Building Resilient Cities with a Human-Centered Approach: Konya Model
BASIC CITY DATA
· Population size: 2300000
· Population Growth Rate(%): 8.45
· Surface Area (sq. km): 42000
· Population Density (people/sq.km): 59
· GDP Per Capita (U.S.$): 8066
· GINI Index:
· URL/Webpage of your local government and your initiative: https://www.konya.bel.tr/
· Main Source of Prosperity (e.g. industry, trade, tourism, creative industry, etc.): Agriculture, industry, tourism
Türkiye is located in a region with a high earthquake risk. Therefore, Konya Metropolitan Municipality (KMM) aims to build resilient and safe cities in the face of potential future earthquakes. In this context, KMM, which has been actively involved in these efforts and expanded its resources, conducted dedicated work in Hatay City after the devastating earthquakes in February 2023, demonstrating its commitment to the goal. Adopting a human-centered approach, Konya supported search and rescue operations in the earthquake areas and undertook the responsibility of addressing urgent needs. Along with the provision of urgent needs including shelter, clean food, and water, prioritizing and providing dental and optical care was what distinguishes KMM’s efforts as an innovative initiative. The Municipality dispatched resources such as the Solar Mobile Charging Station, Mobile Eyeglasses Truck, and Mobile Dental Care Truck, offering prompt and quality services to the earthquake victims in the areas that tend to be overlooked in terms of urgency. However, the number of citizens admitting to these mobile care centers has proven their urgency and effectiveness.
Legal regulations regarding disasters and emergencies in Türkiye are provided by various laws and by-laws. These regulations cover matters including preventing disasters before they happen; responding and coordinating during disasters; and damage assessment, recovery, and reconstruction. According to Municipal Law no. 5393 in Türkiye, municipalities are entrusted with preparing emergency plans and building teams and equipment. In this context, KMM has the opportunity both to fulfill its role in internal politics and to support the Sendai Framework (2015) and the Sustainable Development Goals through the Resilient City Project it has carried out.
This initiative aims to optimize and broaden the service provision in the face of disasters and emergencies by putting time and effort into preparing for the issues that are seemingly of secondary importance through comprehensive planning. The extent of preparations is what the team needs to focus on within the framework of disaster management as the local government tends to limit the service provision to the basic survival needs. The team believes that the improvement in service quality and variety, even during the most challenging times, can be achieved through learning from our experiences.
Earthquakes significantly affect the local government and their employees, which often leads to a loss in their ability to respond to emergencies effectively. This project aims to strengthen inventories and legal frameworks, expanding the scope of urgent needs (dental care, optical care, entertainment for kids, etc.). With efficient planning in advance, the team would have the capacity to address them all without having to scale down. Prioritizing human-centered policies is crucial to mitigating disaster impacts and meeting essential needs post-disaster. In this regard, KMM, through the Building Resilient Cities with a Human-Centred Approach Project, strives to enhance its inventories within two years while supporting the reconstruction of earthquake-affected cities.
With the aim of building disaster-resilient cities and encouraging sustainable development, the principle of this initiative is to renew our approach and update our capacities accordingly. Therefore, the initiative is innovative in its essence. Besides the fundamental shift in the prioritization mentioned above, the implementation process also involves innovative elements. Early warning, prediction, and reaction capacity will be improved with the help of high-tech systems such as geographical information systems, smart city technologies, and real-time monitoring systems. Moreover, innovative approaches such as sustainable finance models and cooperation with various stakeholders will be adopted, thus presenting a model practice for building disaster-resilient and sustainable buildings.
The capacity and inventories of the currently operating Disaster Coordination Centre within Konya Metropolitan Municipality will be improved. In this regard, the Department of Disaster Affairs has been established within the Municipality. All the departments within the Municipality, central government, NGOs, and other actors in the region will work in collaboration, and the human-centered post-disaster development will be endorsed. Policies and procedures encouraging flexible budget management and innovative projects will allow the Municipality to be more prepared and more responsive to a variety of needs of people in the face of disasters.
Within the scope of its endeavors in Hatay, KMM has collaborated with other local authorities, NGOs, and local units of central government. With this initiative, the team is striving to achieve a comprehensive, inclusive, and effective disaster management tool. To fulfill this goal, this project needs as much input as possible to thoroughly address the needs of the victims in the most effective and comprehensive way. Partnerships for a better outcome are inevitable in this regard. Konya's human-centered approach facilitated resilient and inclusive urban development. Through collaboration, Konya supported post-disaster reconstruction, championing a holistic vision for a better urban future.
