Date of Submission

Spring 5-7-2021

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Mine Hashas-Degertekin


Since the nuclear accident, Chernobyl has been abandoned for 30 years. 30 kilometers around Chernobyl was evacuated and it has left the area to become a dead zone. In actuality the dead zone is full of life. Plant and animal populations have expanded and thrived, and people have slowly started to reenter the zone. The exclusion zone has become a new ecosystem.

With more people coming into Chernobyl for tourism, there is higher risk of the ecosystem being threatened. My thesis will explore ecotourism within the Chernobyl exclusion zone. My proposal is an urban design that is shaped by ecotourist principles that will protect people from harmful radiation, that will not harm or disrupt the natural environment, and that will educate the visitors on the dangers of nuclear power.

The project has two phases. The first phase was the literature review and precedent analysis. The research included examining the impact of radiation on the environment, ecology, and human health. As a result, different types of decontamination systems were researched. Studies of the phenomenology of space provided insight on how to preserve Chernobyl’s unique experience, and precedent analysis explored ways to implement ecotourism to the design.

The second phase of the project will be the design of the ecotourist infrastructure that will use the results from the literature review. This will include analyzing the site to determine the layout of the urban pathways and exhibition structures. Decontamination systems will determine the building’s façade and structure, and the studies of phenomenology will inform the tools and spatial components for enhancing experience. The design will also implement ecotourist principles to protect the natural environment. As a result of ecotourism, the design will provide economic power to help support the conservation of the environment and the local community of Chernobyl.