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Batikent Project
Turkey

Keywords: Community Participation & Urban Governance
Homelessnes & Housing

Background

The Batikent Project is the biggest mass housing project accomplished through cooperatives both in Turkey and in the World.

Batikent is on the western corridor of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, lying over an area of about 10,000,000 square meters. Fifty percent of the area has been allocated for housing and the other fifty percent allocated for non-housing areas. The project has been planned for 50,000 housing units and 250,000 persons. The avarage gross density is 250 persons/ha. For Batikent two types of houses have been planned: two-storied and multi-storied.

Having commenced in 1979, with the foundation of Kent-Koop, the Batikent Project has sheltered 200,000 persons in 45,000 housing units since 1983, in which the first settlement had begun with only 516 housing units.


Narrative

Kent-Koop is a union of housing cooperatives which has initiated and succeeded to construct an urban development project of satellite city,named as Batikent(Western City) in western part of Ankara Metropolitan area.

As a new model of cooperation in housing,Kent-Koop has been very muvh differentiated from the model of traditional housing cooperatives, and has started and developed BATIKENT Project as a joint,tripartite endeavour and initiation based on cooperation among cooperatives (as non-governmental and voluntary self-help organizations) with the municipality and central administration in Turkey.

For the first time in Turkey,the sources and experiences of those three different types of organization has been brought together in order to meet the housing demands of lower and middle income groups,by creating a new, decent, green, clean, liveable and sustainable urban environment as well as a community life socially and culturally desirable,by establishing a civic engagement and spirit of citizenship on the part of new dwellers who are the members of the same cooperative.

The Batikent Project was started by the Municipality of Ankara in 1974.At this very point,one should draw attention to two important and basic features of the project,differentiating it from other mass housing projects:scale and organization.

250.000 people will be living in the 50.000 houses to be built on 10.5 million m2 of land at Batikent.The total cost of the project is 43.5 trillion TL (1 billion $) at the 1995 prices,including expropriation,social and technical infrastructure,fixed investments and housing construction.

In order to accompllish this financially and technically big project,workers,civil servants,traders, and low or middle income people who all could not own a house under the existing mode of supply came together in cooperatives. Thus the project was accomplished through a cooperation among civil social organizations,the local administration and the central administration.

The establishment of the cooperatives by the workers of limited income,lower public officers and non-organised groups,were realised under the social cooperation model introduced in the Batikent Project for the first time in Turkey.

13 pionner cooperatives came together in 1979 and formed the Union of Housing Cooperatives in Batent,shortly known as KENT-KOOP.

Kent-Koop began to form the model of organization to be developed towards three aims. These aims are:
* Organise on a project basis, particularly the lower and medium income people who suffer from the housing problem and urge them to cope with their problems through democratic and participative ways.
* Treat the cooperative movement not only with its housing construction dimension but rather as an urban cooperative movement which also involves the social and economic dimensions.
* To effect cooperation among public organizations, particularly among local administrations and civil organizations.

The Main Contract of Kent-Koop was developed around these aims.

Kent-Koop is a non-governmental organization whose all authorised decision-making and executive organs are formed by the elected members of the associate cooperatives.

The General Assembly,which is the most authoritative organ of Kent-Koop,is formed of three delegates from each member cooperative of the Union,who are elected by the respective general assemblies. The General Assembly of the Union meets once a year to discuss the operation and audit reports for the current year and the programme and budget for the following year. The General Assembly also elects every four years the Board of Directors of 11 members and the Board of Auditors of 3 members. The Board of Directors is the decision-making organ of Kent-Koop.At its first meeting, the Board of Directors elects among themselves the 3 members to form the Executive Committee:the President,the Secretary General and Secretary Treasurer.

For the financing of the Batikent Project, Kent-Koop had to seek foreign resources in 1980 and introduced the Project to the European Resettlement Fund. On 21 May 1980, European Resettlement Fund allotted a loan of 28.5 million USD to the project for utilisation in fixed investments and housing loans. The sum of the loans alloted to the Batikent Project by European Resettlement Fund between 1980 and 1984 is 86 million USD.

Batikent is defined as a social cooperation project. The three agents are the central government,the Municipality of Ankara and Kent-Koop. Within this framework,the Municipality of Ankara and Kent-Koop signed the Main Protocol on 15th December 1980.

Batikent Project has an environment sensitive approach. Fifty percent of the project area has been allocated for housing and fifty percent allocated for non-housing areas; especially in green and open areas the land use is above the standards.

The project has been planned for 50.000 housing units and 250.000 persons. The average gross density is 250 persons/ha.

