westward expansion

21Mar10

As Ankara’s population continues to explode, its city structure is shifting. Hemmed in on the north, south and east edges by mountains, the city has reached capacity in these directions, leaving one path for growth: along the western corridor of the valley in which the city sits.

Not only bring change to the commercial centers of Ankara, the lopsided growth has also shifted the main axis in the city. Originally a single north-south thoroughfare guided development. By the new master plan in the 1960s, 2 crossing axes made the city’s transit structure. By now, the east-west axis has grown to dominate, and the heaviest traffic volumes run along this route, with those who are able moving west as quickly as possible. Ataturk Bulvari (N-S) is certainly still important, and contains the monumental governmental center, but its rival, Eskisehir Bulvari (E-W) and up and coming Istanbul Caddesi (E-W)  pull Ankara’s center of gravity further and further west, consequently pushing the original centers (both old and new) to the edge.

the road west.

Unfortunately for the most part the new areas of Ankara that I observed are built speculatively, with little thought for their role in the urban environment. If anyone knows of any projects working to integrate, or areas where something more interesting is happening, please let me know!

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