The Revitalising Historic Urban Quarters: A case of the Samanbahce UNESCO World Heritage in Nicosia

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTV11IS090078

Download Full-Text PDF Cite this Publication

Text Only Version

The Revitalising Historic Urban Quarters: A case of the Samanbahce UNESCO World Heritage in Nicosia

Rahuma Eltaggaz

Department of Architecture,

Near East University, Yakin Dougu Bulvari, Northern Cyprus, Mersin 10, Turkey.

Huriye Gurdalli

Department of Architecture,

Near East University, Yakin Dougu Bulvari, Northern Cyprus, Mersin 10, Turkey.

AbstractRevitalization aims at imparting new life or re- establish a fresh and active condition in an area or region; reforming an existing city and its organization, is referred to as urban revitalization. Neighbourhoods might decline in several aspect as a result of monetary or societal problem. a , is an ancestral residential district with a difference on the horizon of Kyrenia Avenue in Nicosia's Walled City, is prominent for its extraordinary architectural, physical and urban factors, erected by the British in 1930's. The Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçehas been renovated in the past, but it is still experiencing from both social and physical environmental decay. This study aims at assessing the impact of the revitalisation aspects of the Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçe in Nicosia. The Historic Urban quarters was analysed using both narrative literature review and field interview and photos taken from Samanbahçe neighbourhood. The results shows there is cultural discontinuity, minimal youth population, unemployment and migration issues related with the economic and gentrification problems in Samanbahçe neighbourhood. Therefore, there is need to rehabilitate and revitalise The Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçe in Nicosia both socially, physically and economically.

Keywords: Revitalisation; Historic Urban Quarters; Samanbahçe; UNESCO; World Heritage; Nicosia.


    Revitalization aims at imparting new life or re-establish a fresh and active condition in an area or region; reforming an existing city and its organization, particularly in the city areas, is referred to as urban revitalization. Modifications to the city settings, especially the circumstances of the pavement and the functionality of the sidewalks, are extensive factors of urban rehabilitation programs. The memorable municipal environment provides an architectural connections to people's pasts, broadens their feeling of community, local and national personality, and gives the identity and originality that is crucial to an optimistic a sense of belonging [1]. Which also bring more appraisal, not only as a means of cultural enrichment, but also as a means of economic enrichment, captivating internal investment, playing a vibrant role in many enterprises such as tourism By assisting communities in their regeneration, community cohesion, and education goals to enhance social development and "sustainable economically" to the communities [2], [3].

    Nicosia's urbanization began with the division of the city [4], which led to a low wave for the Walled City of Nicosia.

    Scarcity of personal enterprise, vacant properties of high portion low rents and breakdown of the city's environmental virtue have resulted in a decrease in population, high attention of civil problems, loss of commercial activities and availability of jobs, improper uses and migration changes. Samanbahçe, an ancestral residential district with a difference on the horizon of Kyrenia Avenue in Nicosia's Walled City, is prominent not only for its extraordinary architectural, physical and urban factors, moreover for subsisting the island's early mass housing area, in 1930's erected by the British. The goal of conservation should be matched with these components in order to keep the historic urban environment liveable, taking into account the three-dimensional sustainability process (physical, social and economic). Conservation policies in the past have advanced from a modest with preservation to a tremendous interest and restrictive with resurgence and enhancement. This implies that rejuvenation may be fleeting and unsustainable. During the renewal process, historic settings become the primary areas of gentrification caused by urban renewal, which may come at a societal cost. The study deduces that gentrification helps to protect historic settings (Environments) [5]. Gentrification is the modification of a poor urban neighbourhood by rich people moving in and upgrading residences as well as luring new structures, as a result displacing the current poor residents away from the neighbourhood. Urban renewal initiatives commonly encompasses enhancing forms of the urban settings, such as the integrity of pavement and the functionality of the sidewalks. Traditional historic urban quarters are one-of-a-kind areas with mostly unique and uniform architectural, cultural, and historic significance. However, they have a high level of architectural, urban, social, and environmental deterioration with an increase in the number of people living below the economical margins. A boost in the ancient community with insufficient revenue, dereliction of houses by the economic large districts of neighbourhood, and traditional economic activity disappearance. The urban areas originally and the coalition of Nicosia later ensued in a low wave of Nicosia walled city Cyprus city capital, generating a population decrease, increased engagement of sociable crises, loss of employment and commercial activities, improper use and changes of settlers, low rents, a large number of abandoned properties, a lack of private activity, and deterioration of the environment all contribute to the city's decline. Samanbahçe is a classic residential area unlike any other at the horizon of an avenue in the Walled City of Nicosia called Kyrania Avenue, is a special destination not only because of its distinctive physical, urban,

    and architectural characteristics, but also because it was the first mass housing area built on the island in the 1930s by the British [6]. Despite its precinct to the Walled City's vibrant area, the Samanbahçe region is still undergoing some physical and social deterioration, despite the execution of the "Partnership for Future Union funded by the Europeans. Revitalization project, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) oversaw the project, which was finished in 2004.

