Beykoz Riva integrated environmental protection and development plan in Turkey

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With the development of the Quickscan Beykoz, an initial but substantial, step was taken towards the integrated protection and development of the Riva valley in Beykoz Municipality, Istanbul.

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For several years the municipality of Beykoz is distressed by the regular flooding of the Riva river (length 32 kilometers). Throughout the Istanbul Metropolitan area, DSI and Iski —the Turkish State and City Water Works Authorities— are working on improving the unsafe situation in the valleys with a comparable technical solution: channelization of the rivers and streams in one generic profile made out of concrete and stone rubble, aiming at improving hydraulic discharge. Simultaneously with improving safety, however valuable natural, as well as economic value and potential, is unrepairably lost in this process.

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Looking for alternative solutions, Beykoz Municipality sought contact with H+N+S Landscape Architects and IABR. After mutual exploratory visits, the Turkish delegation gave H+N+S Landscape Architects the assignment to coordinate the design research for possible alternatives. Beykoz Municipality itself collaborates in the project, along with DSI and Iski, Dutch experts Taminiau, Oliemans and Baran and the Belgian architects 51N4E.

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Alternative water strategy 
Together with the municipality and stakeholders from the area an alternative, more sustainable water strategy was developed, in which more space is given to the river. The QuickScan includes a range of measures which are deployed in different combinations to ensure flood safety in a 1:500 situation (the Turkish norm). In areas without vulnerable functions, periodic inundation will be accepted. Upstream and in tributary valleys, the water is retained with small dams. In dry times these basins also serve to irrigate the lower agricultural area. Where necessary, the profile is broadened asymmetrically while maintaining and improving the ecological and recreational qualities. Finally, an alternative route to the water is offered at strategic places with green bypasses, which are typically in agricultural use and flow only in extreme situations. 

Integrated Regional Development 
Besides ensuring flood safety this plan is a step forward towards integrated regional development.

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The integrated approach goes beyond the technical aspects and strives to develop solutions for the water issues in conjunction with new plans for the revitalization of the agricultural areas and further ecological and recreational protection and development of the Riva basin. Opportunities for highly qualified organic agriculture and special urban development projects are created. In addition to the potential for the local tourism industry, the opportunities for recreation transcend the borders of Beykoz. The sustainable approach allows Beykoz to evolve into the green lung of the city of Istanbul. 

During the design process, professionals from different Turkish government organisations were brought together in collaborative workshops. The partners laid the foundation for a unique project that introduces integral area development in Turkey. End of 2014 the next phase of the project will take place; in close cooperation with Turkish parties the team led by H+N+S Landscape Architects will start to work on the integrated water plan, as part of a master plan for integrated regional development of the basin of the Riva. The alternative water safety strategy will be further developed as well as a strategy for creating a sustainable and viable water system. The result of this process will be a tender document for implementation. For Turkey, this will then be the first step in implementing the principles of integrated sustainable river restoration and realization of sustainable rivers.

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Design Firm | H+N+S Landschapsarchitecten

For more information: – H+N+S Landscape Architects – Taminiau & Oliemans

About Damian Holmes 3292 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at