19 October Monday

Istanbulites Voting on Fate of City’s Most Iconic Squares

Istanbulites are voting online for their favourite urban design projects for the city’s most important squares – including Taksim Square, the city’s main touristic and cultural centre.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) launched a public poll for the busiest squares in the city such as Taksim, Bakırköy, Haliç (Golden Horn) and Salacak coastal strip as it seeks to refurbish of the busy locations.

A total of  233 projects competed in the design contest organized by the Istanbul Planning Agency (IPA) and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Department of Cultural Heritage.

A jury, consisting of prominent figures such as Zeynep Ahunbay, Ipek Akpınar Aksugür, Arman Akdoğan, Can Kubin, Arzu Nuhoğlu and Kerem Piker, as well as foreign jury members Manuel de Rivero and Rainer Schmidt, have determined three different urban design projects for each square.

The projects have been opened to take a public vote to determine which one of the designs should be implemented.

Istanbulites will be able to vote by registering with their ID numbers online or at stands set up at three locations.

The Istanbul Planning Agency (IPA) set up a website called www.istanbulsenin.org (Istanbul Is Yours) to allow millions of residents of the city to decide upon an array of new designs.

The poll, which was opened online today, will end on November 12, 2020.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu recently said at an event on the redesign of the square that the location lost its historic fabric. He said they aim to launch redesign work next year. “It is the first time Turkey hosts a democratic process focusing on the design of a place. We want to reshape these places with the participation of citizens and to meet their demands the best way possible,” Imamoğlu said earlier this month.

“Taksim [Square] is far from its glory days. We are proposing this contest to restore its old glory,” Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu said on October 1 after the three best projects were selected for the online vote.

Three projects have won an equivalent prize in a competition held by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM).

All the projects aim to increase their green areas and create a modern look for the squares.

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