    The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of the revitalisation aspects of the Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçe in Nicosia. In order to revitalise Samanbahçe a series of urban revitalization process will have to be followed. These urban revitalization process when imparted in the Historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe will be discussed here is of a great importance to both the economy and the social status of the indigenous people living in this neighbourhood.


    In order to achieve this goal, the paper will first provide a comprehensive theoretical examination of the essential terms of urban sustainability, redevelopment and indications of long- term sustainability. Second, the procedure for creating long- term indicators of urban renewal will be discussed. The article will then concentrate on the residential neighbourhood of Samanbahçe and assess its level of persistence, providing recommendations for its future growth and rejuvenation. The article will conclude with some recommendations for the area's long-term regeneration. The study approach given in this work is based on quantitative methodologies, such as observational, physical, functional, interview and sociological analysis on site, but with a primary focus on reviewing preious literatures using traditional literature review process. The goal of this literature review is simple: to educate in-depth on the Revitalizing Historic Urban Area of Nicosia and to comprehend the literature before making any decisions or reasons. Many types of literature reviews have existed for a long time, but there are four primary types: narrative or traditional, meta-synthesis systematic, and meta-analysis [7]. Due to time constraints and the fact that it is also a good method to assess the revitalisation of the historic quarters of Samanbahçe using other past literatures that assess the quality of life and rehabilitation of the neighbourhood in the walled city of Nicosia, this research will use a traditional type of literature review mixed with personal interview and observations.

    The questions this research is going to address are:

    1. Are the people that live in Samanbahçe from the local citizens?

    2. Does the rich people living there forces the local poor people to leave the neighbourhood?

    3. Are lack of employment and economic problems causing migration from this neighbourhood?

    4. Are the urban decay the problem that causes the inhabitants of Samanbahçe to leave the area?

    5. Was the area lacking urban furniture and social amenities?

      1. Location

    Cyprus' first social housing project was this neighbourhood of whitewashed terraced homes off Girne Caddesi. The 70

    (seventy) buildings were built in the first twentieth century using local resources and taking into account the island's climatic ailments, emerging in typical mud-brick walls and hasir (thatched reed) ceilings [8]. Today, Samanbahçe was having little lanes decorated with pots of geraniums, gerberas, and creeping vines. Samanbahçe, or "straw area," is presumed to have been one of numerous playgrounds used by people of the Walled City to raise fruit and vegetables. Samanbahçe was transformed into a social housing complex as the demand for housing improved. Although the precise year is unspecified, articles reveal that by 1894, Samanbahçe had been substantially established during the British administration and was assisting as social housing. The project was created in stages and was completed in 1955 [6]. The Samanbahçe area is around 2000 square meters in size and is located on the northern outskirts of Nicosia's walled city, adjacent to Kyrenia Avenue and the Quirini Bastion. It's a one-of-a-kind area with defined geometric small streets and one-story mud-brick units with red tile roofs [9]. This was the initial known social housing project in Cyprus, and it consists of 72 units 5 rows of individual units operating along to Kyrenia Avenue. In the estate's centre is a huge domed fountain, while in the northern corner is a vast parking lot (former garden; Fevz Akmak Square). The inhabitants of Old Lefkoa take tremendous dignity in exhibiting and developing potted plants and succulents outside their homes because the area is so calm and full of natural beauty. The European Union financed a rehabilitation plan, which was carried out by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Nicosia (Lefkoa) Master Plan, through the Partnership for the Future Programme.

    Fig. 1. The Map of the Walled City of Nicosia [9].

    The figure above (figure 1) shows the map of the Walled City of Nicosia while indicating Samanbahçe in red line. While in figure 2 below shows a zoomed view of Samanbahçe. From this figure (figure 2) you can understand that Samanbahçe neighbourhood has mainly linear grid shapes. It also has 5 parallel roads and other two road facing the opposite directions. The only square in the neighbourhood was called Fevzi Cakmak Square which has a small children playground, car

    park and a small garden, which all of the square was covered with residential and little commercial buildings.

    Fig. 2. The Map Samanbahçe (located at Fevzi Cakmak Square) [10].

