Safe Living

Safe living environments and conditions is the cornerstone of a life worthy of human dignity.  Therefore, the first principle of our efforts is to provide our citizens with safe living spaces and conditions.

Research showing that 68% of the global population will be residing in urban areas by 2050 underscores the vital role that cities play in ensuring "safe living."

Regrettably, present-day cities are distant from being habitats that inspire a sense of "safeness" among their residents. This results in climate crises, accumulations of plastic in oceans, depletion of biodiversity, and ultimately, a decline in safeness. Cities are progressively severing ties with the surrounding ecosystems, weakening their bond with life on the planet. This gives rise to feelings of insecurity and environmental pollution.

Hence, our first and foremost objective is to establish safe living conditions. We understand that our cities can transform from environments that breed inequality into living spaces where everyone resides harmoniously only when we ensure safety. In safe cities, we can speak of a city where residences do not collapse, where people breathe healthily, and where they coexist freely.

With this understanding, we are working diligently with great determination to ensure safe living in Izmir. Our Urban Basins plan for Izmir constitutes the backbone of our efforts in this direction. With this plan, we outline the red lines of circular urban planning. This allows us to paint a clear picture that defines the crucial areas where we must avoid intensive development. This methodology, which we call Izmir's Urban Basins, is based on a watershed-scale planning approach. The focal point of our work is to construct a safe Izmir. With this project, we are redesigning Izmir as a safe city, encompassing resilience, food security, historical heritage, critical infrastructure, green-blue infrastructure, and demographic structures.

In line with these endeavors, we initiated work beneath the surface of Izmir. We observed that the sewer infrastructure put in place for Izmir was constructed in the past as a "combined system." Both rainwater and sewage streams were channeled through the same conduits, ultimately ending up at the Çiğli Treatment Plant. Through substantial investments, we are now segregating the rainwater pipelines from the sewage lines that lead to the treatment plant, effectively halting the discharge of sewage into the Gulf.

Prioritizing our citizens' access to clean and healthy water is another crucial aspect of our infrastructure agenda. We strategize and execute these projects with a forward-looking perspective, considering not only the present but also the future. We are providing Izmir with a drinking water infrastructure that guarantees no Izmir resident will experience water scarcity for the next fifty years, thanks to the investments made today.

Introducing the pioneering "Sponge City" approach in Türkiye, we are devising nature-oriented solutions to counteract one of the most pressing issues of our era, drought, rather than further saturating the city with concrete.

Despite the deepening economic downturn and rising costs, we are improving the infrastructure of Izmir's roads. We are constructing new roads that connect our city from the most central neighborhoods to the outermost arteries.

Aligned with our objective of ensuring a safe life, we have pioneered in Türkiye by categorizing green infrastructure as a fundamental aspect of our infrastructure initiatives. This stems from our belief that the right to breathe clean air is as crucial an infrastructure concern as access to water, roads, and transportation. We are establishing a network of interconnected green spaces in Izmir, linking the city center with the encompassing rural areas, recognized as Izmir's green infrastructure. Our green infrastructure initiative expands with the introduction of "Living Parks" in the interface area between the urban and rural areas.

A fundamental pillar of our vision for a safe city in Izmir is, of course, urban transformation. This is because the foundation of safety is laid where we have a home, where our stomachs are full, and where we lay our heads to rest. In the aftermath of the October 30 Izmir Earthquake, we recognized that minimizing potential earthquake damages hinges on an urban transformation strategy that engages all stakeholders and adheres to scientific principles. Hence, we envision Izmir as a city that not only remembers but also serves as a reminder, not one that forgets. With the urban transformation mobilization we initiated, we focused on a building stock that is earthquake-resistant and safe. Expanding across all 30 districts of Izmir, this initiative involves evaluating the earthquake preparedness of numerous structures in our city. Within the city center, urban revitalization endeavors are currently in progress, covering a combined area of 248 hectares spread across six regions.

A safe city also necessitates readiness for emergencies and disasters. In the devastating forest fire that struck Izmir in August 2019, and the earthquakes on October 30 and February 6, we were reminded once again that our fire brigade, risking their own lives, safeguarded our citizens and remains the cornerstone of our vision for a safe city. Hence, we are utilizing all available resources of our Municipality to enhance the capabilities and responsiveness of our fire brigade.

Thanks to our municipal police force, which serves as the eyes and ears of our streets, avenues, and squares, we have clear visibility and awareness of any potential disruptions to the peace of our city. Strengthening our municipal police force and taking the necessary steps are therefore of vital importance. We have, in this context, undertaken substantial efforts to expand the number of municipal police centers and build more contemporary facilities.

In our city, which bears the name of the Amazon queen Smyrna, we are engaged in extensive initiatives that give paramount importance to women's calls for justice and equality, all for the sake of a safe Izmir. Since assuming office, we have been exerting maximum effort in areas spanning from combating women's discrimination and violence to aspects like women's labor, employment, and involvement in decision-making mechanisms. Our objectives are entirely shaped by the articulated needs of women.