Ankara's Healthy Streets Initiative giving streets back to people on World Health Day

The World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April (7-13 April Health Week) every year, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO). Healthy Life as one of the fundamental rights of human beings, is not only not to be sick, but also to be physically, spiritually and socially peaceful and happy. A Healthy City is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential. Global Future Cities Programme in Turkey, Ankara Cankaya Healthy Streets Intervention aims to increase the quality of life of citizens of all ages and all walks of life in Cankaya and to make all facilities of the city accessible for all with equal opportunities, which is in line with WHO’s Health 2020 Policy, "health for all, equality in health and social service policies and lifelong health”.

Cankaya Healthy Streets Intervention, which is carried out by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and delivered by Arup in collaboration with Cankaya Municipality within the scope of the Global Future Cities Programme in Turkey, aims to create clean, safe and healthy spaces in the city to breathe, to provide freedom of movement for citizens, to create walking areas and green areas that will make walking in the city enjoyable, to minimise motor vehicle traffic with facilitating accessibility to public transport and encouraging public transport usage and cycling by considering the needs of all ages and all segments and to reduce air pollution and noise by reconsidering the unique texture of Cankaya streets.

Working with Cankaya Municipality, embracing the "Health for all” as a motto, Arup re-examines the city life in Cankaya by considering the needs of citizens of all ages and all walks of life in Cankaya and looking from a health perspective. The Project creates accessible streets that encourage movement for elderly, as well as recreation areas to be created on these streets. The Project provides opportunities for people living with disabilities to take their place in city life, to engage with society and to feel safe. The Project plans spaces where children can play safely, and young people can have freedom of movement and suitable streets for those who prefer bicycle as a mean of transport. The Project contributes to street-based shopping where small-scale retail trade will also be supported. Furthermore, the Project offers a city life that will meet the needs of all Cankaya residents with equal opportunities for all. Within the scope of Cankaya Healthy Streets Intervention, a "Healthy Streets Strategic Action Plan" specific to the district will be prepared to be implemented by Çankaya Municipality. In line with this plan, the Municipality will start working to implement the Healthy Streets vision for different neighbourhoods of Cankaya.

As an outcome of the intervention, an urban design implementation is carried out in a pilot area chosen by citizens and stakeholders through various participation meetings and workshops. In addition to planning and design studies, training programs focused on urban design has been organized for municipal employees. The Healthy Streets Intervention in Cankaya is a pioneering work that brings together experts and practitioners from different disciplines. With the purpose of this pioneering work carried out with the collaboration of Cankaya Municipality as an example for other cities in Turkey and making the concept of healthy streets an indispensable part of urban design, a “Healthy Streets Design Guide” that can be used by all municipalities across the country will be prepared.

The Cankaya Healthy Streets Intervention is the first pilot intervention in the world to be assessed by the Sustainable Development Goals Project Assessment Tool (SDG Tool), developed by UN-Habitat, the Strategic Partner of the Programme. The SDG Tool aims to assess how the interventions align with the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, and creates a unique SDG profile which shows the potential SDG alignment that the project can achieve. By incorporating the SDG Tool, the impact of the intervention and contribution to sustainability can be measured and monitored during the delivery process.

“In Healthy Streets Projects, we aim to promote resilient, connected and inclusive neighbourhoods which, in combination, contribute to prosperity, therefore achieving the UN SDGs (specifically of 3, 5, 11 as an outcome for society, and 13 as an outcome for planet).”

- Sertac Erten, Local Team Leader of Cankaya Healthy Streets Project





Republic of Turkey




Planning & Design

Public Space