    The revitalisation work of Samanbahçe began in September 2003 and encompassed upgrading of the facades, roofs, occupancy and landscaping of the area as well as pedestrianisation of municipal and semi-private open areas for social use and were completed in April 2004. The successors of this project were the residents of the Samanbahçe area (see fig. 1, 2 & 3) [11]. In addition, the residents of Lefkoa benefit from the exceptional circumstance of the all-around area and protection of the cultural lineage. The area whilst old, is much regimented and is certainly beautifully improved by the shrubs and flowers that the residents have planted in pots and verge with great care outside the doors of their properties. The diversity and abundance of plants and succulents and colours can be truly breath taking. Wagering outside this area you see all around you old and intriguing buildings that speak more of the past and the jewels of Lefkoa (Nicosia) and the past is just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

    Fig. 3. The road map of The Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçe,

    Nicosia [6]

    The buildings in the neighbourhood of Samanbahçe has buildings separated with only one wall in between them as shown in figure 3. There was one historic water well in the neighbourhood which was used in fetching both cooking and drinking water in the past (see Figure 5).

    Fig. 4. A street in Samanbahçe neighbourhood full of foliage (by author)

    Fig. 5. The Samanbahçe Water Well (by author)

    Figure 4 and 5 shows the current condition of the historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe in the walled city of Nicosia, Cyprus with tiny road and low rise buildings. The target aim of the revitalization was to bring back life into the historic urban quarters, which still looks dry and silent. Several reasons might be linked to the disappearance of the social life in the historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe. Though, almost all the houses were occupied by people from other part of the world like turkey, Asia, Africa and Europe but the number of the locals that sustain the sociocultural sustainability were not enough in number and too old to practice it very well [6], [9]. This has explained why the sociocultural condition of the historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe was poor in terms of the rehabilitation of social and cultural sustainability.


    1. Overview

      Conventional memorable urban districts, cultural, architectural, and historic values are unique. They also have a high tier of environmental pollution, social, urban and architectural, as well as a large proportion of the population is marginalized because the Nicosia walled city was divided in two halves resulting from the conflicts that arose in the past after the independence of the island from the Britain [4]. A rise in the number of elderly people with modest incomes, the way

      economically powerful sectors of the community abandon buildings, as well as the disappearance of conventional economic activities.

      Modernist planning was related with universalizing and conceptual inclinations, but postmodernism is about revalidating and breathing life into the local and the particular. The concept of urban quarters is one aspect [12]. The absence of old urban quarters is a basic characteristic. Although, a smattering of such areas survive, a feeling of loss contains those that remain because so many people have died, and hence do not exist in order to be replenished. Some of this loss, particularly in continental Europe, was a result of the war's widespread damage, but much of it was also the result of post- war restoration and significant redevelopment. How such areas do occur, they have a shortage significance and have been protected by an assortment of preservation regulations, at least in recent years.

    2. Historic urban quarters design

      Historic urban quarters have been the topic of various preservation and renewal actions since the late 1980s. Certainly, these key categories of Cities are blssed with resources. Personality and identity, but they have generally ceased to be economically viable, necessitating the innovation of brand-new tasks and a location. Additional study gave prominence to how new urban design and planning should be acquainted by the local context in order to conserve the street pattern, local character and historic fabric. Philosophers imply that, in order to inhale new life into these memorable bequests, modern architecture in old urban Residential quarters should appreciate context. To organize a new feeling of place that is growing on a quarter's economic, physical and socio-cultural elements, a long-term and long-lasting renaissance that includes physical rejuvenation supported by new monetary activity is also urged [12].A method of perceiving the whole architectural context that will motivate architects, planners, and business people to assess the pictorial alterations to their environment's consequences carefully». Regardless of the design method or approach employed, the final result must be assessed individually to see if it is in unity with its surroundings. There is no vague method that inexorably formulates a harmonic effect by following a due process.

      Reasonable pictorial personality fitting dilutes and weakens the details it intends to keep, and it often fails because it does not create enough new identity. Here we have a difficulty with what is generally referred to as kitsch. Kitsch is a pejorative and negative phrase that is used to interpret art that is an inadequate representation of a conventional technique or, more considerably, any art that is contentious or in poor taste [13].

      1) The conflict and its effects on the walled city of Nicosia Confrontation and recollection have major reciprocities, which are often entrenched in disputed locations or territory at the heart of ethno national conflicts. The dispute in Cyprus, and the resultant break of Nicosia's city capital, has thrown the connection between memory and location into chaos, as people have been uprooted and ousted. From 1974 until checkpoints opened in 2003, the incapacity to cross the boundary going through the heart of the city curbed in an intensification of several components of memory, encompassing defying, screen memory and recollections as they connected to the metropolis. By assessing the substance fact of the city today and

