The Story of the 2050 Vision


Istanbul, the World City Where Life is Vibrant and Free with All Its Diversity, and Everyone Lives Well

By 2050, Istanbul will be the “World City Where Life is Vibrant and Free with All Its Diversity and Everyone Lives Well”.

In 2050, Istanbul is the centre of creative and innovative people who produce together and learn from each other. People worldwide are drawn to this inspiring city, excited and enriched to be in it. Istanbul is a city that people wonder about and dream of experiencing in life.

In Istanbul, the voice of the youth is heard and valued. Young people join life with the hope of establishing their future in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a green and high-tech production centre. The city's strong local producers are part of R&D, design, and production. Agriculture is an essential element of urban life and culture in Istanbul.

Istanbul is an indispensable centre for creative and innovative initiatives. Knowledge sharing, co-production facilities and infrastructure are sprawled all over the city. Istanbul provides the common ground of co-thinking and richness for people from all over the world to produce together; it is the city of encounters.

Istanbul is a rich city with all its possibilities, activities and capital. Istanbulites share the city's offerings and wealth equally. All parts of the city provide a good life and opportunities for all citizens based on the right to life.

Education, health, culture and art, shelter, and healthy food is for everyone and are of high quality. All Istanbulites are a part of urban life; they can protect their values ​​and identities and receive a fair share of resources.

The streets, squares and all public spaces of Istanbul are colourful and lively with culture, art and sports. All Istanbulites are a part of this, leaving their mark on Istanbul. The squares and streets of Istanbul are designed for everyone.

Istanbul has transformed in a planned manner while continuing to be a global economic centre; it has increased its green spaces within the city. While the city increases its dynamism and economic power, it also offers people a peaceful living environment.

People living in Istanbul enjoy walking on its streets, cycling to work or school, doing sports and playing games at all ages. In its green, aesthetic and accessible public spaces, Istanbulites spend time with pleasure and swim on its beaches.

Istanbul has preserved its uniqueness and always will. The cultural heritage of Istanbul, integrated with the Bosphorus, Ferries, Golden Horn, Islands, Galata - Beyoğlu, Eyüpsultan and many more, is always a part of the identity of Istanbul and Istanbulites.

Istanbul is a nature-friendly metropolis with all its components. All living things in the city are protected and their well-being is looked out for. The nature and biodiversity of Istanbul are part of its authenticity. All Istanbul residents are fighting together against the climate crisis, and the city's economy, amenities and physical environment have been fairly transformed. Istanbul is a circular city that uses its resources efficiently and does not pollute.

Istanbulites stand together in the face of difficulties, always act together, and constantly and jointly discover innovative solutions to challenges. Istanbul provides a democratic city life and a free expression space at all levels, while Istanbulites are the most important element of a strong civic space.

In 2050, Istanbul residents are happy and hopeful for the future.

Key Policies of Istanbul’s 2050 Vision

The manifesto is co-produced with Istanbulites to realise the 2050 Vision of Istanbul. In this context;

Istanbul urgently must turn into a fair city. 

Istanbul should be a fair city with an understanding that takes care of vulnerable groups, fights against poverty, is egalitarian and offers accessible opportunities for everyone in the city, and with planning where the good life is not presented to the privileges of certain groups and areas but embraces the whole city. All Istanbulites should be a part of the city's accumulation and production, and the necessary transformation should be ensured for fair sharing.

Good life in Istanbul is everyone's right. 

Istanbul is a whole with its people, nature and past. Efforts should be made to make Istanbul a peaceful city that creates the opportunity for a life in harmony with nature and protects not only people but all living things. The spaces that are good for the residents of the city provide confidence and facilitate their breathing should be created. A healthy city should be created that also gives importance to the mental, physical and mental health of the people of Istanbul, and permanent solutions should be produced for the problems that affect the quality of life of the city. It should be ensured that Istanbulites can experience the city with pleasure in comfort and quality environments throughout their entire life cycle.

Freedom is the soul of Istanbul. 

Istanbulites should co-create a free city where all individuals feel free in every part of the city, where the individual is empowered, and which has a culture of living together with an inclusive and participation-based solid management approach. Istanbul should be a city that speaks and produces together, where local democracy is strong, where young people, women and all vulnerable groups are more involved in public decisions, and which opens up space for civil society.

The nature of Istanbul is a priority. 

In every decision taken about Istanbul, the nature of Istanbul should be given priority. Istanbul should be a city that lives with its nature, heals nature, fights the climate crisis together, and supports circular life. Practices in harmony with nature should be developed in every possible area in transportation, economy, housing, and public space. The natural areas and ecosystem of the city should be protected, and natural resources should be used sustainably.

Istanbul must be a resilient and safe city. 

In the light of science and under the leadership of scientists, Istanbul should be a city that is least affected by the negativities caused by extraordinary and natural events, organizes social solidarity quickly in times of crisis, where Istanbulites fight together, and makes individuals resilient and prepared against disasters. It should be transformed into a city where people feel safer, where there are no hazardous buildings, and whose economy, society and institutions are resilient to crises.

Istanbul is vibrant and innovative. Yesterday, today and tomorrow! 

