August 01, 2014

An Urbanist's Guide to Istanbul

I live in the historical Beyoğlu District of Istanbul, the centre of my poly-centred megacity. In any given day, 2 million visitors pass within one kilometre of my home. Taksim Square and Gezi Park are approximately 700m from my front door. My office, from where I work on urbanism-related projects, is also within walking distance of my home. 

Living and working in such a central area has a lot of merits, yet it also has its drawbacks. The major problem is the intense level of commercialisation and threat of forced eviction. The tourism industry and real estate developers are extremely interested in buying and converting residential buildings and local businesses into hotels or short-term rentals. For exactly this reason I was evicted from my previous house, which is not far from where I live now, two years ago – and I can see the encroachment of the tourism related spaces upon my existing neighbourhood. 

Read more on The Guardian: An Urbanist's Guide to Istanbul


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