In Istanbul, a Burgeoning Livable Streets Movement

StreetFilms’ Elizabeth Press traveled to Istanbul, Turkey recently, and put together this vid of horrendous traffic conditions and initiatives to take back the streets. Featured in the film is Kevser Üstündag, professor of architecture and World Carfree Network advisor, who discusses transit and car-free Sundays.

At 1:40, check out Istiklal Caddesi, an avenue that was closed to cars in 1987 and has since grown to be one of the most successful and desirable areas of the city.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Way to go Istanbul!

    I wonder if the Turkish workers returning home from jobs in Germany had any effect on influencing the traffic calming policies. Many Turks lived for years Germany; in some of the best traffic calmed cities and towns in the world. Upon returning home did they take these ideas with them? I wonder… Really!

    BTW – If you want to see a city that has a totally out of control cars problem, all Elizabeth would have to do is cross the Aegean Sea and go to Athens. From what I hear, I doubt she could have done a similar video in Athens.

  • I was in Istanbul last September, and Istiklal Caddesi is absolutely amazing. It has to be one of the longest pedestrian streets in the world. You get this feeling of warmth from the mass of humanity that is strolling down the street, surrounded on both sides by 19th Century French-inspired architecture. There are also a few narrow pedestrian off-shoot streets filled with restaurants and musicians (this also happens in a place on the Asian side named Kadikoy).

    Prices on Istiklal Caddesi are very high, though. I spent more for coffee there than I have in NYC.

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