RESEARCH SUMMARY DETAIL

Conservation and Revitalization of the Walled City of Famagusta

Author's Title: Revitalizing a Declining Historic Urban Quarter – The Walled City of Famagusta, North Cyprus
Author(s) Name: Naciye Doratli, Sebnem Önal Hoskara, Beser Oktay Vehbi, and Mukaddes Fasli
Year of Publication: 2007
Search Related Keywords: Influence of Culture/Ethnicity  Influence of Time  Meaning and Symbolism  Museum/Gallery/Zoo/Historic Site  Pedestrian Environment  Problem Identification/Solving 

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Design Issue
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This field study examined how the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of the Walled City of Famagusta in North Cyprus can inform conservation and revitalization efforts in the historic city.


  • Historic urban quarters hold great cultural value to a city and efforts to protect them in order to preserve cultural heritage have recently increased. Revitalization efforts have been presented as a way to help historic urban quarters serve functional purposes. However, these efforts can be complex due to the sometimes contrary goals of social and economic development and physical site and building preservation.
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Design Criteria
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Author Identified:
  • When considering revitalization for historic urban quarters, consider how the values (e.g., the cultural identity, scarcity, and resources created), types of obsolescence (i.e., factors that have contributed to deterioration), and development dynamics (i.e., factors impacting physical change in the area) act as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis) for the future of the area.
  • Develop revitalization plans that combine results from the SWOT analysis (i.e., capitalize on strengths, minimize weaknesses and threats, and take advantage of opportunities; Bryson et al., 1988) with results from traditional analysis methods (e.g., historical analysis, land-use survey, traffic and transportation survey).
  • Understand that physical and economic revitalization should be complementary to each other in order to be effective.

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Key Concepts
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  • Famagusta is the second largest city in Northern Cyprus and has a population of 27,437 (TRNC Prime Ministry, SPO Statistics and Research Department, 1996). The Walled city makes up the original, traditional core of the city. Historically, the Walled city has had many cultural influences (Lusignan, Venetian, Ottoman, British, and present-day periods). The city currently is deteriorating and is in need of revitalization.
  • values identified within the Walled City of Famagusta included a cultural identity value (remnants of the traditional city can be found), a scarcity value, and a resource value (housing stock numbers 820 traditional houses). All of these values were considered strengths of the city.
  • Physical obsolescence (many houses with poor construction) was considered a threat to the city. Functional obsolescence (e.g., inadequate parking facilities, street patterns not conducive to contemporary traffic patterns) was considered a weakness of the city. Locational obsolescence was identified in many different ways throughout the city (e.g., ownership patterns, changes in social composition, vacancy rates) which impacted whether it was characterized as a weakness, opportunity, or threat.
  • The state of development in the traditional quarter/surrounding area, the northern and southern residential areas, and the military area was declining (buildings in poor condition or vacated), representing a threat to revitalization. The state of development in the recreation/education area and the office/industrial area was static (e.g., storage buildings being used for offices, some areas causing visual pollution), representing a weakness to revitalization efforts.
  • Some external influences (e.g., attitude of authorities, community participation, planning approaches) were found to be weaknesses to revitalization. However, the existence of several universities in the area and Eastern Mediterranean University in particular, offer significant opportunities (e.g., future development can cater to students and/or faculty).
  • After analysis was complete, it was recommended that revitalization efforts be focused around restructuring the economic base in a way that supports functions that would be appealing to Eastern Mediterranean University. The historic character of the Walled City can be preserved through adaptive reuse.
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Research Method
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  • The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) derived from the values, types of obsolescence, and development dynamics in six different areas (traditional core, residential area – north, residential area – south, recreation/education area, office/industry/empty area, and military area) within the Walled City of Famagusta were assessed. 
  • Historical and location analysis, land use surveys, architectural surveys, traffic and transportation surveys, social surveys, Lynch analysis, urban pattern analysis, townscape analysis, and lost space analysis were used to collect supplementary data.
  • Multidimensional analysis and SWOT analysis were used to analyze data.
  • Revitalization recommendations for the Walled City of Famagusta were derived from the findings and the authors’ expertise.
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Limitations
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  • The authors did not identify any limitations.
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Commentary
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Tables of data and images of the Walled City were included.



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Adapted From
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Author(s): Naciye Doratli, Ph.D., professor, Department of Architecture; Sebnem Önal Hoskara, Ph.D., professor, Department of Architecture; Beser Oktay Vehbi, and Mukaddes Fasli, Ph.D., professor, Eastern Mediterranean University, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Article Title: Revitalizing a Declining Historic Urban Quarter – The Walled City of Famagusta, North Cyprus
Publisher: Locke Science Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication: Journal of Architectural and Planning Research
Publication Type: Refereed Journal
Date of Publication: 2007
ISSN: 0738-0895
Volume: 24
Issue: 1
Pages: 65-88