“Protection of local identity stands out as a value in the globalizing world”
European University of Lefke (EUL) Architecture Faculty, Department of Architecture Lecturer Asst. Prof. Dr. Makbule Oktay gave information on the subject of “Rural Settlements and the Importance of Local Architecture”.
“Local Architecture is the buildings constructed by the local people and / or the user of the building, using the existing materials in the area, simple tools, traditional construction techniques and existing technology. The formation of these buildings is directly related to the cultural structure of the society they are in and the environmental characteristics of the region, and they have been shaped according to these values. Oktay said that since they were built according to the characteristics of the geography and culture they belong to, although similar materials were used in their construction, they emerged as original buildings.
“Local architecture is important to ensure cultural sustainability”
Oktay said, “The importance of the local architecture and the necessity of its protection have been emphasized a lot. In fact, when all these definitions are examined, it is understood why it should be given importance. Since they are shaped according to environmental data, they are instructive on how to make an environmentally friendly building and a building compatible with the environment, how to use local materials. Lifestyle, social relationships, beliefs, rituals, profession, etc. Since they are shaped according to cultural characteristics, they provide information about the culture they live in and the history of the society. It is important to protect them in order to ensure cultural sustainability. “They reflect the cultural diversity in the world because they are unique buildings.”
“When the local architecture is preserved and evaluated, it can contribute to the region in particular and to the country’s economy in general.”
Oktay continued her explanation as follows; “The disappearance of these buildings, which are historical, social and cultural documents, means the disappearance of the architectural heritage of the society and all humanity. Since they form the texture and identity of rural settlements, their loss means loss of identity. Protection of local identity stands out as a value in the globalizing world. When rural settlements and local architecture are preserved, evaluated and re-functionalized, they can contribute to the specific region and the country’s economy in general. For these reasons, the necessity to be protected, kept alive and passed on to future generations is the necessity of various international regulations, recommendations, etc. highlighted with. ”
“Awareness, lack of sensitivity and interest, economic inadequacies and unconscious interventions are important factors threatening the local architectural heritage”
“As in the whole world, as a result of developing technology and changing life styles in Cyprus, local houses have reached the point where they cannot meet the needs, and rural settlements have been abandoned along with the houses. Out of use causes various degrees of damage to buildings and even causes them to collapse and disappear. The cause of damage in such buildings is not limited to this. Awareness, sensitivity and lack of interest, economic inadequacies and unconscious interventions stand out as other important factors threatening the local architectural heritage. She stated that the new structures built caused irreversible damage to the rural tissue.
“For rural architecture, awareness should be raised through education, financial support and conservation plans should be created”
Lastly, Oktay said, “These can be observed in many rural settlements in the north of Cyprus. Rural architectural heritage needs to be identified and documented in order to be preserved and passed on to future generations. In addition, the most important steps to be taken should be to raise awareness through education, to provide financial support and to create protection plans ”.