For Batikent,two types of houses have been planned: two-storied and multi-storied. Two-storied houses consist of 100 m2 of living space and a small garden. Multi-storied houses between 5-12 stories and between 85-140 m2 of living space have common use areas.

Having commenced in 1979 with the foundation of Kent-Koop, the Batikent Project has sheltered 200.000 persons in 45.000 housing units since 1983, in which the first settlements had begun with only 516 housing units.

The model of urban cooperatives which has been initiated by Kent-Koop has extended beyond Ankara first in 1984 and later became popular nation-wide. At present,this model has taken its place as nearly 600 cooperatives in 30 settlement sites,covering a 300 million m2 land in the form of civilian organizations.

The most important factor of the success of the Batikent Project as an alternative solution for housing production was the "civil and democratical participation" which constitutes the backbone structure.

Since its establishment, Kent-Koop has been organising a series of social and cultural activities every year in order to contribute to the individuals living in Batikent to establish healthy relationships with each other and their living environment. Races, bicycle races, motocrosses, sports summer schools, seminars, painting and photograph competitions, exhibitions and out door concerts are included in these activities.In order to develop environmental consciousness, Kent-Koop also organises "The Best Environment" competition within the framework of a Batikent Culture and Education Foundation, and the winning cooperatives were awarded.

Kent-Koop gives a special importance to the activities arranged for children and younsters.At present, 3 children clubs that serve 7-14 age group have been opened. Various activities like table-tennis, football and chess tournaments,painting and poetry competitions, picnics, and excursions etc. are organised at these clubs.

With the consciousness and responsibility of being a civilian organization, Kent-Koop has shown its leading role in various urban and social issues and has been developing some projects since 1986. (Squatter Development Project, Leisure Gardens Project, Cooperatives in the Historical Environment, City Explotation Project, Labour Cooperativism)

Kent-Koop's national success in organization and implementation on the Batikent Project has confirmed at the international platforms. With the Batikent Project, Kent-Koop was awarded International Year of Shelter for the Homeless 1987 trophy which was organised by UK Building and Social Housing Foundation.

The Batikent Project was also entitled to another prize at a competition, organized in 1995 within the framework of the celebration programme for the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations.


Impact

45.000 housing units constructed
200.000 people sheltered


Sustainability

The Batent Project itself has functioned as a laboratory:
- for testing the assets and weak aspects of such a joint initiation (Kent-Koop, Local Government, Central Government)
- for evaluating the cooperation of such a self-help organization system to enable to meet their housing units,
- for finding out the conditions to be most encouraging local and public participation as well as the limits hindering the success of the work.

The impact of BATIKENT Project have been in different aspects of social life, which may be summarised as follows:
- its contributions to the promotion of urban cooperatives movement as well as the cooperative movement as a whole,
- its contribution to the development of housing and urban development policies,
- its implications on the local and national policies (Mass Housing Law),
- its achievement in planning, project implementation,
- its contribution to creating sociologically desirable and sustainable environment and enabling the people to help themselves through cooperatives and other civic initiatives.

Batent Project has contributed a lot in:
- enabling people to have homes,
- developing an integrated community,
- design of healthy environment,
- promotion of civic participation and responsibility through a self-help organization that is cooperative.

As a whole, BATIKENT:
- is the biggest housing project in Turkey,
- is the first to demonstrate the success of public and cooperative collaboration and cooperation,
- is the pioneer in bringing lower and lower medium income people together in cooperatives, either place of work and through workers unions,
- is successful, through cooperative action, in making the people able to decide on the housing and environment plans and projects.

BATIKENT can be best defined as "Housing by the people and for the people by cooperative participation".

BATIKENT Project has:
- helped to supply housing to make up housing shortage.
- kept down the selling prices and rentals in the housing market in Ankara, for the first time.


Contact

    Kent-Koop, Technical Affairs Coordinator
    Ilk Yerlesim Mah. 10. CAD, Batikent
    Ankara
    Turkey
    +90-312-385 28 35

Sponsor

    Kent-Koop, THE Union of Housing Cooperatives in Batikent, Ankara
    Kent-Koop Headquarters
    Fevzi Cakmak Sok, No. 30/12, Kizilay
    Ankara
    Turkey
    06440
    +90 - 312 - 431 34 00

Partners

    Municipality of Greater Ankara
    Niksarli, Muammer
    Fevzi Aakmak - 1 Sok, No. 30/12, Kizilay
    ANKARA
    Turkey
    06440
    +90-312-431 34 00

    CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
    TURAN
    FEVZI, AKMAK-2 SOK. NO. 30/12, KIZILAY
    ANKARA
    TURKEY
    06440
    +90-312-431 34 00

    European Resettlement Fund, Paris, France


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