Istanbul should support innovative thinking and creativity to be a city that is open to change, transforming, being the centre of entrepreneurship and creativity, becoming a centre of attraction for international investments, transforming the wealth it creates into social welfare, increasing the skilled workforce and employment, and inclusive of everyone with its economic diversity. Colours should not be allowed to fade in the city, and the music should not be silenced. By increasing the vibrancy of the city, Istanbul should become the world's leading permanent and indispensable focus of creativity, innovation, culture, art, tourism and sports.

Istanbul is strong with its diversity. 

Istanbul should be a city that is open to differences and diversity and protects its biodiversity and historical and cultural diversity. This diversity forms the basis of both economic and social strength and resilience. In addition to the city's multi-layered and unique cultural heritage of the city, the ecological values of Istanbul should be protected with care and respect and experienced by Istanbulites.

Youth is the energy of Istanbul.

The voice of young people in Istanbul should be valued and respected. Young people should be an essential part of decision-making and urban organisation. In this way, everyone who wants to contribute to Istanbul, regardless of age, should be heard. The impact of decisions taken in Istanbul should always be measured based on the consequences that future generations might experience. Young people should be given the opportunity and space to develop and express themselves, produce together, and co-think.

The Scheme of Istanbul’s 2050 Vision

2050's Istanbul is an innovative, creative, liveable, and green city. In 2050, Istanbul aims to transmit its traditional values to the future; live respectfully and in harmony with nature; have resilient urban spaces; support circular life and a green economy; be productive and able to relate with its environment in a holistic approach to conservation; be a pioneer in science and technology. Furthermore, Istanbul is targeting to emphasise its position as a world city by providing the spatial transformation that supports the future jobs for the young generation and new occupational opportunities with its creativity, innovativeness and technology hubs.     

Istanbul’s spatial strategies for 2050 are based on a three-level system. The first level includes Fatih, Beyoğlu, Kadıköy and Bosporus settlements, which represent the spaces of traditional manufacture, historical and cultural centre, centre for creativity and tourism, technological transformation areas and innovative rooms for the future. The second level includes the Sultangazi in the north and Bakırköy in the south of the European part and Çekmeköy in the north and Bostancı in the south of the Anatolian region. The second level consists of the transformation nodes, clean production areas, innovative and technological hubs and the financial and economic base for the future. The third level includes Hadımköy in the north and Beylikdüzü in the south of the European part, and Tuzla in the Anatolian region. This level consists of the main entrances and exits, the logistic hubs, technological production and education areas of the city. Every level is constructed in a manner of self-sufficiency regarding housing and production. Levels can also relate and are ready to transmit today’s values to future generations.

Gaziosmanpaşa, Üsküdar, Çekmeköy and Kartal are considered to be the future educational nodes, the centres for technological transformation, science and innovativeness, spread along with the different levels of the city. Adapting to rapid technological changes, the educational centres and creativity hubs provide new employment opportunities by ensuring the flow of information at a global level. Furthermore, with its blue flagged beaches and broad sandy seashores, Şile is becoming a node for developing sports culture, water and underwater sports and outdoor sports.

Istanbul, a national and international transit point connecting the Asian and European continents, aims to be a logistics centre where the circular economy is supported in 2050 with its transportation and logistics infrastructure. In this context, in the first level, it is aimed that light commercial vehicles, electric vehicles and bicycles will be used in the city, and heavy vehicles will be prevented from entering the urban traffic except for transit passes; thus, their carbon footprint will also be reduced. In the second and third levels, load mobility will occur gradually and effectively. On the other hand, it is aimed to reduce the need for private cars thanks to the reliable and comfortable public transportation systems that can access all parts of the city. In this context, transportation networks and mobility centres are essential, offering a future where pedestrians and bicycles are popularised as an active type of urban transportation, service quality is higher, and technological capacity and performance are improved, which makes for all individuals to participate in the city life easy. Furthermore, to reduce environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, it aims to carry out priority interventions starting from the city centres and expand the low emission areas in the fight against the climate crisis.

Avoiding the urban sprawl, preserving the ecological areas and restoring the ecologically damaged regions are crucial for the future of İstanbul. In this context, a Northern Valley of Life is designed to avoid the urban sprawl between the dense settlements and ecological areas and make the natural spaces more effective for the inner city. Northern Valley of Life is an active green interface, defined as an innovative and creative web, meeting all the present and future needs of İstanbul. Including the innovative and creative nodes, the Northern Valley of Life is closely related to the education and production areas of the next generation focused on science and technology. As the traditional centres of İstanbul, Fatih, Beyoğlu and Kadıköy are also centres for innovativeness and creativity with their cultural and historical structures, and they also have an active role in feeding the science and technology nodes in the buffer zone. On the other hand, İstanbul Planning Agency is proactively providing interaction between those centres by working in science, education, and production for a better present and future of İstanbul.

The future of Istanbul in 2050 is shaped within the themes of climate adaptation and protecting the environment, transformative and resilient economy, accessible and fair urban amenities for all, vibrant and sensible spaces assuring good living for all, effective and inclusive mobility, integrated smart infrastructure systems, and equal and free society.