Istanbul’s Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), under the Global Future Cities Programme Türkiye, wanted to develop a model for collective decision-making in urban planning that would include typically under-represented groups.

The city’s 67 stakeholders – including departments and companies of IMM, NGOs, private companies, district municipalities, professional chambers, local resident and special interest groups – needed to come together to create an effective Participatory Urban Planning Model.  

Arup created a structured process to help the municipality increase participation, engage with under-represented groups and create a more innovative approach to urban planning.

Having set up an IMM Working Group, Arup organised meetings where ideas and opinions could be shared and discussed. This prompted a wider discussion on social inclusion, establishing a culture of reciprocal learning and coordinated action, ultimately delivering institutional and behavioural change.  

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is now able to foster cross-department collaboration and involve external stakeholders in the process. This creates more possibilities for future participatory planning actions.

The framework and methods proposed by Arup offer a systematic approach that will support, inform and influence the current participation processes within the municipality. 

A trusted partner for participatory urban planning

Arup’s work has supported the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) to develop its capabilities, transforming urban planning into a data-informed, more inclusive process. 

With Arup’s input, IMM was able to map its current capacity and chart the possibilities for growth by training staff to deliver multi-stakeholder engagement.

This will open new doors for using, testing, applying and developing sound participation tools and contextualising participatory activities for sustainable development in urban planning.

Data and knowledge management

The engagement framework has helped promote a more solid approach to data collection, data flows and overall data governance among the different directorates within the municipality.

This has strengthened how data can be used to inform the participatory planning process.

The municipality’s newly created Urban Hub will improve the use of data going forward.