VOL: 7  NO:2 106-120 2010-2


Understanding the spatial and historical characteristics of agricultural landscapes in Istanbul


1 OKAN University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

2 ITU, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

Received: October 2010 Final Acceptance: November 2010



In this paper, we will try to find out the potentials of agricultural landscape mosaic of Istanbul, which still contains the inherent traces of the local agrarian culture, even though it has been absorbed and embedded in the mass production urban spaces. We pursue a process oriented, spatial and culture based modeling approach with the emphasis on the potentials of agricultural landscape mosaic of Istanbul. Our findings showed that urban agriculture, especially bostan, has been an indisputable part of Istanbul’s historic development and is an important opportunity to maintain sustainable urban landscape and viability of urban society.

This study primarily uses theory and methodology from geography, geographic information science, and landscape ecology to analyze land use dynamics in the study area. The study consists of four parts. First, the description of the general characteristics and environmental facts of the study area are given. The second part contains the historical background of the agrarian culture and its spatial traces, which existed in today. The third part has been conducted at the interactions between agricultural land-uses and other land use types and the ambitions within spatial planning to define an ordered typology . Ikonos images dated June 2005 has been used for the analyses in Geographical Information Systems’ (GIS). Finally, the findings of the case study are summarized, along with arguments that underline the need for further case studies of agricultural uses at intra and peri urban landscapes.


Keywords: Urban agriculture, agrarian culture, agroecosystems, landscape character assessment, landscape fragmentation, GIS application.


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