Urban Transformation to reach 600 Billion Dollars

SAMPAŞ, which implemented “smart city” concept for the first time in Turkey, is involved in from software development to implementation for local governments to create modern cities.

SAMPAŞ’s, which serves “smart city” service to 500 municipalities in Turkey, President Şekip Karakaya, gave interesting figures about urban transformation studies and made some suggestions. As the first company to implement “Smart City” concept in Turkey, giving local governments services from software design to implementation, education to management, maintenance and support services to consultation. SAMPAŞ is a company that has a say in urbanization works in Turkey.

SAMPAŞ CEO Şekip Karakaya tells that they serve over 500 municipalities in Turkey for “smart city” applications. Şekip Karakaya, with whom we talked about urban transformation and their work at that field, gave those answers to our questions:

– What are you doing as SAMPAŞ?

* We carry out applications that enrich brand value of the cities and the life quality of the citizens, extending human oriented administration approach. We gave “smart city” application consultations to over 500 municipalities in Turkey. We study demographic structure of both cities and districts. We perform the planning by taking everything from the studied district into consideration like from economic structure to their day-today lives. To sum up, we make strategic urban transformation master plans.

– What is going to be the financial amount of urban transformation in Turkey?

* Urban transformation in Turkey is going to reach 80% of GNP, so around 600 billion dollars.

– What should come forefront during urban transformation?

* It should be put forth clearly that what kind of an attitude beneficiaries should show at urban transformation. Everybody should know their right and what should they demand. There are criticisms like “Environment and Urban Planning Ministry is raising coefficients.” However it is not being raised, it is being lowered.

– So, who should be doing the transformation?

* Urban transformation in Turkey should be carried out by private industry, government should just inspect. Foreign funds should be brought for transformation and transformation should be encouraged. Anatolian cities besides Istanbul and Ankara, where investors do not want to go, transformation should be carried out with HDA.

– At what point you step in at urban transformation?

* Besides doing all inspections, research about one zone’s transformation, we prepare master plans. From feasibility to destruction phase, coming to a consensus with people at transformation zones to valuation, new planning, we are at all phases. We started doing this 12 years before Urban Transformation Law came into effect. We have ongoing work at many parts of Turkey.

– How much of an area you inspected in Turkey, where did you carry out transformation work?

* Until today, we carried out inspection at 110 settlements in Turkey. We have over 30 million people’s data in our database, from their zone that they are living to their lifestyles. We are doing urban transformation work at places like İstanbul, Aydın, Antakya and İskenderun and we create urban transformation master plans for transformation projects there.

– What are your projects that shine out?

* We are carrying out a big Urban Transformation project at Okmeydanı in Istanbul with Beyoğlu Municipality. The launch of this project was done in these past months. Okmeydanı Project is going to be an groundbreaking project in Turkey and in the world. We are going to make an important transformation in 150 thousand square meter area, all of Zincirlikuyu Kore Şehitleri Avenue. The project managed by one of the biggest holdings of Turkey, is going to be a worldwide project. Also, we are managing a 400 decare project at Vatan Neighborhood, Bayrampaşa. We have many projects like that.

– Do you have projects outside Istanbul?

* We are interested in all parts of Turkey. Besides Istanbul, we have urban transformation projects in Aydın, Antakya and Iskenderun. Any place that awaits urban transformation is under our scope. For example, we are carrying out a transformation on 107 thousand square meter area where 70 thousand people are going to live in Belediye Evleri Neighborhood, Çukurova. We are going to carry out onsite transformation, without keeping people away from where they live.

– Are you just working on transformation?

* We adapted our 33 years of experience in software industry to urbanization studies. As SAMPAŞ, we serve at a wide range, like Web Based Management Information System (WebMIS), Smart Municipalism (MIB), AKOS – Urban Project Solution and Services, Smart Water Management, Urban Transformation and Transformation Road Building at Metropolitans.


Şekip Karakaya sumps up what should be done for success at urban transformation:

• Special valuation for beneficiaries.

• No application such as sending people to some other place than the place they live.

• No difference between what is given to beneficiaries and what are up for sale.

• Creating mutual income bringing zones for beneficiaries at newly built buildings.

• Beneficiaries shouldn’t be in pursuit of density to get more rights.

• Beneficiaries should inspect the new project in three dimension models and see where they are going to live there.

• Transformation should be carried out without paying any price to transformation brokers.

• Having all kinds of facilities so that people from all ages can use at facility areas should be in as public opinion.

• Zones such as elder censored houses should be added to newly developing transformation areas.

• Transformation projects must be planned in a way that economically poor people can be employed.

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