Revival of a traditional community engagement model for the sustainable future of a historical commercial district: Bursa/Turkey as a case

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Vural Arslan T., Çahantimur A.

FUTURES, vol.43, pp.361-373, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.futures.2011.01.003
  • Journal Name: FUTURES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.361-373
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Historical commercial districts in city centres in Turkey face social, cultural, environmental and economical challenges of managing rapid urban and economical development in the last two decades. They are being subjected to dramatic physical deterioration and rapid social and economical decline. Enriching relationships between local tradesmen associations, local authorities and non-governmental organisations through a structured engagement process can deliver innovative new revitalisation approaches and design options towards sustainable futures of historical commercial districts both in Turkey and in the world. This paper presents a community engagement model, which can be seen as the revival of a guild system (Lonca), which is unique to Ottoman Turkish culture, for the sustainable future of a historical commercial district in a Turkish city, Bursa. One of the main objectives of this study is to discuss and evaluate successes and failures of this community engagement model. Other objective of the paper is to discuss the effectiveness of this civil organisation for creating scenarios about sustainable future of a historical commercial district. The key finding of this study shows community engagement models should support public decision making by developing a coherent framework to identify the sustainable future scenarios with multi- or interdisciplinary collaborations. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.