İzmir Metropolitan Municipality took the first step forwards for the Peninsula Project in 2008 by organizing "Urla-Çeşme-Karaburun Peninsula National Idea Contest”. Together with the participants’ understanding, the results of the contest cultivated the "İzmir-Peninsula Sustainable Progress Strategy".
The strategy aimed for "local development", lead by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, was prepared with the support and cooperation of İzmir Development Agency (IZKA), İzmir Institute of Technology, Ege University and 9 Eylül University. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality elaborated to pattern the strategy according to the needs and demands of the inhabitants, non-governmental organizations, proffessional associations and academicians.
"İzmir Peninsula Sustainable Progress Strategy" is prepared within he scope of the planned development and progress of the peninsula that consists of Karaburun, Çeşme, Urla, Seferihisar and Güzelbahçe districts. Balçova, Narlıdere, Menderes and Selçuk districts, which are members of the Peninsula Municipality Union, have been linked up to the hinterland of the area. There are 130 "entity centered local progress" notions on the spine of the progress strategy that is considered as the constitution of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Concrete projects that can manage an integrated point of view consist of the following topics:
- Tour Route Project
- Local Production Projects
- Vocational Project
The projects are based on the qualifications of the area and reserves many sub projects.
We capture life together.
Around the "design and innovation city" vision of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, local producers, youngsters, artists and scientists are united. The projects are being practiced one by one and are prepared with the inspiration of unique prosperities of the geography; which is considered as one of the milestones of the history of civilization. We are bequeathing to next generations by protecting the riches of the peninsula and improving the region by using its own sources.
The Peninsula inhabitants make their living on agriculture and tourism and the visitors try to capture the taste of life at the Peninsula.
TEN PRIMARY PROJECTS
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality initiated to practice the Peninsula Project via 10 projects where agriculture and tourism intersect. The practices are united under the Peninsula Tour Routes.
1. Weekend Tourism: Intending daily excursions, thematic area have been created in order to attract attention to the Peninsula. Urla Sandy Beach is reorganized on daily tourism basis for the public. The surroundings of the ponds at Urla Barbaros Children's village are being transferred into recreational areas.
2. Gastronomy Tourism: "From the field to the table" and "From the field to the school" models secure food safety regulations. Under the roof of Peninsula markets, many local service spots have been created. Along with thematic markets, agricultural training and local product geographical marking registries serve to the common objective.
3. History Tourism: Archeological and historical sites are evaluated within the framework of cultural landscaping. Some of the works accomplished in this respect are:
- Trainings on Restoration, Rural Architecture Techniques
- The restoration of Matrone Church at the Ancient City of Erythrai (Ildırı)
- Experimental archeology practice at Erythrai Ceramics Furnace likewise at Klazomenai Olive Oil atelier.
4. Cycling Tourism: The cycling route starting from Çeşme and ending at Selçuk is integrated to the urban cycling roads which are built by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. İzmir Metropolitan Municipality is also performing the necessary actions to include the cycling route to EuroVelo Mediterranean Bicycle Network.
5. Rural Tourism: Services, such as pension operating in villages, soap atelier renovations and establishing farmer's markets along trekking routes of the peninsula's coastal line reaching to the hinterland, are being generated. Peninsula Tour Routes are included in the content of rural tourism.
6. Local Recruitment: İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Kent College provides educational sessions on fields that are described in the Peninsula Strategy and that also suit the local ecosystem.
7. Common service area for agricultural implements: The premises consist of product processing, packaging, cold rooms and agricultural parks in order to produce agricultural products of high value.
8. Ecological villages and settlements: The scope is to vitalize abandoned villages within the sphere of health issues and calm living. Urla Bademler village is being transformed into a natural life village. Potential ecovillage areas are being detected.
9. Theme parks/camping sites: Theme parks and camping sites, like water sports centers, summer science camps and botanical parks are being constituted on tour routes.
10. Art and Design: National and international cultural and artistic activities are being supported by art street, local theme museums, art schools and ateliers. Designing, creative tourism and talent cultivation at the Peninsula are being founded. Peninsula festivals and carnivals are evaluated in this regard. The "Talent Campus" aims to provide educational sessions on culinary arts, creative writing and visual art.