Addressing the Pandemic with Urbanization Problems: The Case of Turkey

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Submission Summary
Throughout history, cities have been significantly affected by human-made or natural events such as wars, earthquakes, revolutions, and great inventions. Similarly, many small or large scale pandemics or diseases have transformed and changed cities and understandings of cities. These processes of change have brought with them new urbanization movements, utopian urban ideas, new urban models, and approaches. As the human population increases and the urbanization process begins, pandemics and their spreading speeds have started to increase in direct proportion. In this context, the Covid-19 pandemic, which left its mark on the 21st century, has ceased to be just a health crisis, it has adversely affected all aspects of urban life. With the Covid-19 pandemic, cities around the world have faced more severe health, economic and social crises than ever before. However, this circumstance occurs more acutely in certain cities of countries compared to the others. This is substantially related to the levels and approaches of urbanization, since urbanization brings along problems such as social injustice, inequality, unhealthy environment and inadequate housing areas, transportation, and infrastructure. These difficulties cause the crises experienced by the cities to increase exponentially in case of a possible pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many Turkish cities negatively, as in the whole world. This effect is especially noticeable in cities with a relatively denser and more crowded population, that is, metropolitan cities. Insufficient transportation and dense traffic between workplaces and residential areas triggered the contact; therefore, an increase in the number of cases occurred. Moreover, this situation led to lockdowns for many cities for long periods of time. In fact, all of these events are closely related to the urbanization and urban planning processes and their approaches. Therefore, it is crystal clear that there is a correlation between urbanization and pandemics. In this context, this study aims to reveal the connection between urbanization and pandemic. In other words, this paper aims to examine the relationships between the urban characteristics of cities in Turkey, such as population, employment, education, infrastructure, transportation, and housing, as well as the number of Covid-19 cases and the spreading speed. Unfortunately, as in most studies, the absence of a long-term and comprehensive dataset was the biggest limitation for this study. Despite this, understanding the tie between pandemic and urbanization in Turkey, as a country composed of cities with different urbanization histories and development experiences, can provide important inputs to the current literature. In addition, this study provides important policy recommendations for solving current urban problems and mitigating possible downsides in the future. Keywords urbanization, pandemic, covid-19, population, density, urban challenges
Submission ID :
ISO281
Submission Type
Submission Track
2: Well-being and health. Al-Fereej: caring for living conditions
Research Assistant
,
Middle East Technical University
Master Student
,
Middle East Technical University
Master Student
,
Middle East Technical University
Master Student
,
Middle East Technical University

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