Assessment of geo-environmental properties depressing urban development with GIS: a case study of Kozlu settlement, Turkey

ARCA D., Citiroglu H. K. , KUTOĞLU Ş. H. , MEKİK Ç., deguchi T.

NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.87, no.1, pp.307-322, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 87 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-017-2765-y
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.307-322


Kozlu is a mining town only 5 km away from the main city of Zonguldak and initially was not favored for settlement due to its rugged and hilly topography. However, along with hard coal production in large quantities throughout the years came the industrialization at its full speed with plenty job opportunities which then gave rise to intense population in the region where there were only a few sheds and slums just a century ago. Workers migrating to Kozlu in thousands needed dwellings to live in, but the law, so-called the Coal Basin Restrictions Law which came in effect in 1910, hindered the implementation of zoning plans. Planned housing was not possible in the region not until the abolishment of the law in 1986. During these 76 years, the settlement in the area mostly by the mining and industry workers was carried out without proper zoning plans, usually on demand basis. Today because of this unplanned housing and harsh topography, the Kozlu settlement area (KSA) has a history of being attraction point for many natural and man-made disasters which can be summarized as are topography, geological and carstic structure, mining activities and mass movements. In this study, a settlement suitability map is produced for the study area using a geographic information system. The map produced is designated into four settlement suitability zones, namely suitable to settlement, slightly suitable to settlement, suitable to settlement with precautions and unsuitable to settlement. It clearly shows that 24.73% of the study area lies in suitable and slightly suitable to settlement areas while the bulky rest pertains to suitable to settlement with precautions and unsuitable to settlement. The latest studies show that the 37.5% of the buildings and houses in the KSA are situated on the lithologic units identified as hydrogeological permeable and semipermeable, 7.8% on carstic caverns and a hefty rate of 47.6% on the surfaces deformed by mining-induced subsidence. Therefore, it is needless to claim that the administrators of Kozlu should promptly develop a settlement plan for the welfare of the city.