How can urban policies address urban agriculture? : The case of Diyarbakir, Turkey
Urban agriculture, livelihood framework, urban regeneration, planning paradigms, informal settlements, Turkey
The study aims to investigate the role of planning policies on integrating urban agriculture in Diyarbakir, Turkey. It is conducted through a case study in the city of Diyarbakir where urban poverty is highly concentrated. In the study urban agriculture activities pursued in Sur - the informal settlement area undergoing an urban regeneration project - their characteristics, perspectives and actions of policy makers towards urban agriculture in that area, are explored.
During the field trip, agriculture was observed as a widespread activity in Sur where various forms of urban agriculture coexist. The study showed that there were several factors for urban agriculture to flourish such as access to resources and individual or cultural motivation. Above all, policies have a major role in enabling its potential. Up until now, agricultural activities in Sur received encouraging, passive or punitive reactions from the municipality based upon its aim, location, product, scale and hygiene. Urban regeneration project can also create concerns about the future of urban farmers there.
Main challenges in front of urban agriculture in the case of Diyarbakir are its non-recognition by central policies and the reluctance of local authorities to include it in a ‘modern’ image of Diyarbakir. The issue is to make local authorities aware about the use of urban agriculture as an important livelihood method and to integrate it in local planning agenda which is largely dominated by a strong state character and centralized planning mechanism
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