Dissertation Abstracts

Post-Disaster Recovery Process and Location Choices of Businesses in the Case of Adapazari

Author: Orhan, Ezgi , ezgiorhann@gmail.com
Department: City and Regional Planning
University: Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Supervisor: H. Cagatay Keskinok
Year of completion: 2012
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: business recovery , location choices , urban spatial structure , disaster impacts
Areas of Research: Disasters , Regional and Urban Development , Housing and Built Environment


Turkey has been less responsive to changes in global policies of risk reduction and resilience. Turkish administrations usually concentrate on allocating resources for the compensation of survivors and recovery procedures. The post-disaster implementations focus on households and usually compel them to leave their current accommodation and move elsewhere, whereas business enterprises mostly maintain their location and property in the disaster hit areas. Due to the lack of appropriate policy and tools, businesses often remain in their facilities or make their own location choices as part of their recovery strategy.

Since physical damage to facilities is not the only determinant of business disruption, it is necessary to define the factors that lead to disparities in recovery among businesses. To that end, this study explores the factors that affect recovery process of businesses in the city of Adapazari heavily damaged in the 1999 earthquakes. The main argument of the study is that urban spatial structure of Adapazari is fragmented due to the implemented recovery policies which isolated business recovery from household recovery.

This thesis is shaped by the question of whether recovery possible without referring to urban spatial structure. The theoretical basis of the study points to the contemporary disaster paradigms which advocate a risk oriented framework.

According to the analysis of results of the empirical research, the most notable impact on business recovery positively associated with ‘finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector’ and negatively correlated with the ‘trade sector’, the ‘service sector’, and with variables expressing states of ‘being financially in trouble’, and ‘taking more damage’. The variables of ‘educational level’, ‘construction sector’ and ‘extent of damage’ are found to contribute significantly to firm mobility. In addition, variables of ‘having disaster experience’ and ‘owner-occupation’ are negatively correlated with business relocation.

The outcome of the study is that the interventions in the recovery period in the form of new resettlement districts in Adapazari could not contribute to the creation of a safer spatial and social context due to the inadequacy of policies designed for business recovery.