      investigating personal buildings in which is utilized as a symbol by the graphic image of the walled city, scholars have described Nicosia's medieval As a shell of remembrance, the city core is surrounded by walls. The disputed walled city is a historical site where people negotiate between knowing and forgetting, past and present, and within and outside [14]. Many of the hierarchies that make up Nicosia's north-east corner walled city, which were formerly beautiful Ottoman homes, are now used as hostels for single male labourers who have lately arrived from Turkey. For most Cypriots, this community is now a black hole, as they have no motive to experiment into this section of the city, which is characterised by its decaying buildings. Even while touring by car, in order to get to the centre, one will have to drive via some of these streets to depart the city walls, explained by one young Turkish-Cypriot woman, the physical sensation of unease she has when she's in the area. She also said You're afraid because you abruptly find yourself in a foreign atmosphere, even though you are now in your own nation. You're worried because no one will be able to help you if your automobile breaks down there, because they may not even be able to communicate in Turkish, but instead Arabic or Kurdish. These kinds of remarks are systematic amongst Cypriots, who describe this fraction of the city as a hazy, faraway, and foreign terrain. It is said that whole households share single rooms in houses without power or running water in these tight alleyways. There are even deeper whispers that warn of cruelty and abuse in these beclouded compartments. While the riverbed streets' original urban landscape has withstood, majority of them now fall within the completely elusive Buffer Zone, which has been considerably modified into lines of divergence. Self-protection is characterized as an 'ectoderm' or 'shell' by psychoanalysts, aimed at both 'inner and outer; yet, the shell itself is distinguished by what it shields' (Abraham & Torok, 1994). The city walls, according to this article, serve as a recollection shell, furnishing inward-directed safety against information of effort ruins, military facilities, and a changing populace and keeping them inside, despite the fact that they were obviously neglected on the outside. These 'markings' are illustrated in the form of defection and maltreatment. Place communicates forgetfulness in this context, going beyond the individual and into the bearing of the city. When asked young Greek and Turkish why they don't spend time in the walled city, Cypriots said things like "It is not as well preserved as it should be," "When you walk around and see windows hanging off, it looks terrifying," says one resident and "It hasn't been properly preserved" 'It appears to be abandoned; there is no life there. 'I know it isn't harmful, but the way it looks makes me feel uneasy.' As a result, in less apparent forgetting manifests, less tangible in other respects as well in terms of separating oneself from the walled city, in which could be a symbol for Cypriots rather than a site that is accessed by the senses. This article will analyse the imaginative and physical creation of the walled city today, as influenced by the struggle, similar to the study of a shell – the relic of the life that built it. The city, like the seashell, has its own severe contradictions as it represents the dialectics of the past and the present, within and outside, reminiscing, and forgetting. The old city's areas, uses, and residents have been primarily characterized by its division. Unlike in the 1950s, when reside practically everyone lived

      within the city walls, currently only a few Cypriots there [15]. As mechanics, carpenters and a variety of other professionals settled into deserted buildings and used them as work-shops, the center began to attract peripheral urban activities [16]. The ring parking spaces and ring of parks that encircles the walls acts as a type of 'seal,' separating the ancient city from the rest of the city. A significant proportion of the walled city is made up of low-income housing, which is mostly inhabited by migrants, and regions of wreckage, where the lack of upkeep and the effects of time is seen. About 55 percent of the population are migrants of the old city in the largely Greek- Cypriot south, and roughly 70 percent in the north [17]. This presence is noticeable, and it has hindered the efforts of the bi- communal Nicosia Master Plan, which has attempted to convince Cypriots to get back to the old city despite enormous residential renovations in some areas. These outer demographic mix and urban functions of the historical city reflect abandoning and distance, but there is also a hesitation to let go, as this article analyzes.

    3. The three approaches in redesigning historic urban quarters

      The 3 methodologies exist along a continuum with coordinating and juxtaposition at each shaft and translation some place in the centre. As expressed at the start, the three advantageous characteristics in all new advancement are regard for the quarter's spatial and visual person; new person; and natural plan quality. On a basic level all methodologies – coordinating, understanding and juxtaposition – have authenticity [12]. Two specific blends, notwithstanding, are dangerous – matching visual person (for example visual coordinating) and comparing with spatial person (for example spatial juxtaposition). Kitsch is sometimes distinguished with "authentic" or "real" rt. It is asserted to be an evidence that emulates the surface looks of art, depending exclusively on reduplication of conference and procedure and without the ability and originality seen in actual art. The lines between kitsch and (high) art have become increasingly cloudy as a result of postmodernism [13]. Kitsch might be appreciated for its «retro» value or unintended, harsh humour or garishness thanks to postmodernism, which allowed it to be used as a praise (e.g. kitschy artwork could be loved for its «retro» value or involuntary, ironic satire or garishness). Despite the challenges in organizing its borders with art, kitsch continues to be a label for anything considered to be in poor taste.

