Istanbul (1936-1951) / The Regeneration of Beyoglu District

Beyoglu is the historical quarters of Istanbul situated in the northern part of the peninsula between the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. In the narrative of ‘zoning strategy’, it is discussed that the district would be developed into new residential area according to Prost’s plan. In this narrative, I would like to briefly discuss the historical background of the city and how it regenerated under Prost’s will.

 

Beyoglu in the Ottoman time

In the nineteenth century, the city became an international trade centre with the rapid growth of foreign trade with the European countries. Beyoglu District also developed into a hub where upper-class people lived with many posh shops, restaurants and cafés. However, the city declined rapidly in the 1930s due to the rapid expansion of Istanbul by rural exodus and speedy urbanization. The city could not attract new residential developers as it lacks of sufficient rehabilitation plans and projects to regenerate the old fabric of the city.

Prost's Master Plan for Beyoglu
Prost’s Master Plan for Beyoglu

 

Prost's proposal roads in Beyoglu connecting Taksim Square to karakoy and associated viaducts and tunnels
Prost’s proposal roads in Beyoglu connecting Taksim Square to Karakoy and associated viaducts and tunnels (cropped map of LHS)

 

Master Plan for the Beyoglu 3
Prost’s proposal roads in Beyoglu connecting Taksim Square to Karakoy and associated viaducts and tunnels (cropped map of RHS)

 

Regeneration through Transportation Infrastructure

Prost identified the problem of the city and the first step of his solution was to regenerate the road network in the Beyoglu district by connecting Taksim Square to the historical peninsula and joining Galata Bridge to Taksim Square. By doing so, it greatly increased the mobility of the district with its surrounding neighbours. The improved of the fluidity of the transportation network attracted more residential development in the area, thus more and more new housings were constructed from the 1950s.

 

Reference

Gul Murat (2009), The Emergence of Modern Istanbul: Transformation and Modernization of a City, London: Tauris Acadmeic Studies.

Evre Ozus and Vdia Dokmeci (2005), Effects of Revitalization in Historical City Center of Istanbul, International Real Estate Review Vol. 8 No. 1