Detection of Disaster-Prone Vernacular Heritage Sites at District Scale: The Case of Fındıklı in Rize, Turkey

Gül Aktürk, S.J. Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The district of Fındıklı in the Northeast city of Rize in Turkey is environmentally and culturally rich with its rural, built, and natural heritage. The city of Rize has been experiencing more frequent and severe rainfall, flooding, and landslides in the last decade. River flooding along the coast and in the center of the city is destroying infrastructure and residential areas, while landslides are becoming more destructive and repetitive in the hinterland of the district. Vernacular heritage is particularly exposed to the catastrophic consequences of floods and landslides, e.g., through the deterioration of historic building façades. This paper aims to identify the vernacular settlements under the threat of natural disasters in the selected case area. ArcGIS software was used to reveal the changes in spatial planning since 1969 in combination with geo referenced built and natural heritage sites at risk in the district. The comparison between the maps of 1969 and 2019 aerial pictures on ArcGIS illustrates the river transformation, coastal change, urban sprawl, and deforestation as threats to vernacular heritage in the area. Furthermore, this paper will highlight landslide-prone sites in the hinterland and river floods on the coastal area on the current map to show heritage sites at risk. The findings of this study intend to present the accelerated effects of floods and landslides along with the mismanagement of land use and rivers on vernacular heritage at a district scale to inform decision- and policymakers on needed actions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102238
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Climate change
  • Geographic information systems
  • Land use
  • Landslides
  • River flooding
  • Vernacular heritage


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