      Accomplishing its impact by stand out from a moderately homogeneous setting, outrageous logical spatial juxtaposition ought to just be an intermittent gadget. While there can be lively and altogether effective differentiation, the methodology is prominently equipped for creating grievous outcomes. New improvements need a setting with which to compare. Without adequate respect for the entire, such juxtaposition makes setting obliterating landmarks [12]. A lot of spatial variety obliterates spatial soundness, progression and nook. As talked about beforehand, there is a significant part/entire connection, in which the harmony between the parts and the entire is basic to the attachment-of-place. Attachment-of-place is a result of the entire, of the entirety as opposed to any single part.

      1. The courtyard houses in Samanbahçe

        Courtyards were regarded as an ancient prominent space of residential houses around the world [18]. The picture below

        (figure 6) shows the courtyard houses in Samanbah̤e, these houses were built with some features of sustainability in it. Courtyards were opening in between buildings or an open space within the middle of a building, which was left mainly for security, privacy, cooling and ventilation, planting greeneries among many other sustainable uses (Al-Hafith, Satish, & De Wilde, 2019; Ghaffarianhoseini, Berardi, & Ghaffarianhoseini, 2015; Hui & Shiyu, 2018). Therefore courtyard is very important and it needs to be maintained while revitalising a neighbourhood. Courtyards nowadays are disappearing and among the factors that influences the transformations or disappearing of the courtyards buildings are growing need for cheaper and compact residential houses, adopting western lifestyles of families, eco-climatic problems. The first arrangement of the standard abodes mirrored the spread out of the customary Cypriot house: The fundamental entryway opened to the lounge room in the centre, into which the two little rooms on different sides were opened up. Kitchen, WC and the restroom, which had no running water, were arrived at through a tiny patio at the back [9]. Sizes of these help units were tiny, which were a long ways past to satisfy contemporary guidelines. The two rooms on different sides of the entry, which filled in as the parlour, have openings Рof 1 to 2 in extent.

        Figure 6. The courtyard houses in Samanbahçe Historical Urban Quarters, Nicosia (Google Earth, 2022)

      2. Narrow streets in Samanbahçe

        Samanbahçe was also characterized with narrow streets, cars cannot pass through the streets because of its narrow width (refer to Figure 6 & 7). This encourages walkability throughout the neighbourhood, it also provides less noise and create a peaceful environment. The width of the road was approximately 4m [9], which passes through the blocks of the buildings in the neighbourhood, allowing easy circulation throughout. The tight road, which is characterized on the opposite side with a comparative block. The main entrance door of a house in Samanbahçe was made with wooden door and has a frame made up of limestone decoration.



        Figure 7. (A&B): Showing Narrow Street of approximately 4 metre in Samanbahçe



        Figure 8. (A & B): The Children Playground and Car Park

        The problems of this kind of narrow street is that it was made with solid material with no spaces to plant a tree or other plants, that leave the residents no choice than to use both ceramic, plastic and mud pots to grow their plants (as shown in figure 7 A&B). Another problem is linked with motor bike riders who still use these narrow streets of Samanbahçe neighbourhood, these motor bikes cause echo due to solid materials used the sound was very loud and may disturb the peace of this neighbourhood especially with Power-bikes engine noise.

      3. The playground and parking area in Samanbahçe

        There was a small children playground this neighbourhood where children comes to play in the evening time or after school hours. This park has about 5 playing gadgets available for them to play around in an outdoor space as shown in Figure 8A. This is a good approach to revitalise a neighbourhood by making it lively and encourage children to play. But the problem is the neighbourhood was mainly old people and foreigners who were mainly students that lives in this neighbourhood. This means that the playground made for children will not be so useful to the adults living there. Therefore, the playground is not functional as it should be. However, the playground is in same position with the car park, where people bring their vehicle to park. Most of these car owners do not live in the historic buildings of Samabahce neighbourhood, and the car park is always filled with cars as shown in Figure 8B. Therefore, car park attracts neighbouring people to occupy the spaces that was made for the persons living in this neighbourhood.

    4. Renewal of a street in a historic urban districts

      A proposal to improve the qualities of a developed historic area as a result of research into the physical and functional aspects and the designation of rejuvenation kinds. Physical

      Revitalization and Economic Revitalization are two types of revitalization proposed concept. Because it is regarded in the Economic Revitalization, Social Revitalization is not included in this choice.

      The following details are included in the physical renovation project for the area:

      Intervention with physical force to:

      • The state of building facades, including windows, balconies, roofs, and walls, is terrible.

      • Structures that are structurally deficient;

      • Buildings that have been neglected;

      • Building courtyards that aren't well-ventilated;

      • Landscape elements and metropolitan furniture are lacking;

      • The street and the adjacent square have a base covering.

        The following characteristics are included in the area's economic revitalization proposal:

      • A new function or use for some facilities, such as an arts and crafts center, a lace-work workshop, traditional cuisine restaurants, clubs, or pensioners.

