Global Street Design Guide

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Table of Contents

Global Street Design Guide

Case Study: Historic Peninsula; Istanbul, Turkey

Location: Fatih District, Istanbul, Turkey
Population: 14.3 million
Extent: 5,000,000 m
Right-of-way: Various
Context: Mixed-Use (Residential/Commercial/Institutional) and Historic
Cost: 500,000 EUR—consultation only (approx. 560,000 USD)
Funding: Public


The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality began a series of pedestrianization projects in 2005 to increase the quality of life in the historic peninsula.

The Transportation Coordination Center (UKOME), the decision-making body on matters of transportation in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, drafted a number of resolutions for the historic peninsula that aimed to reduce the negative effects of vehicular traffic on tourism, commercial practices, and the environment.

Based on UKOME resolutions and information provided by the 2010 study Istanbul Public Spaces and Public Life, the Fatih Municipality prioritized streets for pedestrianization efforts and accelerated  infrastructure work. As a result, 295 streets in the peninsula have been pedestrianized and supporting infrastructure projects such as traffic signalization, granite paving, and waste-management improvements were completed.


Key Elements

Pedestrians can walk on the entire right-of-way.

Quality paving materials and textures.

Progressive removal of obstacles, curbs, and bollards.


  • Drastically reduce air pollution in the historic center.
  • Provide more pedestrian-friendly spaces for residents, visitors, and business owners.
  • Provide a high-quality and attractive environment.
  • Create a space that supports local businesses.

Lessons Learned

The main challenges to implementation were difficulties in interagency coordination, particularly between ministries, and opposition from local business owners. Many feared that the pedestrianization would negatively impact their businesses.


Public Agencies
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality,UKOME, Fatih Municipality (leads)

Private Group and Partnerships
Upper Laleli Industrial Association

EMBARQ Turkey (lead), Mimar Sisan Fine
Arts University

Designers and Engineers
Gehl Architects


Map of Central Istanbul
Map of the Historic Peninsula

Project Timeline

Between 2005 and 2009, four squares and nearby streets were pedestrianized. In 2010, a site management project for tourist buses, parking area rearrangement, and a shuttle route project were completed. In 2010, Sultanahmet Square and nearby streets were pedestrianized. Between 2011 and 2012, 250 streets pedestrianized. In 2013, 45 streets were pedestrianized.

Adapted by Global Street Design Guide published by Island Press.