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Women and Post Earthquake Housing: a Participatory Model for Community Development

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  • Community Development
  • Earthquake Housing
  • Women
  • Design
  • Political Science


In Turkey housing phenomena has gained a great importance in the last few years. Women, as a person who spend most amount of time in the dwelling have also been in the agenda of various research projects in recent years. This study aims to constitute a model of design and application within the frame of the idea of increasing effect of women’s role in their everyday environment; to make an opportunity to have a place in planning, design and construction levels and to be aware of the processes. The earthquakes that struck the Marmara Region in 1999 were the most destructive earthquakes in Turkey, affecting the most highly industrialized and densely populated region of the country. Hundreds of families, who did not qualify for government housing credit (renters and people with undefined tenure status before the earthquake) still live in the places which they’ve fund with their personal efforts, have unhealthy dwelling and settlement conditions. Within this model which is directly focused on involving women to the housing processes, it’s planned to work with cooperatives established by women who have common productions, with the help of FSWW after 1999 Marmara earthquakes. The paper summarizes the findings of the research project, which is planned to work with these women and their families; analyzing the social structure, family backgrounds, define their relation with their “homes” and -related with the future projects- informing about the application processes. It is proposed a partnership study that would explore ways to develop housing for these women's groups. Strengthening the capacity of these organizations increases women’s ability to find ways of meeting their own needs and of contributing to community development, while they are developing values, which would help them play a positive role in their own society. This would, not only meet the needs of hundreds of households, but also help develop a model for promoting women's roles in housing/redevelopment processes in Turkey, as well as elsewhere.

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