      • New uses are being added to the roadway, enclosures, and yard [22].

      As a consequence of the proposed plan, the region will be reformed into one of main interests affecting Cultural Tourism positively, providing because to the mix-use, the area has a lot of life and vigour, bringing financial advantages to the entire city, and thus guaranteeing the area's physical, economic, and social revitalization.


    The result of this research is based on the interviews with 15 respondents and the 5 sets of questions were asked to each of the respondents selected. Table 1 shows the demographic data of the respondents.









    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot














    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot




    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot




    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot




    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot




    Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot









    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot














    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot





    Retired Civil Servant

    Turkish Cypriot






    The table above shows the respondents demographic data. Most of the respondents were 60 years and above (about 9 respondents), which in north the number of civil service years is 60 years of age. While, others below 60 years were mostly non-Cypriot, they are foreigners from other countries. This is why about 8 respondents were retired civil servants, while 1 civil servant, 4 merchants and 2 students was found living in the neighbourhood. However all the respondents were Turkish Cypriot, except 7 persons who were from Turkey, Nigeria and Ghana. This demographic data shows that there are minimal number of indigenous youths in the neighbourhood.

      1. Are the people that live in Samanbahce from the local citizens?

        The vast majority are local residents, were in Sembehesha. As for the buildings surrounding the neighborhood, mixed with university students, and there is a presence of, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kurds and Turks, especially those who speak Arabic (Hatay region). Most of houses rented out to foreigners as stated by the local citizens.

      2. Does the rich people living there forces the local poor people to leave the neighbourhood?

        This factor contributes to the price hike of commodities in this neighbourhood as stated by the one of the residents and the main reason for the original residents to leave the area, especially the youth group, is the economic situation of the entire area, where the lack of real job opportunities led to the migration of young people outside the country, especially to South Cyprus, Turkey and some of the coastal cities of Cyprus.

      3. Are lack of employment and economic problems causing migration from the neighbourhood?

        Yes, of course reported by most of the respondents. The main reason for the migration of the indigenous population, especially the youth, is the bad economic situation, with the lack of job opportunities inside the old city in particular and Cyprus in general. Even after the renovation of the Samanbahce neighbourhood, the renovation was only in the neighbourhood and did not take into account the economic situation of the residents, as the only way for all the residents to return to Samanbahce is to improve the economic situation and provide them with real job opportunities.

      4. Are the urban decay the problem that causes the in the inhabitants of Samanbahce to leave the area?

        The housing in which we live now is considered in good condition, as we have everything we need inside. There are simple observations that we want to address, such as placing signs that do not allow motorcycles to pass inside the neighbourhoods alleys because of their annoying sound, and unclean the neighbourhood from the authorities responsible for hygiene. The children's play area suffers a lot due to neglect, the presence of dirt.

      5. Does the area lacking urban furniture and social amenities?

    To some extent, the area needs some urban furniture, especially some guiding signs that guide visitors (tourists) to the location of the neighbourhood. The entrance to the neighbourhood from the main street is not identifiable and not bold enough to be seen from far, as there are no signs. The lack

    of a park near the neighbourhood, which is very important for the residents to walk and entertain them.


    While considering Samanbahçe inside the setting of the Walled City, in which it is found, its renewal ought to be viewed as inside the overall structure of the rejuvenation endeavours for this entirety. As per a careful report made by Doratli, (2000) of the Walled City, he said that the neighbourhood is vigorously undermined by physical, useful and locational outdated nature and its biggest pieces are in declining condition of improvement elements. In like manner, the best way to save and renew this valuable region with its conventional tissue is to utilize 'overall' 'practical rebuilding' as a significant vital methodology for its rejuvenation. Use of this essential methodology would appear to be legit provided that it takes the capability of the area and valuable open doors given by the predominant financial states of the country. Taking the lead areas in the economy of TRNC, high training and the travel industry as well as the physical, social capability of the Walled City into account, the vital new exercises in the entire Walled City might be the travel industry, high schooling and related social exercises. Assessment of the capability of Samanbahçe Residential District under this approach brings about two distinct choices:

