August 27 2012

Urban Agriculture in Ankara, Turkey: Ataturk Forest Farm

Creating green areas in big cities is necessary for people to live better lives. Places for urban agriculture, away from park and recreation areas, in cities, contribute to economic and ecological sustainability, as well as creating green corridors where people can breathe and thrive. The first urban agriculture area was established by Ataturk who founded the Republic of Turkey, in Ankara, in 1925. The Ataturk Forest Farm (AFF) was founded to encourage urban agriculture and for using the area as a kind of laboratory to carry out experiments in modern farming methods, in order to increase the efficiency of the agricultural sector.

The purposes of the AFF are:

  • Draining the slew;
  • Growing agricultural plants that can be grown in Ankara’s climate conditions, and distribute seeds to the farmers;
  • Growing fruity and fruitless saplings to reforest Ankara;
  • Raising large and small cattle, reproducing the stock, and providing them as breeders to the villagers;
  • Demonstrating to the public how mechanical agriculture is done;
  • Establish beekeeping, dairying, poultry, and grapery stores at farms and in the city center, in order to sell fresh products from AFF;
  • Create a recreational area in the AFF to supply citizens fresh air and green spaces.

Urban agriculture areas became necessity to improve living conditions in large cities, contributing to improving economics, with new business opportunities, and helps to improve the climatic conditions of cities and protected regional ecologic features.

Although urban agriculture has recently started to gain importance in the world, AFF have been served since 1925 in Ankara. It continues to produce cheap, qualified, and local food products although it lost a part of its land and some features are now governed by a foundation (such as animal breeding and the grapery).  Besides the products and recreational areas, in the AFF there are two important museums about Atatürk and the Ataturk Forest Farm.

Today, unfortunately, this farm is used unefficiently and they are trying to construct some government buildings in the area. As a citizen of Ankara we know the importance of this area. What can we do to protect this area?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Selin Mutdoğan

Selin Mutdoğan holds a PhD degree in interior architecture and environmental design from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. Her dissertation was focused on sustainable residential interiors and research containing not only cases from Turkey, but also well-known green bulding certification systems used worldwide. She currently works at the same university as a full-time instructor. She is strongly concerned about sustainability, within all dimensions.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 27th, 2012 at 12:22 pm and is filed under Environment, Land Use, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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