Urban Planning Essay

The Safe Cities Index 2015 is an Economist Intelligence Unit report based on an index composed of more than 40 quantitative and qualitative indicators split across four thematic categories: digital security; health security; infrastructure safety and personal safety.This essay series examines the roles that community-based organizations (CBOs) have played as active participants in the process of "governing" megacities whether in service delivery, risk mitigation, or the creation of livelihood and other opportunities. Istanbul is the demographic, economic, and cultural heart of Turkey.Despite this consensus, the AKP government became the first party to violate the Plan (which it essentially created).

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None of these projects was included in the Master Plan, each is located in outlaying “preservation” areas of the city to the north and northwest, and each occupies a vast land area.

According to extensive data compiled by the Independent Architects’ Association (SMD), the third airport (located along the Black Sea) will cover an area of 76,500,000 square meters, while the third highway ring (Kuzey Marmara Otoyolu) will include 421 kilometers of roadway.[9] Compared to these two mega-projects, Canal Istanbul, which will create a second waterway connecting the Black and Marmara Seas, looks quite modest at 42 kilometers.

Improve quality of life in Istanbul (e.g., by developing spatial strategies).[8]While most would agree that the Istanbul Master Plan marked an important turning point in the city’s attempt to balance land use development and environmental protection, implementation has been incomplete, and over time, the gap between the Plan and actual land use policy and practice by the IMM and other governmental entities, including the central government, has grown increasingly wide.

Indeed, it is reasonable to ask whether the Istanbul Master Plan has had any meaningful effect on Istanbul’s growth and development, particularly in the natural and historic areas that the Plan most clearly earmarked for preservation and protection from growth.

Anyone who has visited Istanbul in the past decade cannot help but have noticed the tremendous amount of construction underway.

From high rise office, retail, and condominium developments such as Maslak 1453, Zorlu Center, İstanbul Finans Merkezi, to sports stadiums like the Beşiktaş Vodafone Arena, to colossal new mosques (e.g., Çamlıca Camisi), to large-scale urban transformation projects such as Tarlabaşı Kentsel Dönüşüm Projesi, Sulukule Kentsel Yenileme Projesi, to name just a few.

On the other hand, the Plan did not include “mega-projects” such as the third bridge and highway ring, third airport, or Canal Istanbul, which were announced later and subsequently aggressively pursued by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan.

Despite the Plan, the massive “Gezi Park” protests in 2013 (ignited by local unrest regarding the ruling AKP’s land use policy), and frequent litigation by organized interest groups like the Chamber of Architects, at present these projects are not only underway, but are moving forward at seemingly lightning speed.

We believe that the latter two of these are most urgent and consequential for the city of Istanbul.

Thus, this essay will focus on the process and prospects of urban planning in Istanbul, paying particular attention to the issues of growth management and environmental protection.


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