Cumalikizik Village Urban Design Project

Cumalikizik is a 700 years old Ottoman village, founded on the northern slope of Uludag, along with other “kizik” villages. Today, it is part of the Yildirim district of the city of Bursa. In 2014, Cumalikizik was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Currently, Cumalikizik faces a lot of problems, due to extensive tourism. It is possible to divide these problems under three categories: Circulation, commerce, and architecture.

In terms of circulation, Cumalikizik Village is very problematic. Touristic buses and private cars block the entrance of the village. There is a lack of parking, especially in busy days. Tourists are concentrated in several areas and don’t discover the rest of the village. Connections between the village and surrounding agricultural areas, as well as other “kizik” villages are undefined.

In terms of commerce, Cumalikizik Village faces the risk of losing its authenticity. Goods for sale are no longer local and original, but low-quality imitations. Moreover, there is a lock of hygiene and control.

In terms of architecture, Cumalikizik Village is under the threat of losing its inheritance. Illegal additions both decrease the legibility of the original village pattern and damage existing buildings.

Here, our aim was to develop a comprehensive urban design project that would attempt to find solutions to these problems.

First, we pedestrianized the roads that cross the cemetery and reach the central square, Egrek. Then, we extended the natural stone pavement along the main traffic axis that traverses the village’s northern edge. This way, we were able to control and slow down the traffic. Moreover, we formed new parking areas, north of this main road. Also, we defined new walking and trekking trajectories for pedestrians, both in the center and towards agricultural areas and neighboring villages.

We designed a new covered bazaar building, right across the entrance of the village. Besides its commercial function, the building includes a visitor center and service areas including restrooms, prayer rooms, a storage space and a technical room. The stallholders invading Egrek Square will be relocated in this building. This way, it will be possible to cleanse the square from illegal additions and increase the legibility of the original pattern.

Finally, Cumalikizik Urban Design Project is a teamwork consisting of two architectural offices, Per Se and Yalin, as well as graphic and industrial design teams. Graphic design team designed an identity for the village, while the industrial design team created new souvenirs that would reflect that identity.

CLIENTBursa Metropolitan Municipality
BUILT AREA1.520 m2
COLLABORATIONYalin, Pompaa, Kilit Tasi