadıköy the construction de nsity increases dramatically with the single renewals due to the planning regulations, while in Bakırköy, the density is constant but the housing blocks change just in terms architectural details. In addition, in Kadıköy usually the property owners do not pay for the renewal expanses since with the increase in construction size additional flats are gained and owned by the constructor firm. On the contrary property owners in the housing building have to pay to the constructor firm for the construction expanses in renewals that take place in Bakırköy . A qualitative research is carried out in these neighbourhoods, and in depth interviews are held with the residents in the renewed apartment buildings, in order to depict the change in the interior layouts from the users’ perspective and their evaluations for this change. The importance of this paper is that, whilst the current research scope on building renewals in Turkey, mainly focuses on the economic, social and planning aspects, this present research contributes to the research field with its particular focus on the housing interior scale user evaluations. With its findings this preliminary research aims to contribute to a framework that would guide the continuing housing renewals in terms of increasing resi dents’ satisfaction and attachment to their houses. Literature Review As it is mentioned above, collected memories turn a house into a “home”; home is a feeling more than a structure. To name a place as home is an outcome of emotional and physical conditions such as; security, safety, privacy, connectedness, affordability, quality and amount of space and quality of the materials (Richardson, 2019; Wongbumru, and Dewancker, 2016). People change the functions of spaces or make renovations in order to meet their needs and reflect who they are. All these facts increase housing satisfaction. Home is a feeling more than a structure. It is a total of the feelings, emotions and memories; sometimes even small objects help people to carry “home” where they move to (Richardson, 2019). These factors strengthen the feelings of attachment to a place. Length of residency is another factor that influences place attachment (Brown and Perkins, 1992) The longer the length of residence, the higher the everyday interactions, memories and significant experiences are collected in that place (Vidal et al., 2010). Place attachment is a state of psychological well-being and it is regarded as a result of all emotional processes that occur in that particular place (Najafi and Kamal, 2012).    ENHR OTB  –  Research for the Built Environment //  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31 15 278 76 18 // Fax +31 15 279 44 22 // E-mail: enhr@tudelft.nl As buildings with their characteristics affect their users, different approaches and methodologies are used for evaluation of building performances (Preiser, 2001). Among these, post-occupancy evaluation (POE) provide a framework for evaluating building performance. POE has been developed in the 1960’s to investigate the effects of the buildings on their occupants and user satisfaction. While other methods are generally investigating the technical conditions of the building like the amount of space, lighting, acoustics and materials, POE provides a framework for investigating building performance through users’ perspective ((Preiser, 2001; Durasaiye, 2019). Preiser (2001) suggested that, POE might be practiced both quantitatively and qualitatively. While housing has a significant role for individuals and societies, there is the lack of POE approach on housing research. Some of the POE researches on housing are as follows: Tanaphoom et al. (2016) compares user satisfaction in old and new public housing projects by POE in Bangkok, Thailand. The paper points out that; dwelling unit size, quality of materials and indoor environment affects user satisfaction. Adesoji (2012) examines the post-occupancy evaluation of residential satisfaction in Lagos, Nigeria. Findings show that the physical characteristics of dwellings are significant parameters to determine the satisfaction level. Through POE researches, the needs and preferences of users might be better understood and POE provides a framework to prevent mistakes in the future projects. While both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used in POE researches; in this paper qualitative method is used to depict residents’ evaluations and thei r satisfaction with their houses. Housing Renewals and Urban Transformation in Istanbul Urban transformation had its prominent role in Turkish urban planning, as the Law number 6306 went in effect, which is known as the Urban Regeneration Law. The reason behind the law was to renew the buildings under disaster risk. The idea of urban transformation has developed after the Marmara earthquake in 1999 but the law passed from the parliament after the Van earthquake in 2011 (Kısar Koramaz et al. 2018). The law gives the state a broad authority to conduct urban transformation projects and it has been criticized for using the earthquake risk in order to legitimize bypassing the current legal framework for urban planning and development (Özkan Eren and Özçevik, 2 015; Angell, 2014). Nevertheless, the law had stimulated the construction sector in Turkey to a degree and have been effective for a crucial change of the housing areas in Istanbul. The urban transformation projects in Turkey occur in two forms; as area-based regeneration projects and as single building renewal projects. In this paper, building renewals held under the risky building status are considered particularly. Due to the law, buildings which are identified as at risk of collapse during an earthqua ke due to their poor structural conditions, are designated under the “risky building” status. This status is assigned after a scientific investigation and by the central or local government bodies, due to the request of the property owners of the building. Once the risky building status is designated, the building should be demolished within two months and after than it is re-constructed on its own plot, according to the current planning regulations and construction permits (Kısar Koramaz et al. 2018). Since 2012 there are building renewals are taking place in every part of Istanbul. For this research, Bakırköy and Kadıköy districts; which have similar socio -economic structure and planned urban development history, are chosen. Bakırköy district is one of t he oldest residential neighborhoods in Istanbul which has a formal planning history. The transformation process has mainly been conducted as single-  building renewals in Bakırköy and in most cases they are organized by the deals that are showing the details about the project such as; the materials to be used, property sharing and project dates, etc. Kadıköy is also one of the oldest residential neighborhoods of Istanbul having a formal  planning history. Renewal processes of Bakırköy and Kadıköy differ in ter  ms of the planning regulations and construction permits. In Kadıkö y construction and population density increase dramatically with the building renewals as the construction permits designated by the master plan.    