SEEFOR 3 (2): 69-78
Original scientific paper
Status, Use and Management of Urban Forests in Turkey
Erdogan Atmiş 1*, H. Batuhan Günşen 1, Cengiz Yücedağ 2, Wietze Lise 3
1 Bartın University, Faculty of Forest, Bartın, Turkey
2 Bartın University, Faculty of Engineering, Bartın, Turkey
3 AF Mercados EMI, Ankara, Turkey
ATMIŞ E, BATUHAN GÜNŞEN H, YÜCEDAĞ C, LISE W 2012 Status, Use and Management of Urban Forests in Turkey. South-east Eur for 3 (2): 69-78. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15177/seefor.12-08
Background and Purpose: From the 1950s onwards the urban population in Turkey has been increasing. Today, 77% of the population is living in cities and urban conglomerates. Public expectations from forest resources have changed, together with the migration of people from rural to urban centers. Due to rapid urbanization, the expectations from green areas and forests in and near cities have increased and changed for people living in the vicinity of cities. Following the world-wide trend in providing special attention to urban forests and to meet the demand and expectations from urban forests, the General Directorate of Forestry (OGM) has begun to deal with urban forestry from 2003 onwards. There are 112 urban forests in Turkey as of 2012. Out of these 72 are in provinces and the other 40 are in counties. The aim of the study is to determine general characteristics of urban forests in Turkey, to identify similarities and differences among the urban forests and to evaluate their appropriateness for the discipline of urban forestry.
Material and Methods: Studies were conducted from the beginning of May until the end of October 2010. This study was able to collect a sufficient amount of information for only 52 of the active urban forests. In total, 35 variables were derived by a literature study and interviews. Data was assembled from the Forest Regional Directorates through OGM. Frequency, minimum, maximum and mean values of the collected variables were calculated.
Results and Conclusion: In conclusion, the analyses have focused on the general characteristics and accessibility of urban forests, urban forest infrastructure, urban forest management and urban forest services. Consequently, it was found that a standard was not reached for establishing urban forests in Turkey. Urban forests showed significant differences from each other in terms of various characteristics such as distance, accessibility, plant and animal diversity, water surfaces, facilities and infrastructure circumstances. Population and urbanization ratio were not considered in establishing and planning the related urban forests. Urban forests were mostly used for picnic and entertainment. Urban forests were not managed based on scientific and technical principles. Finally, some recommendations were presented to create a management infrastructure for urban forests in Turkey.
Keywords: administration, planning, recreation, urban forest, urban forestry, urbanization
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