Konya Metropolitan Municipality can support the relief operations by allocating funds from its budget. Moreover, the financial aid coming through the national relief organizations can also play a key role in implementing the support programs. In terms of human resources, mobilizing the personnel of the Municipality specialized in emergency management, disaster aid, and humanitarian aid, as well as volunteers among the citizens and different professional chambers in the city has proven to be an effective way.
Communication equipment, devices for data collecting and analyzing, and logistical support can be listed among the resources that can be attained through partnerships.
Konya Metropolitan Municipality can further strengthen the capacity and impact of the aid services by cooperating with stakeholders such as other local authorities, NGOs, universities, and the private sector. The cooperation will allow the resources to be combined, the experiences to be shared and the overall impact to be increased.
Previous experiences of Konya Metropolitan Municipality in disaster management and fund of knowledge in humanitarian aid are a great resource for the effective design and implementation of aid programs.
The initiative launched by Konya Metropolitan Municipality in the aftermath of the February 2023 earthquakes reflects a combined approach that incorporates both evolutionary and revolutionary characteristics.
The evolutionary approach has drawn upon past experiences to develop a human-centered resilient city model. The mobile trucks (for dental care, optical care, food provision, and for kids) dispatched to the region by Konya Metropolitan Municipality have shown that they were almost as much needed as the urgent aid materials, yet, they have not been considered such so the preparations in that regard were lacking. Availability of public services has been the team’s motive in developing such mobile tools and they have also been useful during such a disaster. As the regular service provision tools evolve, so should the project’s preparations for emergencies and disasters. The revolutionary aspect involves an elaboration in the scope of priorities and the integration of various stakeholders in order to implement them effectively. The collaboration among local administrations, NGOs, and the central government to ensure a coordinated disaster management system represents a new paradigm within the sector. This collaborative effort has established an all-encompassing disaster management approach that leaves no one behind. Efforts are underway to further support these collaborations within a legal framework. Additionally, technological and innovative approaches also embody revolutionary features. Utilizing new technologies like Geographic Information System integration and Mobile Trucks has diverged from traditional methods, offering a more effective disaster response.
In conclusion, Konya Metropolitan Municipality's initiative utilizes revolutionary methods and
means for evolutionary progress.
DESIRED CHANGE OR OUTCOME
The relief operations that have been carried out in Hatay have improved the life quality of the earthquake victims, strengthened public solidarity, increased the effectiveness of emergency management, and became a support model. Bringing the issues of vital importance that affect the life quality of citizens to the foreground and addressing them in times of crises are the changes we would like to made. Therefore, the project will continue to adopt a human-centered approach to build a more resilient and prepared city and to improve the inventories accordingly.
The data collected to assess the project's impact include indicators such as the degree of satisfaction in meeting the basic needs of survivors, improvement in their life quality, level of social cohesion, and the effectiveness of emergency management. Conducted by local authorities and experts, the result of the assessment is shared among stakeholders including the local and central governments, NGOs, and national agencies. Indicators such as gender, age, income, and disability are noted to address inequalities and promote inclusivity. These insights will shape the future aid strategies and enhance disaster management effectiveness, ensuring a comprehensive approach.
This initiative’s efforts initially focused on Hatay, a city directly affected by the earthquakes, especially the vulnerable communities such as children, the elderly, women, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities. The initiative aims to meet the specific needs of these groups byproviding essential services and supporting their psychological well-being. This post-disaster recovery process is designed to be inclusive and tailored to their needs, ensuring that they receive appropriate and comprehensive support.
Through the team’s relief efforts in Hatay, the initiative has directly aided over sixty thousand citizens and indirectly supported around one million six hundred thousand residents of Hatay. One hundred and sixty-eight earthquake survivors from the rubble were successfully rescued by the emergency personnel. Dental care was provided to four thousand three hundred and forty-three survivors, while eye care services were extended to three thousand three hundred and nineteen citizens.
RELEVANCE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Provide basic services for all citizens
Ensure that all citizens have access to equal opportunities and face no discrimination
Promote measures that support cleaner cities
Strengthen resilience in cities to reduce the risk and the impact of disasters
Fully respect the rights of refugees, migrants, and internally displaced persons regardless
of their migration status