The city of Istanbul, a megacity which generates almost a quarter of GDP in Turkey, is experiencing substantial growth in its population, estimated at 14 million inhabitants. Consequently, the sustainable management of mobility is an area of concern in a context of traffic congestion, which seriously hinders the city’s economic development, in addition to its environmental and social impacts.
The municipality has adopted an ambitious policy to develop a public transport network with dedicated corridors, which is set out in a Master Plan where the creation of a rail network is the highest investment item. This project is part of a program to develop the rail transport system, which includes several components: the construction of three new metro stations, a suspension bridge to cross the Golden Horn by metro, and the electromechanical works, which are partly financed by AFD.
This extension project is a core component of the Yenikapi multimodal station where the metro line and several other modes of transport, such as the Marmaray (linking up Europe with Asia), the M1 metro line, which goes to the airport, a tramway, and the IDO river transport station will soon be connected.
The Yenikapi multimodal station will also showcase the archaeological discoveries excavated during the works: the remains of the ancient port of Theodosius (first port of Byzantium), boats dating back to the 5th to 11th centuries, and artefacts dating back to the Neolithic era will be exhibited in the station, as well as in a dedicated museum (Archeopark), which the city intends to build nearby.
The cooperation which has existed between Istanbul and Paris since 2009 will be strengthened during this project and will focus on urban development in the context of large-scale transport projects. The financing of the project allows AFD to position itself upstream of a reflection process on the urban management of development projects via cooperation with the City of Paris and Paris Town Planning Workshop (APUR). The two cities are exploring together potential areas for partnerships for urban development and transport. In this context, Yenikapi can provide a case study for the development of an integrated vision at the urban and regional levels.
By increasing the coverage of the public transport network, improving its interconnectivity, and facilitating access to mobility for the residents of Istanbul, it is estimated that over a million passengers a day will transit through Yenikapi and that the funded extension will avoid the emission of 54 kilo tons of CO2. The extension of this metro line is a significant step in the development of an integrated public transport network, with the creation of a major multimodal transport hub in the heart of the historic center of the city of Istanbul.
This project will also have impacts in terms of providing access to transport, promoting low-carbon mobility and improving urban productivity, while developing the city’s historical heritage. Finally, the cooperation between Istanbul and Paris will promote French expertise in sustainable urban development.