Built Environment

Sustainable City Research Group

Sustainable City Research Group aims to converge the disciplines that have active roles in the creation of urban environments. It is important to accommodate the City and Regional Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering Departments, whose main research topics focus on the built environment, as well as the engineering fields, social sciences and basic sciences the structure. The scope of the unit is to ensure the consideration of nature conservation/utilization balance principle during all the processes that occur in shaping urban space (housing, industry, services, public spaces, recreational areas, etc.)

Sustainable City Research Group study subjects are as follows:

  • Monitoring of urban growth and land use planning
  • Urban design
  • Housing and living areas
  • Protection of the natural environment and ecosystems
  • Renewable energy, climate change and urban development relationships
  • Urban social equity
  • City economy

The faculty of Urban and Regional Planning Department took part in research studies on various aspects of sustainable urban development, directed theses and wrote scientific papers on the subject. The department of City and Regional Planning, has important collaborations with universities in both Europe and Turkey in the field of urban research and transportation research. The department is member of Association of European Schools of Planning – AESOP, Association of Asian Schools of Planning and Turkey Association of Schools of Planning – TUPOB

Sustainable Transport Research Group

Urban transport is between different land uses and urban services the access of citizens from one point to another, or again, to move goods from point to point for the need for the city and citizens. The share of transport sector in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere is 23% in worldwide, over 35% in industrialized European countries. Moreover, other sectors such as industrial and heating, carbon dioxide emissions has reduced, however, there is a steady increase in the transport sector.

If environmental, economic and social sustainability are evaluated, the transport system has to:

  • To be environmentally sustainable, minimize the gas emissions affecting the environment and the use of non-renewable fuel, and reduce the urban sprawl,
  • To be economically viable, minimize energy use and dependence on external energy resources and minimize the costs of traffic accidents and time lost in traffic,
  • To be socially sustainable, provide accessibility for everyone, have level of costs to be paid by everyone.

Within the framework of these principles, dissemination of renewable and clean energy options for transportation, especially public transportation, giving priority to public transportation in order to reach people, not the vehicles, bringing restrictions on automobile use in cities, putting the pedestrian and bicycle transportation policies for the first priority, creation of a more balanced and highly accessible public transport system, creation of an effective transport management system with the use of new technologies, improving access to existing infrastructure for the most efficient use of citizens, implementation of development models that support public transport, bicycle and pedestrian access are the approaches can be considered as the front.

Sustainable Transport Research Group, has been established to conduct an interdisciplinary academic research to cover all areas listed above. The aims are to make national and international comparative analyzes, to establish the link between research and practice at local level, and to contribute to the shaping of local transportation policies and practices under the principle of sustainability.

Sustainable Transport Research Group, was founded under the leadership of Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of City and Regional Planning of METU.

Sustainable Building Materials and Construction Technology Research Group

The structures designed and constructed to maintain the various activities of human beings contain items that affect the natural environment and ecosystem in both the preproduction and production processes. Prior to construction, the use of materials derived from renewable resources, extracted materials without causing ecological damage, recycled materials and industrial wastes, long-lasting and low maintenance materials, long life, appropriate materials in the technical specifications and relevant legislations that will contribute to the heat performance of the building, and finally, re-use of construction elements of the structure after construction process are important issues. For example, in the cement production, which is the main raw material of concrete, the release of CO2 gas is very high. In order to reduce the resulting gas, industrial waste recycling in cement production, is of great importance in the context of sustainable building materials.

Sustainable Campus Research Group

The college campuses carry many aspects of their community, and they are the controllable places that can develop and test the daily practices, consumer habits, technological trends and forms of organization in the expected urban life-style of the future. In addition, leading of the studies and applications launched campuses throughout the community, and being an observable example, will be an important step about sustainability in terms of expected growth in the built environment. The dream of sustainable living, must be tried and developed in a sustainable campus at first.

For this reason, under the TUBITAK 1007 Support Programme for Research Projects of Public Institutions a project called "Climate Friendly College Campuses" is tried to be developed, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry as a customer. This project aims a) efficient use of energy in residential environments, b) technical innovations and concrete - physical developments and practices in the field of renewable energy technologies, c) organization of consumer behavior, and sampled a part of society for the 'sustainability' d) create new models in terms of both management and economics. Middle East Technical University, Sabanci University, 19 Mayıs University and Mugla University are working together in the project development phase. The main headings in the project are as follows: 1) the heat efficiency of buildings, 2) sustainable campus transportation, 3) solid waste and water management, 4) financing and management models of the sustainable campus, 5) dissemination activities of sustainability culture.