A Quest for Sustainability of Cultural Heritage Sites: The Hanlar District of Bursa, Turkey





Cultural heritage sites, sustainability, adaptive reuse, community engagement, educational charrettes, Hanlar District of Bursa


Today, many studies have been carried out to support community engagement in planning and urban design processes in Turkey. This study which tries to bring together community engagement and urban design within the framework of sustainability of cultural heritage sites is a part of a scientific research project which aims to create a participative model to develop an urban design guideline for the Hanlar District, a historical commercial district including many inns in the city centre of Bursa, in Turkey. While a series of community engagement techniques were experimented during the project process, the aim of this article is to examine the potential benefits of using educational charrettes as a kind of design charrette to establish a participatory and competitive platform including public, private, voluntary actors  and local people in urban design process of heritage sites.  It overviews the charrette use in developing adaptive re-use and urban design schemes for the inns and their surrounding public spaces which are not actively used in the Hanlar District which has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 2014, and then highlights the proposals that were developed in terms of the objectives of the Bursa and Cumalikizik Management Plan. Finally, this study presents the usability, suitability and practicability of educational charrettes as a community engagement way in the urban design process of the heritage sites while enabling different actors to create new visions to sustain heritage sites. However, it also emphasizes the need for a participatory and holistic urban design process for the Hanlar District of Bursa including the adaptive re-use strategies for the inns to sustain the district.

Author Biographies

Sibel Polat, Bursa Uludağ Üniversitesi

Sibel Polat, B.U.R.Pl, B. Arch., M. Arch., Ph.D. in Arch. Graduated from Istanbul Technical University as an urban planner in 1999 and as an architect in 2002. She completed her master’s thesis on urban regeneration projects in 2005, and Ph.D. thesis on identity of public open spaces in 2012 at Bursa Uludag University. She conducted research for her Ph.D. thesis as an invited researcher at ENSAPB. She is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at Bursa Uludag University. Her study areas are urban design tools, community engagement in heritage studies, place identity, urban regeneration.

Arzu Çahantimur, Bursa Uludağ Üniversitesi

Arzu Çahantimur, B. Arch., M. Arch., Ph.D. in Arch. Held her B.Arch, M.Arch and PhD in Architecture degrees from Istanbul Technical University.  She is Assoc. Prof. at the Department of Architecture at Bursa Uludag University, Turkey. Her areas of interest are architectural design, sustainable architecture, urban regeneration, urban housing areas, home environments, historical and cultural heritage studies, and interactions of culture and space.

Gül Atanur, Bursa Teknik Üniversitesi

Gül Atanur, B. Landscape Arch., M. Landscape Arch., Ph.D. in Landscape Arch. Graduated from Ankara University as a landscape architect in 1991. She completed her master’s thesis on urban images in historical cities and Ph.D. thesis on open space standarts in public housing areas. Her scholarly and professional activities focus on sustainable urban design, landscape architecture, public participation. She has got  numerous awards in urban design competitions. She is the advisory committee member of the Turkish Healty Cities Association.

H. Özge Tümer Yıldız, Bursa Uludağ Üniversitesi

H. Özge Tümer Yildiz, B. Arch., M. Arch., Ph.D. in Arch. Graduated from Bursa Uludag University as an architect in 2003. She completed her master’s thesis on gated communities in 2006, and Ph.D. thesis with the title “An Approach for Interpreting Meaning in the Context of 21st Century Architecture” in 2014. She has been an research assistant in the Department of Architecture at Bursa Uludag University since 2006. Her study areas are architectural design, contemporary society&architecture, meaning in architecture, and home environments.


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How to Cite

Polat, S., Çahantimur, A., Atanur, G., & Tümer Yıldız, H. Özge. (2019). A Quest for Sustainability of Cultural Heritage Sites: The Hanlar District of Bursa, Turkey. ICONARP International Journal of Architecture and Planning ISSN: 2147-9380, 7(1), 01–29. https://doi.org/10.15320/ICONARP.2019.64