İzmir, Türkiye

Photo by Sinan Alper

Sustainability and Resilience

What efforts have been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the initiative?

Implementing NBSs in Peynircioglu Stream Ecological Restoration Site, created sustainable, adaptive and progressive green infrastructure by reducing the carbon footprint.  Moreover, because of transferability and provided know-how of the UrbanGreenUP Project, the motivation in regards to ensuring resilience through green infrastructure and reducing carbon footprint have been expanded throughout the city.

In the Project area, existing green has been expanded and therefore the tree cover and permeable surfaces have been greatly increased. This is a measure to increase the retention and storage of atmospheric carbon (carbon sequestration and storage). The aim of this measure is to retain and store atmospheric carbon by increasing the number of trees, tree cover and permeable surfaces. During the monitoring process, trees in the green area whose baseline values are measured before application, measure the number of pollutants and carbon they hold with measurements that will be repeated for two years. In this way, the situation before and after the implementation is made will have a chance to be met and interpreted numerically, and therefore the effect of the redesigned and expanded green field in this context will be determined precisely.

How have the anticipated impacts of climate change been considered?

The project area has been under pressure of heavy urbanization. Hence, the heat island effect is intense. Moreover, most of the region is below sea level, as an indication of climate change effects there had been extreme rainy periods that had caused coastal floods in the area. Heavy urbanization, lack of green infrastructure has damaged biodiversity as well as increased the harmful effects of climate change in the area.

Consequently, the project provides solutions to four main problems: heatwaves and temperature increases, floods (Fluvial Floods), high level of CO2 and pollutants and loss of biodiversity. The implementation should have covered the integration of citizens and been adaptive to urban elements. In this context, the intervention approach also includes urban design elements and solutions, covers various complementary and interconnected aspects of urban life and green infrastructure, that is divided into 4 main categories: Urban revitalization, water interventions, green infrastructure strategies and non-technical interventions.

By taking in to consideration these problems, project has offered; increasing bicycle and pedestrian mobility, greater carbon sequestration and reduction of air pollution, providing a range of benefits such as mixing rainwater into groundwater, microclimate regulation through shading and evaporation, food supply for biodiversity and recreation services, creating new adaptive green fields, increasing the water holding capacity of the soil, the use of natural vegetation and biodiversity, reducing Urban Heat Island Effect, obtaining a more permeable surfaces in terms of Flood Control and sustainable urban drainage systems.

What processes does the initiative include for it to be considerate in its use of soils and other natural resources?

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has the responsibility to develop environmental policies, as well as planning, design, coordinate, execute and evaluate strategies for the conservation, recovering and protection, management of natural resources, while ensuring the city’s sustainability. Almost all vegetative and structural landscape areas used in the project are designed with rational use of natural resources that are using local, recyclable and natural materials. In particular, materials produced in that region and requiring less transportation were preferred. In addition, engineered solutions are used to improve the functionality of soils in the project. Improvements will include the use of biochar (increase the absorption of water pollutants from urban run–off and the slow release of plant nutrients). The use of protective structures to improve tree stability and potentially improve water storage and pollutant filtration will be assessed. Smart soils work will also assess the opportunities for biodiversity enhancement by incorporation of mycorrhizae and other soil fauna (improve the soil process functioning).