HEMŞİN URBAN RENEWAL & TOURISTIC CONVERSION PROJECT
Hemşin URTCP is the flagship of BM‘s commitment to corporate and social responsibility projects. The project comprises the entire conversion of current Town of Hemşin Town through detailed city planning and a sizeable investment, into a reanimated tourism center.
Hemsin (also known as Tambur) is a town and district of Rize Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey, 57 km from the city of Rize. Hemsin is a district of green hills 19 km inland from the Black Sea. The region once used to be one of Turkey’s best-kept tourist secrets. The scented plateaus of the Mountains of Northern Black Sea, with their wild flowers and exuberant dancers and breath taking landscapes, today few places are as enticing as the Hemsin valleys in the province of Rize at the North East of Turkey close to the border of Georgia.
The project places its foundations on a strong relationship between Hemşin and Switzerland’s Scuol Town, which have been nominated sister-towns owing to this project. First studies were visits paid to Scuol and some other towns by BM‘s city planners and design engineers, with the purpose of determining the ideal layout and structure and pinpointing features especially suitable for Hemşin. Next, a painstaking planning and design phase was carried out, carefully assessing functional, aesthetic and budgetary requirements. During the process, detailed discussions and studies were realized with numerous government agencies, in order to harmonize all individual investment projects planned in the region for a stronger combined impact. The overall result was the Hemşin TCP development plan that comprises the following;
- Construction of 2 run-of-river type HEPPs with artificial lakes,
- Relocation of new Hemsin to a site by a river and further modification to fit new location & concept in corporation with TOKİ (Toplu Konut İdaresi Başkanlığı • Housing Development Administration of Turkey)
- Modification of DSİ (State Hydraulic Works) river protection project to fit with the HEPP artificial lakes and TOKİ Housing Project
- Construction of a new primary and high school facility for over 700 students. Project also includes a large standalone state-of-the-art sports hall and a
housing compound in Hemşin for accommodation of teachers.
- Demolition of old school building to allow for recreational areas at the river-side.
- Construction of river-side recreational areas including landscaped gardens and cafeterias.
- Reinstatement of the traditional annual Maha up-river swimming races (“Maha” in Indian tongue, means “man swimming against the river”),
- Restoration of the old town, including painting of buildings, re-instatement of signs in accordance with the historic fabric of Hemşin, relocation of electrical cabling to underground, addition of trash cans and similar facilities,
- Full restoration of an old Hemşin House as a 20 guest capacity lodging house to accommodate visitors.
The entire investment was realized by BM (with the exception of TOKİ and DSİ projects, which are not given in the above list), where the school and its appurtenances were donated to the Ministry of Education. With the completion of these projects, the total investment amount is expected to reach over 10 million USD. More importantly, this project will mark the commencement of a new period for tourism as well as education of Hemşin’s children, who will be first hand witnesses to generation of clean energy right at their own hydroelectric power plant viewed over their new lake.