Unease grows over urban renewal project in Istanbul's Kadıköy
Gülistan Alagöz – ISTANBULUnease is growing among residents of Istanbul’s Kadıköy district over the numbers of ongoing construction projects as the number of jobsites has reached 1,200, with work on some of them expected to last at least 15 years.
To allay concerns, the Istanbul Association of Architects in Private Practice (IstanbulSMD) and Turk Ytong have initiated a social responsibility project on the issue of urban renewal, preparing a guide book called “Yellow Light: Get Ready for Urban Renewal” in order to provide support to citizens during this period.
According to the study, there are 1,200 ongoing construction projects in the district that are expected to continue for 15 years. Residents, meanwhile, are waiting for a solution to noise and air pollution problems, roads congested by construction machines and safety problems that arise from all of these factors.
“The area is tired,” said Istanbul Anatolian-side Contractors Association (AYİD) head Melih Tavukçuoğlu, adding that Kadıköy’s general fabric was being damaged with the construction.
“There should be renewal but not at this pace. You can’t have eight construction sites on the same street. The district municipality, which used to give 100 to 150 licenses per year from 1999 to 2005, now gives 1,000 licenses per year. Everywhere has been turned to dust. We should slow down a little,” said Tavukçuoğlu.
Tavukçuoğlu added that due to the intensity of construction, some famous brands on Bağdat Avenue – one of Istanbul’s most popular cultural and shopping hubs – are closing their stores and cafes as restaurants face hardships.
“The municipality has banned constructions on Saturdays and Sundays, but this is not enough. Construction trucks’ passage from the street should be prevented, they should not be giving this many construction licenses on the same street at the same time and contractors should take measures for the safety of both workers and residents,” said Tavukçuoğlu.