Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Transformative Urban Railway: Ankara Commuter Line and Lost Landscape
Funda Bas Butuner, Ela Alanyalı Aral, Selin Çavdar

Last modified: 16-05-2018


Transformative Urban Railway: Ankara Commuter Line and Lost Landscape

Funda Baş Bütüner¹, Ela Alanyalı Aral¹, Selin Çavdar²

¹Middle East Technical University. Department of Architecture. Ankara. Dumlupınar Bulvarı no:1 06800 Ankara Turkey  ² Middle East Technical University. Department of City and Regional Planning. Ankara. Dumlupınar Bulvarı no:1 06800 Ankara Turkey 
E-mail: fbutuner@metu.edu.tr, earal@metu.edu.tr, selin.cavdar@gmail.com

Keywords (3-5): urban railway, urban landscape, Ankara, commuter line, landscape infrastructure

Conference topics and scale: Urban green space


Being major transportation infrastructure of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the impacts of railways on cities have highly directed urban discourses; deforming material edge of cities, encouraging urban extension, formation of new territories, and speeding up  urban development. However, in recent decades, with newly emerging discussions on landscape infrastructure, a new idea for a more integrated infrastructure and urban system has started to be formulated. Railway strips, occurring as terrains where solid-void morphology of cities becomes illegible, emerge as generators in the formation of new urban green network.

Within this framework, Ankara commuter line that mark outs a route approximately 37 kilometers in length in the city, is a remarkable case for a motivating discussion on railway and landscape confrontation. Penetrating the city in east-west direction, the commuter line integrated with a rural landscape –covering vegetable gardens and creeks- that was serving as a recreational field for citizens until 1950s. However, the transformative nature of the railway, encouraged the development of new urban lands, industrial areas and neighborhoods along its route, and erased the characteristic landscape along the railway.  The continuous landscape integrated with green, water and railway infrastructure became fragmented covering only some splits of green and water. In this respect, this study dwells on the lost landscape of the commuter line by mapping the fragmented continuity of the railway, green and water infrastructure from 1950’s until today to show the limited, but potential interaction of these three systems in the current urban fabric. 



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