    1. Revitalizing the region as a centre of understudy convenience;

    2. Revitalization of the area as the tourism industry convenience.

    In both case, the issue of improvement will be confronted with, since the current occupants will be migrated powerfully. In any case, the issue of improvement ought to be tried against its expenses and advantages, prior to dismissing the migration of the families toward the start, taking into account the issues that the region faces; the uniqueness of this spot inside the extraordinary region Рthe Walled City; as well as the conceivable mentality of the landowner Рthe Evkaf, since effective projects for restoration of a lodging stock need to handle with various and frequently convoluted issues connected with: finance; lawful structure; social issues; institutional plans; accessible specialized assets. Samanbah̤e conventional lodging region, very much like numerous other comparative local locations or different regions inside the Walled City, is confronted with numerous issues. The principal issues in the space are actual weakening and rot; little sizes of the residences and absence of social and social exercises and safe climate with lowincome families are neither capable nor mindful of how to keep up with their homes. With their little sizes as well as absence of customary support (64.8% of the occupants make upkeep when it is required), the houses neglect to meet the contemporary necessities, demonstrating the useful oldness of the area [9]. Plus, the Institution of Evkaf who is the landowner of the region shows a careless disposition against the area, generally most likely because of the extremely low pace of return it gets from the homes. As a business person the Institution is keen on expanding its pace of return from is property. Be that as it may, since the houses with their current administrations draw in just low pay families ready to pay low leases, and since any alteration to the lodging complex is dependent upon the authorization of Supreme Council of

    Immovable Properties and Monuments because of its mentality of being recorded, high use for actual improvement of the area sounds to be not attainable for Evkaf.

    Since the maintainability and rejuvenation are two related ideas and have share same aspects, the degree of manageability can carry into a more economical condition with the assistance of renewal approach. Accordingly, the maintainable renewal of Samanbahçe private region ought to be taken care of to make the region more alluring, liveable and practical condition. All things considered, rejuvenation of the area will be recorded to the restoration of the area through repair, and that signifies 'protection and solidification the actual mediation to the genuine texture of the structures and the region to guarantee the proceeded with execution of its construction and texture [6]. Nonetheless, it ought to be noticed that the region had this interaction with the assistance of UNDP yet the region again need a few repairs particularly for combination of underlying process for staying and rebuilding of façade. As examined previously, for practical rejuvenation, the region should deal with all in all to find success here. In this manner, socio economic construction of Samanbahçe quarter is required to have been renewing as per the examinations results and the degree of maintainability (to some extent manageable). As needs be, the best way to save and revive this valuable region with its customary tissue is to utilize 'overall' 'practical broadening' as an important key methodology for its rejuvenation. Practical recovery means to carry a few new purposes to help the quarter's base on financial aspects.


The old name of Samanbahçe is Saban Bahce which means Sabans garden in Turkish. Its first example of the social housing project in Cyprus. It is been used by Cypriot citizens. First of all, this place was used as vegetable and fruit garden (1890), and then it was used as Cattle Market (1905). Finally, 60 small houses constructed in this place until the 1918-1925. After that, 12 houses constructed in here by Osman Hocaolu. So, totally 72 houses are separated along 5 rows parallel to Kyrenia Avenue [24]. The revitalisation of Samanbahçe was done in the year 1930's by the British superpowers, during the colonial era. It was later renovated by the UNESCO in the year 2004.

The rehabilitation of the historic urban quarters of every part of the world has stages and considerations that must be taken into account. This is because historic building are regarded as monuments that needs to be preserved for tourism, historical uses, architectural, social and economic sustainability. These stages and considerations were arranged in a way that it will benefit mostly the indigenous people of Samanbahçe. Consideration of revitalisation process were as simple as considering these historic building as monuments that needs to preserved and protected. This cannot be archived without cultural, social and economic sustainability of the people of Samanbahçe neighbourhood. The stages involved are making sure the social problems are resolved, the layout and architectural issues were fixed as well. This can be in form of urban decay, obsolescence structures, lack of social amenities etc.

The problems found in the neighbourhood of the Historic Urban Quarters of Samanbahçe were many, these problems can

be physical, social and economic problems. Physical problem in Samanbahçe were related with inadequate facilities required to make life easier and lively. These facilities that were the absent are inadequate playground, functional street lights, adequate car-park etc. While problems related with social are issues regarding drug abuse, alcohol, cultural discontinuity, minimal population of youth, migration, unemployment and gentrification problems. The drug abuse and alcohol drinking are related with increase in crime rate within the neighbourhood. Cultural discontinuity, minimal youth population, unemployment and migration issues are all related with the economic and gentrification problems. This is because the surrounding buildings were commercial buildings owned by rich people. This makes life in the area economically expensive to the indigenous people living in Samanbahçe. However, if this problem are linked with the rate of unemployment in the neighbourhood it will explain the reason why the youth migration in Samanbahçe. In order to revitalise Samanbahçe a series of urban revitalization process will have to be followed. These urban revitalization process when imparted in the Historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe will be of great importance to both the economy and the social status of the indigenous people living in this neighbourhood

Therefore, there is need to rehabilitate and revitalise the historic urban quarters of Samanbahçe in Nicosia both socially, physically and economically. The aim and objectives of this research were met and the conclusion was stated. It is therefore recommended that special attention should be given to Samanbahçe neighbourhood in terms of urban renewal, rehabilitation of the physical structure, imposing rules against drug abuse, alcohol sales regulations by the government, and the economic/unemployment issues.

