By Vyacheslav Argenberg. ("Istanbul"), [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0]




City size: 


12 915 158


5 343.00km²

Unemployment rate: 


City challenges: 


A primate city and coastal megacity in the Bosporus region:
One of the world’s most important religious, political and cultural cities faces new urban development challenges associated with population growth, environmental impact and economic advancement.



A city whose historic importance dates back to its days as the capital of the Roman Empire, Istanbul today remains a dynamic cultural and economic capital while facing new urban challenges. Straddling two continents, Istanbul represents a geographic gateway from the Mediterranean into the Black Sea and even a symbolic gateway for Turkey as around 45% of national production and jobs are concentrated in the metropolitan area.


Istanbul has become one of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the world with many neighbourhoods expanding radially outward from the historic city centre on the Bosporus Strait. Urban development initiatives have been met with protest for challenging local interests and have fuelled social unrest as well as cultural and economic divides. Furthermore, the growing population has applied pressure to local water basins and supply. The vast majority of the population is also exposed to significant earthquake risks which pose challenges to urban development.

Current Initiatives: 

Turkey is in the midst of a building boom. The largest satellite development in Turkey is being constructed which will provide 65,000 new flats to citizens in Kayaşehir. An estimated 50 neighbourhoods, one of them being Tarlabaşi, will be demolished and built anew. The construction of the Istanbul Canal, yet another project underway in the city, will link the Black and Marmara Seas which will have major trade implications.

Istanbul Teknik Universitesi (ITU) will be coordinating and developing post-carbon visions with local Istanbul stakeholders.