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OrganisationGazi University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning




14 Nov 2019


14 Dec 2020



Project Title

The Relationship of Built Environments with Health Indicators and Quality of Life

H2020 Call Topic


One of the main reasons of existence of cities is the diversity and range of the built environments that they
cover. These environments are complex and multi-dimensional in nature. There is a significant relationship
between spatial characteristics of built environments and the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants. High-
quality, active, healthy and livable built environments can be constructed only if the structural elements of these
environments can be dichotomized and the relationship between socio-economic characteristics and physical
attributes can be explained thoroughly.
The main hypothesis of this project is that the physical constituents of built environments, such as
characteristics of land use and site selection of various urban services, density of the built environment, the
morphological and topological characteristics of street networks, spatial distribution of urban resources and
services have significant impact on physical activity and social interaction levels of their inhabitants, body mass
indices, mental health and wellbeing. The main goals of this project are to identify the internal relations within
and across built environments through analyzing the physical attributes of built environments, street network
morphometrics and land use characteristics, population density, socio-economic characteristics of inhabitants,
and various health indicators at different geographical scales (such as physical activity, obesity and non-
communicable chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, depression), and to generate an
evidence-based study within the framework of community participatory model and with an urban vision of high
quality and satisfacting, healthy environments.
In order to reach the principles of sustainable urban development and active cities, aside from the physical
characteristics and facility attributes, the new built environment should be socially and physically integrated.
This would generate high physical quality, socially and economically beneficial built environments, where people
can easily access these environments, both individual and communal interests are important, and sense of
belonging is significantly high. For these reasons, urban planning policies, plans and strategies at various
geographical levels should be evaluated along with comprehensive analyses of past trends and present urban
attributes. These analyses at various geographical levels will be assessed in relation to street network
morphology and its connectivity, betweenness, closeness characteristics.
In Turkey, the number of studies that have examined the physical activity levels across urban built environments
except for rural/urban division is limited. In our project, various indicators of urban life and quality of life will
be examined at various geographical levels (regional, provincial, and neighborhood level (for Ankara)) and the
subjective evaluation of individuals in selected neighborhoods will also be inquired. With these qualifications,
our study will set an example for future studies. These various geographical level analyses will be interrelated
using spatial statistical analyses (stratification, clustering etc).
The theoretical approach used in this study is relational and multi-dimensional. Quality of life scales and the
relations across selected variables will be analyzed using various spatial statistical methods and these analyses
will be linked to the behavioral patterns of individuals. The results of these analyses will be helpful both at
broader scale with regional and urban health policies and at smaller scale where urban infrastructure strategies
and spatial design principles can be specified.
The project covers 1 main project and 3 sub-projects complying with the 3 basic dimensions and 3 basic
frameworks of the project call. All analyses at various geographical scales include the objective/material
attributes of built environments, and analyze past trends, current conditions along with future expectations. In
particular, the first subproject of the main project covers the analyses of the relationships within the built
environment. The first subproject offers an overall analysis of indicators related to the characteristics of the
built environments across regions and provinces in Turkey. The main project covers Ankara’s metropolitan area,
and, in this project, the intra-city relations will be analyzed. The second subproject offers a subjective
evaluation of quality of life in built environments along with the proposal of a community participatory model. In
coordination with all three project packages, the goal of the forth subproject will be to focus on proposition of
implementation and monitoring of urban public policies aiming to create physically active, high-quality built
environments. The dissemination impact of this subproject across local governments will be enhanced with the
participation of Ministry of Health of Turkey, General Directorate of Public Health, Department of Healthy Diet
and Physical Activity.

Expertise sought/offered

Technology use in Urban Health, Public Health, Spatial Analysis and Modelling. We would like to seek various outlets
to extend our idea in European countries. This would offer us a platform for comparison and knowledge/expertise
exchange. We would be delighted if there is a slight chance that we could import some already established
European implementations to Turkey and also offer a scope for analysis from our country to European counterparts.

Tasks offered/requested

* Perform statistical analyses
* Dissemination/communication activities
* Organise/host training
* Design a business plan

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