Funding There is no external funding for this research, this research is sponsored by the authors of this article.


[1] L. Veirier, Historic districts for all, a social and human approach for sustainable revitalization., 2008.

[2] S.A.H., Scottish Planning Policy SPP 23 Planning and the Historic Environment. Publication. Retrieved June 19, 2014, 2008. [Online]. Available: 08/10/28135841/0

[3] Department_for_Communities_and_Local_Government, PPS5 Planning for the Historic Environment: Historic Environment Planning Practice Guide. Communities and Local Government Publications: Uk., 2012.

[4] H. Gurdalli and U. Koldas, Architecture of power and urban space in a divided city: A history of official buildings in Nicosia/Lefkoa, Des. J., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 135157, 2015, doi: 10.2752/175630615X14135446523387.

[5] R. Rahbarianyazd, Sustainability in Historic Urban Environments: Effect of gentrification in the process of sustainable urban revitalization, J. Contemp. Urban Aff., vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 19, 2017, doi: 10.25034/1761.1(1)1-9.

[6] V. B. Oktay and S. O. Hoskara, Measuring the Sustainability Level of Samanbahce Residential Quarter in Nicosia Northern Cyprus for Its Sustainable Revitalization, in SB10mad Sustainable Building Conference Series, 2010, pp. 114.

[7] M. Danson and N. Arshad, The literature review., in Research Methods for Business and Management: A guide to writing your dissertation, 2014, pp. 3757. doi: 10.4324/9781351156127-9.

[8] Lonely_Planet, Samanbah̤e Quarter | North Nicosia (Lefkoa), Cyprus Attractions РLonely Planet, Lonely Planet, 2022. nicosia/attractions/samanbahce-quarter/a/poi-sig/1567053/358805 (accessed Jun. 11, 2022).

[9] N. Dorath, . Hokara, . Numan, N. Mulladaylar, and M. S. Abbasolu, Revitalizing a Declining Residential Area in the Walled City of Nicosia, Session, vol. 4, no. 2, 2002.

[10] OpenStreetMap, File:Walled Old City, Nicosia, Cyprus.svg – Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, 2019.,_Nicosia,_ Cyprus.svg (accessed Jun. 23, 2022).

[11] K. Uzunolu and S. S. Uzunolu, The importance of pedestrianization in cities-assessment of pedestrianized streets in Nicosia Walled city, Eur. J. Sustain. Dev., vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 589614, 2020, doi: 10.14207/ejsd.2020.v9n2p589.

[12] T. Oc, T. Heah, and S. Tiesdell, Design in historic urban quarters, Revitalising Hist. Urban Quarters, vol. 2, pp. 173206, 2020, doi: 10.4324/9780080516271-12.

[13] R. W. Freeman, Integrity in the vieux carre, in Latham J.E. (ed.), The economic benefits of preserving old buildings, Washington, DC. 1976.

[14] A. Bakshi, A shell of memory: The Cyprus conflict and Nicosias walled city, Mem. Stud., vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 479496, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1750698012449785.

[15] A. Mand, Urbanization in Cyprus: A Study of Nicosia., 1981.

[16] N. Abraham and M. Torok, The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psychoanalysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press., 1994.

[17] UNOPS, Report on the Socio-Economic Survey in the Walled City., 2004.

[18] O. B. Adegun, J. M. Adedeji, and Y. M. D. Adedeji, Whither the courtyards? Understanding disappearance and transformation of courtyards in residential buildings in Akure, Nigeria, in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (1st International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructural Development), 2019, vol. 640, no. 1, pp. 210. doi: 10.1088/1757-899X/640/1/012010.

[19] Z. Hui and D. Shiyu, Parallel analyses of qingdao Liyuan Courtyard and harbin Daowai District Courtyard, IOP Conf. Ser. Earth Environ. Sci., vol. 189, no. 2, 2018, doi: 10.1088/1755-1315/189/2/022045.

[20] A. Ghaffarianhoseini, U. Berardi, and A. Ghaffarianhoseini, Thermal performance characteristics of unshaded courtyards in hot and humid climates, Build. Environ., vol. 87, pp. 154168, 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2015.02.001.

[21] O. Al-Hafith, B. K. Satish, and P. De Wilde, The impact of courtyard geometry on its mean radiant temperature, J. Phys. Conf. Ser., vol. 1343, no. 1, 2019, doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/1343/1/012022.

[22] N. Lichfield, Economics in Urban Conservation. Cambridge University Press., 1988.

[23] N. Doratli, A model for conservation and revitalization of historic urban quarters in Northern Cyprus, no. September, p. 324, 2000.

[24] T. Bakan, Kbrsta Osmanl-Türk Eserleri. Lefkoa., 2005.