“Green” Urban Design Project Competition for Çanakkale City Square and its Surroundings
New Çanakkale Urban Square: Collective Memory and Urban Ecology
The most important feature that differentiates Çanakkale from its peers is its having witnessed the Çanakkale Wars, one of the most dramatic and meaningful episodes of history, as an alibi for a humanitarian crisis. While Çanakkale is indistinctively associated with Gelibolu Historical National Park, it is also very important with its geographical location and its rich cultural landscape. It is said that the residents of Çanakkale are in love with their city, and they are known for their loyalty to Çanakkale. The Çanakkale waterfront (promenade) is their place for gathering, entertainment, recreation, sadness, commemoration and sharing.
Çanakkale still does not have an urban square in contemporary means. The Clock Tower is almost forgotten under the dense building pressure of the city. There is not a continuous waterfront. Taking these negative aspects into account, planning and design attitudes that align with nature and ecology and that emphasize urban living standards and livable urbanism are needed, rather than merely designing the waterfront and Sarıçay or finding urban development strategies.
Sarıçay Basin and its environs, which are completely covered by slums today, has the potential to become the agricultural production center of the region with its first-degree fertile soil. This basin will be set free from its current concrete channel and will be restored to its natural course, and will become the “ecological filter” of the city with its ecosystem consisting of the flora, marsh areas and reeds. Configuring the city together with nature constitutes the starting point of the project, since it is impossible to shape a city without reconciliation. What is important is all urban actors declaring that they are determined to co-exist. This co-existence, which can be named as “ecological cycle” resembles the rings of a chain. This area will turn into a significant production and protection zone that supplies the urban economy with permaculture education, alternative job opportunities for the Roman communities of specifically the Fevzipaşa Neighborhood, and an ecological market in its periphery. The ecological market is also designed with a self-sufficient energy system, with solar panels on the roof supplying the energy of the market as well as the agricultural facilities around. This system is proposed to work with the university, constituting a model for similar contexts in neighboring provinces. In this way, the Sarıçay basin will take the lead in urban agriculture efforts.