2015 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 17-38
The main objective of this paper is to explore the contradictory relationship between the climate and physical structure of the built environment in Erzurum as one of the coldest climate cities in Turkey. It mainly questions whether the urban form and geometry (size, density, street orientation and ventilation), height and shape of the buildings and vegetation in selected districts of Erzurum are compatible with the cold climate conditions. In this direction, disturbances, vulnerability of urban ecosystem, construction practices, street orientations, settlement patterns, housing typology, density, average height, hard-surfaces, distances, flora and density of green areas are analyzed. The findings show that the urban built environment in Erzurum (City Centre, Dadaskent and Yildizkent districts) is not consistent with the cold climate conditions. Urban heat island, urban sprawl, ventilation problems and existing air pollution, and high temperature differences in the city are the threatening factors for ecologically sustainable urban development. In the context of this study, it is aimed to formulate urban design guidelines for the city of Erzurum in cold climate zone. Urbanization and urban form of the three different districts, which are the focus areas of this research, must be reconsidered from a climate sensitive perspective, otherwise new development areas will not be energy efficient and resilient against changes, surprises and risks. For ecologically sustainable urban development, climate sensitive urban design guidelines must urgently be prepared and implemented for Erzurum.