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Main Page arrow News arrow Significance of Container Cities and Earthquake Containers in Türkiye 

Significance of Container Cities and Earthquake Containers in Türkiye 

19 January 2024
We explored the critical role of container cities globally and in Türkiye, as well as the importance of earthquake containers in Türkiye.

The Significance of Container Cities Worldwide and in Türkiye 

The Current Situation in Earthquake-Prone Areas 

 Türkiye experienced a significant earthquake in February 2023, marking an unparalleled disaster in terms of its scale and the magnitude of devastation. The earthquake claimed the lives of 48,448 people, and 3.3 million individuals were compelled to evacuate their homes. 
In the present day, the frequency of disasters resulting in loss of life and property is steadily escalating, not only in Türkiye but globally. Each year, we face an increasing number of calamities, including earthquakes, floods, fires, landslides, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. The aftermath of these events leads to the loss of many lives, with large populations left homeless. The impact of these disasters is further exacerbated by the ongoing climate crisis, intensifying their devastating consequences.  
Indeed, according to an analysis by World Weather Attribution, the intense rains that wreaked havoc across the Mediterranean in early September 2023 are likely linked to climate change from greenhouse gas emissions. The study also indicates that the damage caused by heavy rainfall is significantly higher in areas prone to flooding, influenced by factors such as urban development and deforestation. 
Of course, this is not the only analysis. All data indicates that the risks involved in encountering disasters in the future should not be underestimated. For this reason, studies have been accelerated for the correct management of the post-disaster process as well as the prevention of future disasters. 
In the aftermath of a disaster, addressing essential issues such as health, access to clean water, and nutrition is paramount. Shelter, too, becomes a pressing concern, especially given the prolonged duration of rehabilitation efforts in devastated areas, which accentuates the need for long-term housing solutions. Introducing alternative shelter systems is crucial to providing disaster victims with safe and healthy living spaces. 

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3 Crucial Steps After a Disaster 

In the aftermath of natural disasters like earthquakes, container cities emerge as the swiftest practical solution to the pressing need for housing. Urgently required post-earthquake shelters are referred to as 'earthquake containers.'  
These prefabricated earthquake containers, utilizing cutting-edge technology, boast significant advantages such as accessible transportation and rapid on-site installation. Container cities are highly cost-effective as they eliminate the need for additional construction materials at the installation site, facilitate efficient disaster management processes and enable the economical utilization of constrained budgets. 
When implementing container city projects that offer accessible solutions for urbanization and localization, three key benefits have emerged: 
1. Establishing a Hub for Needs 
Setting up a community center within a smaller city or even a neighbourhood is a clever strategy to harmonize urbanization and localization without disrupting the overall density of the area. These centres breathe life into the traditional 'Main Street' concept, catering to the community's commercial, residential, cultural, and social needs. 
Earthquake containers offer a structural foundation that can later transform into diverse spaces, including food courts, retail areas, and office spaces. The adaptability, mobility, and redesign flexibility of these portable containers deliver a myriad of benefits. 
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2. Accurate Analysis of Community Characteristics

It is crucial to provide amenities that align with a community's ever-evolving trends, needs, and desires. Containers serve as a means for community planners to experiment with new concepts before committing to more permanent developments. Temporarily setting up containers allows testing services like outdoor food markets, retail spaces, mobile libraries, mobile clinics, and more. 
3. Emphasis on Sustainability Goals

Escalating climate change concerns have become more critical in urbanization planning considerations. Container cities offer helpful strategies for accomplishing sustainability goals such as energy-efficient practices, adaptive reuse, ethical sourcing, material reuse, reinvention of existing spaces, and the creation of multifunctional environments. 
Container Cities are Becoming Widely employed All Over the World 
AFAD data shows approximately 130 thousand containers were deployed across 352 locations by June to address the shelter requirements in earthquake-affected areas. 
The types of temporary shelters vary worldwide, influenced by factors such as the nature of natural disasters, environmental conditions, and economic considerations. 
Containers present cities with a sustainable housing solution, offering ease of use, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Notably, a survey by Business Week magazine in the United States recognizes container homes as one of the 20 major innovations expected to reshape people's living arrangements over the next decade. For residential applications, containers must also adhere to environmental standards, including regulations concerning connections to city gas and water supply, installation of drainage equipment, heating, and insulation. 
Container City Examples Worldwide

Containers are gaining prominence worldwide as a cost-effective and easily transportable alternative for 'social housing,' providing secure living spaces in numerous cities. An exemplary instance is the Container City in Cholula, Mexico, spanning 48,500 square meters and constructed from recycled containers, serving a diverse range of public and multi-family housing purposes. 
The utilization of containers for housing is also rapidly expanding in London as well as the Greenpoint neighbourhood of Brooklyn in New York. The global container market, particularly in the realm of green architecture, is projected to witness a 5.7% growth by 2029, reaching $87.11 billion. 
Yaşam Kent: A Significant Container City Example

An exemplary case in this context is the Yaşam Kent Container City established by Rönesans in Malatya. With a direct presence in 30 countries, Rönesans Holding has successfully delivered over 2,000 container houses capable of providing permanent residence for 10,000 individuals in the aftermath of the February earthquakes. 
Furthermore, Rönesans has strategically planned container cities across the region, emphasizing a focus on permanent, not temporary, shelter. These plans include the creation of enduring living spaces featuring amenities such as kindergartens, women's life centres, and children's areas. Rönesans encapsulates its efforts in this domain by stating, 'We prioritized the needs of women and children in the region,' with the overarching goal of 'creating homes, not just roofs.’ 

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About Rönesans Group

Rönesans Holding, the conglomerate's top investment entity headquartered in Ankara, is the 38th largest international contracting company globally and the 9th largest in Europe. With operations spanning 30 countries across Europe, Central Asia, and Africa, including subsidiaries such as Ballast Nedam in the Netherlands and Heitkamp Industrial Solutions GmbH in Germany, Rönesans has been operating as the main contractor and investor successfully for 30 years in construction, real estate development, healthcare and energy. Putting resilience and growth through innovation at the core of the company, with a priority on sustainability and social development, Rönesans has developed projects supporting students with scholarships, academic platforms and initiatives; been a signatory of the UN Global Compact since 2015; and a signatory of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2016.

Under the leadership of its president, Erman Ilıcak, Rönesans, along with its partners GIC, Meridiam Infrastructure, Sojitz, Samsung C&T, TotalEnergies, and IFC of the World Bank Group (minority shareholder in the group), has invested more than EUR8 billion into pioneering projects globally.

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