Today, more than half of the World population and about 75% of Turkish population lives in cities. That’s why cities play a key role on basic needs of human beings from drinkable water to healthy air, and in general, on the life quality. How we want a city has become in fact directly related to how we want to lead our lives.
For this reason, TEMA Foundation issued a call to candidate mayors prior to the local elections that will take place in March 2014.
With this call, TEMA lists its demands following our basic right for a healthy environment:
1. Protecting Farm Lands: A rapidly growing population causes pressure for construction on agricultural lands around the cities. Because of rapidly growing constructions, we lose our thousand years old fertile soil.
TEMA Foundation requests, for sustainable living, areas close to agricultural land not to be opened for construction. Preservation of agricultural land is a guarantee to food security.
2. Protecting Natural and Cultural Heritages: It is important for cities to protect their natural and cultural heritage.
TEMA Foundation requests that, during the evolution and transformation period of the cities, Municipalities have to carry their responsibilities to protect this heritage and structure. .
3. Protecting Green Areas: Green areas constitute the link between people and nature and it regulates the balance between these two. Green areas also help to recover human’s life quality.
TEMA Foundation requests that, Green areas are not places for construction and they must be protected.
4. Waste Management and Environmental Protection: Although it’s important to have storage and all other waste management facilities in the city, it’s also important to choose their locations wisely and not close to cities and forests.
5. Adaptation to Climate Change: We witness the effects of climate Changes all around Turkey and the world. There has been an increase in observed flood and drought which affects our lives and causes a great deal of soil loss.
TEMA Foundation requests that, for combating the climate change and adaptation, new ways of sustainable transportation and energy conservation have to be found and renewable energy and improved waste management facilities have to be supported.
6. Provide Sustainable Transportation: Transportation policies, because of the pressing problems of air pollution and traffic in the cities, are of outmost importance in terms of quality of life.
TEMA Foundation requests public transportation systems to be improved, holistic plan of various transportation kinds to be developed and bicycle usage to be promoted in cities..
7. Improve Urban Infrastructure: Urban infrastructure plays very important role on healthy growing cities and improving quality of life.
TEMA Foundation requests our water to be protected, water channels to be improved to prevent leakages, electricity distribution networks to be improved for energy efficiency and saving, an innovative method to be developed to prevent the mixing of rainwater with sewage..
8. Healthy Cities: In Turkey there has been a really fast evolution and transformation in all cities.
TEMA Foundation requests protection and improvement of green areas in the cities and ecological concerns to be integrated in city planning.
9. Ensure Active Participation of Stakeholders in Decision Making: Municipalities should take decisions with the involvement of all interested Parties.
TEMA Foundation requests that, to prevent environmental problems, local administrations should adopt environmental participation and ban projects with potential harm to environment.
10. Establish Ecologically Literate Municipalities: Ecological Literacy helps people to understand the Nature, to learn nature’s principles and to communicate with nature.
TEMA Foundation dreams of Ecologically Literate Municipalities.