Olivelo Ecological Life Park is Born with a Participatory Approach

olivelo ecological life park is born with a participatory understanding
olivelo ecological life park is born with a participatory understanding

In line with the goal of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer to create “Living Parks” where the people of Izmir will integrate with nature and forests, the Olivelo Ecological Life Park project continues in Güzelbahçe Yelki. In the process carried out with non-governmental organizations, local people, experts and ecologists with an appropriate and participatory approach, the experiences of the citizens working as shepherds in the region were also included in the project.

In line with the goal of creating 2,5 million square meters of new green space in the city, which is among the election promises of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, work continues for the Olivelo Ecological Life Park, which will be one of the important links of the “35 Living Park” project. With an on-site and participatory approach, non-governmental organizations, local people, experts and ecologists go to the region to conduct workshops, and determine walking and cycling routes. The Metropolitan Municipality also came together with the citizens of the region who earn their living by shepherding. In the workshop held to transfer the experiences of the shepherds to the project, the areas where the shepherds graze the goats and sheep were visited. Workshop, production and design works will continue during the 6-month project work, after which the park will be opened to visitors.

Shepherds supported the project

Ahmet Çetin, who is a livestock breeder in the region, stated that this profession was inherited from his ancestors and expressed his happiness that they were also asked for their opinions within the scope of the project, and said, “It is pleasing that our region and natural beauties will be opened to all people. People will come here and spend time in touch with nature. I would like to thank the Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality for this project. The shepherd named Yakup Serçe said that it is very nice that this project will bring people and nature together.

There will be a sightseeing and cycling route

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, which has determined many different areas such as Gediz Delta, Yamanlar Mountain, Flamingo Nature Park, Meles Valley for the 35 Living Parks to be established on the IzMiras excursion route, and started the planning studies for each area, has a 57-hectare special area in Güzelbahçe Yelki within the scope of the Olivelo Ecological Wildlife Park project. It will preserve the natural texture of the area, raise awareness about the olive (Delice Olive), which is the cultural and natural heritage of the region, and combine the region with the European Cycle Routes Network (EuroVelo) to make it an important bicycle station. With the workshops to be held in the area, the region will make significant contributions to the urban culture in terms of production, economy, ecological values ​​and life practices. The important goal of the project was determined as raising awareness for the natural values ​​of the region by maintaining a sustainable, ecological, less intervention and more protection together with the on-site, participatory and sharing process. In this area, there is a total of 11 berry, mostly olive, pineapple, Anatolian Bonito, and red pine.

The design was determined by a national competition

Izmir Metropolitan Municipality opened a design competition in 2019 for the Olivelo Ecological Common Living Area project. As a result of the jury evaluations, the team consisting of Architect Ömer Selçuk Baz, Architect Doğu Kaptan, Landscape Architect Zeynep Hagür Sorguç and Landscape Architect Ata Turak won the first prize in the competition attended by 43 teams. The basis of the project proposed by the team for the competition is to preserve and develop the natural texture and setting of the area, and to limit the human presence in the area to the point of being a temporary visitor, an observer.

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