Ankara (1929-35)- Theoretical Influences & Planning Principles- Part 5: Comparison with Modernist Urban Planning
In era of modernism, while a generation of architects and urban planner has initiated campaigns like garden city movement, city beautiful movement, Arts and Crafts movement, etc., reestablishing city with humanity and environments, another group has risen to embrace the power of industrialization. Organization & Transportation, Formation of Community, and Attitude toward the Historical Fibers.
This section is intended to discuss the historical significance of Hermann Jansens’s initial planning by comparing to the other trend in urban design theory concerning industrialization referring to Le Corbusier’s ‘Ville Radieuse’ (The Radiant City) (1933) in four aspects: Urban Expansion & Scale,
Concerning the urban expansion and scale, there has been a significant difference in ideology between. While Jansen’s proposed has divided the city into serval zones and controlled the height of buildings to preserve the city historical profile, a scattered development populated with houses has been taken in Ankara.
Meanwhile, radiant City, in face of housing problem in Europe after WWI, took advantage of industrialization and prefabrication to populate people in high-density city with skyscapes. In Le Corbusier proposal, it contained the monolithic mega-skyscrapers, each reaching a height of 200 meters and accommodating five to eight hundred thousand people, and pre-fabricated apartment buildings, known as “Unités.”, accommodating 2,700 inhabitants each and functioning as a vertical village.
Consequently, while Ankara planning has taken a horizontal expansion in urban context, preserving low density dwelling, radiant city has emphasized on its verticality in high-density form with massive housings.
For the zoning principles, in light of horizontal expansion pattern, Ankara has been divided into serval zones, with consideration of typographical, circulation and historical factors, connected by a long-span and irregular railway system. Radiant city has been organized in a linear manner, with a strict division of the city into segregated commercial, business, entertainment and residential areas. A vast underground system of trains system
haurban-development-of-ankara-from-planned-development-to-urban-renewals been constructed to connect. Given the high density, distance between districts could be reduced and transportation within city was more direct.
As for attitude toward formation of community, while in Jansen’s proposal, housings has been placed much importance in construction of a better community, concerning the idea of accessibility, environment and communal spaces. Variety of housings has been made according the neighborhood conditions.
In radiant city, however, citizens are mainly populated by pre-fabricated apartment buildings, known as “Unités.”. Served as a vertical village, communal life of dwellers has been catered by standardized facilities inside buildings, like laundry facilities, kindergartens and pools on roof, and public parks between Unités, allowing residents with a maximum of natural daylight, a minimum of noise and recreational facilities at their doorsteps. Given the high-density and large-size neighborhood, understanding on communal life would be much more opened than Hermann’s.
For attitude toward historical city, in Ankara initial planning, Hermann has shown a respectful attitude toward historical context in the initial planning of Ankara, by preserving and centering the old town as the commercial hub of the new development. Hermann’s urban plan has taken historical context as the origin of the city development.
On the contrary, Radiant City has been an ideal proposal on the grounds of demolished vernacular European cities. Its planning contained only prefabricated and identical high-density skyscrapers, spread across a vast green area and arranged in a Cartesian grid, allowing the city to function as a “living machine.” Importance of the historical city fibers and typographic condition were not included in the discussion of this urban scheme.
From the above comparison, as a historical European city, It was welcomed Ankara, even under the newly formed government of Turkey which was desperate to be differentiated from the old empire, has been designed in such a humanized approach, instead of solely purchasing efficiency and modernization in cosmopolitan city to preserve the city. Among the trend of building city with prefabricated modules, Jansen’s urban design ideology has set an alternative to interpret urban living with adaptive elements and flexibility organization to maintain a town living environment with modernized urban mechanism,