Bursa is one of the oldest and most important historical cities in Turkey. The city is the fourth most populous city in Turkey, having about 1,150,000 inhabitants within the urban extent and 2,936,000 in the whole province. Over the past 35 years, the population in Bursa has rapidly increased due to strong internal migration driven by the region’s fast-evolving industrial development.
The migration and high population increase led to a rapid urban growth and the development of unplanned areas in the west, east and north axis of the city, resulting in informal settlements with high densities, inadequate urban spaces, environmental degradation, and lack of public spaces and green areas. The city has witnessed many catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, and forest fires. Because of this, there is constant concern for renewing the urban construction to be resilient and resistant to natural disasters.
Economically, Bursa stands out in the industrial sector, originally known as the historical textile centre of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the service sector has become significantly more dynamic, which further enhances its image as a source of employment opportunities. However, the urban development of Bursa has not successfully accommodated the migratory flow triggered by its economic attractiveness, which has overwhelmed the city’s infrastructure and public services.
In this regard, Bursa is considered an adequate environment to implement smart city technologies in order to address better urban management and public service delivery. Smart city technologies are increasingly integrated into urban governance and management and are becoming a fast-developing business sector. In Bursa,the projects identified are focused on the preparation of a Smart City Strategy, and development of a sustainable urban transformation master plan of the city.
The Global Future Cities Programme aims at technically assisting the implementation of smart city technologies to improve the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality’s capacities in urban management to increase quality of life, social inclusion, sustainable mobility and comprehensive urban planning.
The specific objectives of this intervention are: i) Increasing the mobility of Bursa citizens by improving the traffic and public transportation management capacity of the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality (BMM); ii) Integrating mobility policies with complementary urban management areas (e.g. health, culture, safety, waste management, energy) to increase accessibility to municipal services; and iii) Increasing the BMM and other relevant public organisations in Bursa’s capacity for data collection, management and analysis, for better service provision.
To achieve this goal, the intervention will assess the existing situation and set a policy implementation agenda (strategic plan) for city stakeholders to improve their institutional capacity (human resources, theoretical and practical knowledge) for smart city policies. Additionally, the intervention will include a pilot development on sustainable transport management.
Through smart technologies implementation, Bursa will establish a high-quality data system which will improve service provision, decision-making processes, the development and application of urban policies and plans, intelligent use of resources, among other benefits.
The Global Future Cities Programme aims to provide technical assistance to the development of the “Sustainable Urban Transformation Master Plan for Bursa.” This intervention will identify an integrated urban renewal approach that takes into account social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and urban planning standards while looking at financial feasibility. The intervention will develop an alternative proposal for the Yalova Yolu urban renewal project that will be prepared with a participatory approach. To achieve this, the intervention will undertake context and legal analysis; develop an urban development model by improving existing urban renewal project towards achievement of intervention objectives; develop a viable financial plan for project implementation; prepare a step-by-step implementation guide and undertake a wider impact assessment.
The ‘Sustainable Urban Transformation Approach for Bursa’ intervention focuses on preparation of an Urban Transformation Master Plan for the whole metropolitan area of Bursa. This plan will be based on a thorough assessment of risks and potentials of the city and will provide sustainable urban transformation strategies that are aligned with the objectives of UN Sustainable Development Goals, New Urban Agenda, the Turkish National Urban Transformation Action Program and the Global Future Cities Program.
Additionally, the intervention will strengthen Bursa Metropolitan Municipality’s capacity
• to use digital platforms for increased transparency, efficiency and robustness of planning processes and to communicate effectively with community and stakeholders,
• to involve key stakeholders in shaping urban transformation strategies,
• to align the urban transformation process to different city-level plans with new data-driven planning methods, and
• to explore alternative assessment and financing mechanisms that can be used for urban renewal within the Turkish legal system.