Istanbul readying Türkiye's first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan

Deniz Aksoy Deniz Aksoy Beduk Associate | Europe Press Office,Istanbul
5 October 2021

Arup is working with the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, strategic partner UN Habitat and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) to create a sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) for Türkiye's most populous city. 

With more than 15 million residents, Istanbul has been grappling with major mobility problems including traffic congestion issues, the rise of private car use, overcrowding of public transport as well as air and noise pollution. 

The strategic mobility plan, the first in the country, will put people and planet first to deliver a more sustainable, efficient and accessible urban mobility vision that accommodates the unique geography and historical values of Istanbul.  

Arup is delivering the strategy under the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), and Strategic Partner UN-Habitat, one of the five key city-shaping projects it is rolling out under Global Future Cities Programme in Türkiye.  

The Istanbul SUMP will look to make the city’s transport system more resistant to climate change, social and economic factors to provide accessible, integrated and environmentally friendly mobility solutions to improve the quality of life of all residents.  

The sustainable urban mobility strategy prioritises the social inclusion of marginalised demographics by aiming to improve access to jobs, health and educational facilities and a range of other essential services. 

From increasing accessibility for people with reduced mobility to delivering a more efficient and cost-effective freight, the strategy adopts a human-oriented approach and brings together different sectors and players to propose a long-term mobility vision for Istanbul and surrounding cities. 

The SUMP is an integrated strategy, bringing together the work of transport and traffic engineers, alongside our architects, planners, psychologists, economists, as well as other public administration and non-governmental experts from 23 different units of the IMM. Advocating a participatory approach, the sustainable transport strategy is also built on the ongoing engagement of stakeholders and citizens at every stage of the process.  

Other relevant and influential stakeholders are also being invited to participate, including NGOs, universities, transport experts and public and private sector representatives.

Within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Transportation Department, we carry out studies throughout the year in order to plan transportation systems with sustainable, inclusive and environmental goals. Our 'Istanbul Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan', which continues with the principle of participation, supports an environmentally friendly transportation system where sustainable modes are used at the highest level. ” Ekrem İmamoğlu Mayor of Istanbul