ENHR OTB  –  Research for the Built Environment //  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31 15 278 76 18 // Fax +31 15 279 44 22 // E-mail: enhr@tudelft.nl Because of the planning regulations, each single renewal results in a crucial change in the neighbourhood environment in Kadıköy while this radical change is not seen in Bakırköy owing to the master plan regulations. Methodology As mentioned above, this is a preliminary research, which aims to contribute to form a framework that would guide the continuing housing renewals in terms of increasing residents’ satisfaction and attachment to their houses. A qualitative research had been carried out and in depth interviews were held with 4 respondents. All respondents are residents of different flats in 2 renewed housing  buildings; one located in Bakırköy district and the other located in Kadıköy district. All respondents have been living in the same house both before and after the renewal. This provided the opportunity for the respondents to compare former and present features of their houses and make evaluations for the two situations as the residents. Semi-structured questionnaires were applied to residents during the interviews and the interviews were made in residents’ own houses. The questions covered information and user evaluations for issues such as, building and flat features before and after the renewal, renewal process, residential history, social and physical environment conditions before and after the renewal. These determinants are given in detail on Table 1. Table1.Semi-structured Questionnaire    ENHR OTB  –  Research for the Built Environment //  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands Tel. +31 15 278 76 18 // Fax +31 15 279 44 22 // E-mail: enhr@tudelft.nl Results Respondent 1 and Respondent 2 are living in a housing block, in Caddebostan neighbourhood, which is a sub- center of Kadıköy . The housing building had been renewed in 2015. The present building has 12 floors, while the former one had only 4 floors. Respondent 1 lives in Caddebostan neighbourhood which is a sub- center of Kadıköy . She is 60 years old and she is a housewife. She had been living in the same house for 25 years. She explains the features of her former house and her feelings for it as follows: “…The old building had been built as a summer apartment; there were 3 balco nies on three façades of the flat. It was built in 1966 and it was not connected to the sewage system, there was a septic tank and it was causing serious problems during the rains for the occupants who live on the ground floor. It consisted of 4 floors and 4 flats on each  floor. The flat consisted of 3 bedrooms and a living space. The rooms were very big. 3 sides of the home were balconies. I had built a hobby room for me by closing a balcony, I had my sewing machine there. But the most important, we had given a great effort to make it a home for us. It was a “home” for us since we have collected too many memories there, but this new one is a house. I do not know if, I will live long enough to collect memories and make this new place a “home”.” Respondent 1 explains the features of the present house as follows: “…The new building consists of 9 floors and 2 flats on each floor. There is no balcony to dry the clothes. We have sun more than 300 days a year, why should I use drying machine instead of the Sun? There is even no space if I am going to use a drying machine. There is a space problem. The houses are too small. We had to connect two rooms in order to create a bedroom. The construction was completed in November 2015. It was told us that the construction will be completed in 14 months, but completed in 30 months. According to the transformation law, the contractor made us a rent-payment help. Even though we had to live in our another property, the amount of the money given by the contractor was not enough. There are some problems with the construction, but there is no water system  problem in our building, unlike the ones we heard from the constructor’s other projects.  But the building and material quality is too low. For instance; the tile grouts in kitchen has  fallen just in two months. The noise is a big problem. We had some discussions with the top  floor because of noise. The walls are too thin, even if they sneeze in the next flat, we hear. The doors are being brake into pieces. The building quality is also not so good. For instance; in my younger daughter’s bedroom the windows transmit the rain water inside. The painting is peeling. To door openings are tight in width. We had to rent a crane while moving here, since our furniture are bulky. One of our furniture had waited in the store on the ground floor while we could arrange the crane renting. As the rooms are too small, my  younger daughter stays in my older daughter’s room who lives abroad. And, I use my  younger daughter’s old room as the ironing roo m. We transformed the security hole into a storage, some neighbors in the building transformed the same area into a second bathroom. The thermal insulation is really good; we have no heating problem but smell  problem. The cigarette smell problem is terrible. The food they cook is in our living space.  Because of the smell, even in winter months I open windows for short time to freshen the inner air. The quality of elevators also not good, even though they are the elevators of one of the best brands.”   From R espondent 1’s expressions it is understood that the loss of plant material is evaluated as a negative aspect of the renewal of the apartment building. In addition to this, the change in the change in the physical fabric of the neighbourhood is also evaluated as a negative outcome of the ongoing building renewals in the neighbourhood. However view of her own flat and the existence of the parks around the house are evaluated as important positive factor for her. “…There were 7 stone pine trees (pinus pinea ) in our garden which were 100 or 110 years old. They are cut. Even though, there is no garden, we are not so upset. Because; we are on
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