Rehabilitation of Historical Yedikule ‘Bostan’s and Agriculture Park
Agricultural Space | Edible Landscape: Yedikule ‘Bostan’s
Active-passive green areas and urban open space balance, which are practiced in cities around the world, are now gaining a more productive, multi-functional and multi-user character because of the increasing population, specialization, global warming and changes in the use of space and time. The most important generator of sustainable urbanism is urban landscape balance.
The history of urban agriculture is as old as civilization itself. Urban agriculture has been a model for production and economy in cities since Mesopotamia and ancient Greece. While not one, clear definition exists, we can describe urban agriculture as the process with which liquid and solid waste is reused to obtain products for environmental benefit and for generating revenue for local individuals and communities. In the recent years, urban agriculture has been associated with the concept of “permaculture”. The basic aim of permaculture design is to bring plants, animals and humans together in a productive scheme to establish a sustainable and self-sufficient system in the smallest area possible. The major theme here is to increase the awareness for environmental resources, to think more broadly and to design “ecological areas of production” by taking reference from nature itself.
The tradition of urban “bostan”s, or vegetable gardens, is an ongoing practice with deep roots in the collective memory of İstanbul. The main planning and design objective of our project has been to replace grass surfaces along the land walls with agricultural areas for sustainable production. According to the Historical Peninsula masterplan for preservation, using the land walls of İstanbul as cultural elements is a major goal, as for the sea walls of İstanbul along the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. The green areas around the fortification walls, towers, gates and moats can be united with the areas for archaeological exhibits, park grounds and viewpoints. The moats of the land walls will be preserved as they are, after the necessary landscape interventions.
The project has multiple stakeholders for administration, production, functional areas and culture: Administration – The related directorates of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Provincial Administration of Agriculture; Production – Producers, owners of the ‘bostan’s, and the local communities; Functional areas – Local communities and all visitors of the area; and Cultural uses – Artists, researchers, activists, universities, educaters and non-governmental organizations.
The rehabilitation of the Yedikule ‘bostan’s and the constitution of the Agricultural Park includes functions such as hobby gardens, professional urban gardens, farmer’s market or ecological market, greenhouses, workshops, buildings for administration and non-governmental organization, healing cafe, harvest restaurant and workshops for composting and recycling. The planned activities (e.g. Harvest Festival for the Yedikule Lettuce, festivals for cherries and strawberries, Bostan Platform) is proposed to be carried out in an organized way for sustaining both the Yedikule bostans and the local communities.