Stating that wall garden applications require a very serious cost and that it is not an environmentally friendly project as it seems, Prof. Dr. Yasin Çağatay Seçkin said that they started their graffiti works in areas that were removed and require renovation. Drawing attention to the fact that 45 thousand square meters of active green space can be built at the cost of 400 thousand square meters of green wall in Istanbul, Seçkin said, “. From now on we will sometimes continue with this kind of art work. "We will continue to maintain our green walls in areas where there is sometimes soil."
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) initiated the "Speaking Walls Project", which has been ongoing since 2010 but with the aim of transforming the wall garden (green wall) applications on highways with limited ecological benefits and heavy economic burden. Kadıköy He introduced it to the public at a press conference held in Fikirtepe.
Head of IMM Park Garden and Green Areas Department Prof. Dr. Yasin Çağatay Seçkin stated that they are investigating how they can save costs in landscaping works in Istanbul and how they can be used more effectively, and said that they started to transform the green walls that require renovation as a first step.
"GREEN WALLS ARE BORED WITH THE ECOSYSTEM"
Stating that they examined 45 thousand square meters of green wall areas in Istanbul one by one and determined how much maintenance and expense should be done on which one, Seçkin said:
“We have seen that all these green walls, which we call vertical gardens by the highways, cost Istanbul 12 million lira annually for maintenance. Of this 12 million lira, 4 million consists of plant costs and 8 million of it from pesticide and fertilizer costs. In other words, these walls caused a serious chemical spraying and a great problem in terms of the ecosystem. We didn't just look at it economically. We realized that we can turn these places into more valuable areas in terms of ecosystem. These walls were untouchable, only visually impacting people from a distance. In the calculations we made, we realized that instead of 45 thousand square meters of vertical garden, we could build 400 thousand square meters of active green space with the same money. For this reason, we started to remove the walls that were dismantled or had to be dismantled and rebuilt because there were problems behind them. In this way, our maintenance costs started to decrease significantly. "
DOES NOT PROVIDE SOUND INSULATION
Drawing attention to their research on the air quality and sound insulation relationships of green walls, Seçkin stated that these plants do not provide sound insulation outdoors, but this is only possible by creating a 5-10 meter wide tree strip. Stating that they are carrying out these afforestation works on highway slopes, Seçkin said, “Plants on green walls are constantly changed because they grow under stress in a very small amount of soil. There is actually a living creature here and it is not satisfied with its environment at all. We continue green wall applications where there is soil with ivy and ground cover plants that can withstand the stress of air pollution. "Our aim is to produce sustainable, ecologically, technically and economically correct solutions in harmony with the ecosystem as much as possible."
Seçkin underlined that they opened the walls to art activities in areas where greening is not ecological and economical, and said, “The situation of art and artists during the epidemic period is also evident. We are in an effort to bring such walls to a visual quality in cooperation with our artists. We do this through sponsors. "As we get rid of maintenance costs, we do not allocate any resources from the IMM budget for this study."
THE PROJECT STARTED IN FIKIRTEPE WILL CONTINUE IN ALTUNIZADE
Reminding that the wall at the side of Fikirtepe E-5 Highway needed a serious maintenance and they took over the area from the previous period with the plants removed, Seçkin continued his words as follows:
“As you can see, we are on the edge of the E-5 Highway. All the work done on highways must be suitable for these conditions and traffic flow. It's not easy to look at the green wall in motion, so it also generated traffic. Instead of turning this wall into a green wall again, we wanted to use it with such an artistic activity. From now on we will sometimes continue with this kind of art work. Sometimes we will maintain our green walls in areas with land. First of all, we carry out projects on the walls that need to be renovated. For example, if you look closely, the carcass behind the green wall in Altunizade is completely rotten. These are iron profiles and problems in the irrigation system are damaging. First of all, we started this art work in areas where we will completely renew its back. The wall behind us was painted with the sponsorship of Jotun. All paint and artist costs were covered by themselves. From now on, we will carry out similar studies through sponsors. "
ARTISTS ARE VERY SATISFIED WITH THE PROJECT
Stating that he has been making graffiti on the streets for about 20 years, the artist with the pseudonym Eskreyn stated that he is a graduate student of Mimar Sinan University sculpture department. He said that it is a composition composed of 19 meaningful words such as neighbor, home, peace, sharing, child, nature, seed, green.
Eskreyn said, “I wanted to make a very promising work due to the coronavirus quarantine. While I was editing this, I did it by emulating Sabri Berkel, one of the important masters of Turkish painting. I thought his style was a very precious expression for Istanbul. "It is a very nice feeling to paint Istanbul, which attracts the attention of the world."