An Investigation of Urban Furniture Use at Topkapi Earthquake Park
The study aimed to investigate and analyze the suitability of urban furniture at the Topkapı Earthquake Park, which was designed as a venue, where people could take shelter and their basic needs could be met in case of a potential disaster, against universal earthquake park standards. Turkey is located in one of the most active earthquake zones, exposed to devastating effects of this natural disaster on both human lives, nature, and built environment. It is of great importance to effectively design and manage earthquake parks and urban furniture in order to minimize the loss of life that may occur before, during and after the disaster. Accordingly, the urban furniture included in Topkapı Earthquake Park was compared to Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, an international example, in terms of sitting area, lighting, cover element, garbage bins, signboards, support service elements, and social activity areas based on given criteria and expectations. In addition to the literature review, the similarities and differences between the two earthquake park examples were investigated upon review of data obtained through on-site discovery, observation, and measurement studies, and a detailed comparison was made in a tabular format, supported by visuals. The comparative study helped identify the inadequate elements and problems of the park. In conclusion, although the use of urban furniture in Topkapı Earthquake Park provided a suitable environment for regular daily life, there were inadequate elements with regard to readiness to disaster situations and Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park was at a much better level in terms of planning and design compared to the Topkapı Earthquake Park.