Growth Management and Cultural Heritage in Istanbul

Aykut Karaman,Ph.D.
Professor,Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University,Istanbul

Istanbul as the biggest and fastest growing metropolis in Euro-Asian corridor exposes development trends that effect not only socio-cultural, environmental and economical life of the city but also poses opportunities and treats to its city region.In the past 3 decades the growth patterns of the city begin to open up new issues that are to be tuckled with in the planning process.The growth trends and their impact can be critically analysed in two areas.One is on the central area and the second is on the peripherial developments.The impact of the peripherial growth poses threats to natural assets namely forest and water cathment areas with new settlements that are poor in basic urban design norms and standards lacking ideas for the integration with their immediate social and environmental context.The impact of the growth on the central areas of the city on the other hand can be evaluatedin terms of new developments of business and residential complexes mostly high-rise towers compeeting with the density, accessibility and spatial aspect with its surroundings.The second and the most crucial issue that is affected from the growth pressure in the center is the cultural heritage areas.Historical Peninsula,Golden Horn,Galata District, Bosphorus are among the sites that have to be conserved according to the Universal Urban Heritage Norms.Historical Peninsula is inscribed on the World Heritage List of Unesco in 1985.The Site Management Plan for the Peninsula as cultural heritage has been completed in February 2011.The general aspects of the Management Plan making is described and some questions are raised for the prospect of the site.