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LEARNING FROM HOUSING: A Retrospective Narrative of Housing Environments in North Cyprus

By : Resmiye Alpar Atun, Hifsiye Pulhan

This study attempts to assess housing developments on the island of Cyprus by referring to the various actions taken and policies implemented during different periods as a result of changing socio-economic and political dynamics. From this perspective, the methodology of the study is based on an assessment of housing developments throughout periods which coincide with certain socio-political thresholds in the history of the island, such as the year 1974, which resulted in the division of the island into two as Northern and Southern parts, and the year 2004, in which the overall setting is changed as Southern part of the island became member of EU. The overall developments and transformations in housing developments are considered as a mirror image of the actors, actions and associations in building activity throughout the periods referred to in this paper. Nicosia as the capital city of the island, has experienced different spatial transformations, and is comprised of a diversity of housing schemes ranging from the low cost housing units of urban workers, located next to the centers of traditional employment, to the large refugee housing estates and to the institutionalized social housing settlements. In this regard, the study aims to understand, interpret and learn from past experiences in the field of housing developments in order to provide lessons which will serve to support future sustainable living environments, since the current situation is at a critical point, and is currently requiring the interest and attention of the responsible authorities.
Keywords : Housing Environments, Social Housing, Cyprus, Socio-political Transformations, Sustainability.

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