Seferihisar is a small town on the western coast of Turkey, situated just 50 km from Izmir, a captivating district that boasts the title of “Cittaslow”. Cittaslow is an organisation founded in Italy and was initially inspired by the slow food movement. Cittaslow’s goals include improving the quality of life in towns by slowing down its overall pace, especially in a city’s use of spaces and the flow of life and traffic. Furthermore, environmental and climate concerns have been clearly defined, and the infrastructures are either both modified or designed accordingly. Seferihisar is indicated on the map with a red sign.
The area of the town (including the fields) is 375 km2, and its population is slightly less than 60,000. The movement was initiated with the leadership of the ex-mayor (Tunc Soyer), who is the current mayor of the greater metropolitan region of Izmir. The region’s citizens understood the idea and the lifestyle, and not surprisingly, several well-educated and financially self-satisfied people immigrated to the area. This exquisite district has a rich history and is home to various civilisations. In addition to its deep-rooted history, this district boasts beautiful bays, natural wonders and fertile land.
As a part of a master plan, Seferihisar has been the number one choice of renewable energy project developers. There are several wind power and solar energy farms. Furthermore, thanks to the geothermal hot water sources in the region, hybrid power plants utilise all the available sources, including wind, solar, and geothermal.
A small community within the Seferihasar district is undoubtedly worth mentioning as they have been working on a “village” project planned to be extremely environmentally friendly, ecologisticly well balanced and self-sustained to the extent possible. The founders of this project are the graduates of “Science High School” in the sixties and seventies. Most of the participants are either engineers or medical doctors. The village has 100 villas designed to reach the maximum sustainability standards.
The houses are covered with the most efficient heat insulation materials, located at the most optimum angle to benefit from the sunshine; all the rainwater falling on the roofs is collected for watering the gardens. The electricity for the complex is purchased from the renewable energy production facilities. Over 2000 olive trees and around 1000 grapevines have been planted for their consumption, and the farming is done wholly based on organic principles.
The local municipality has been the most supportive of the project, and the plan is to replicate the idea and the project within the region. However, the major obstacle is the relatively high cost of the buildings due to the highest standards of the materials. The mentioned project could have been realized as the participants were financially well off. Support from the local or central government is undoubtedly needed in order to replicate the project at achievable costs.
The contact details of the head of the project is:
Mr Halit Gunes
+90.532 443 50 51
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Dr Semih Ergur.