Case Study 4: ISTANBUL

Application Case Study: ISTANBUL

Istanbul will represent the case of a megacity (population more than 10 million). Istanbul is highly earthquake prone, as well as prone to associated hazards such as liquefaction, landslides and tsunami. In addition, hydrometeorological hazards are an increasing problem.

Case study coordinator: 

Istanbul Technical University

Hazards: earthquake, tsunamic, landslides, liquefaction and hydrometeorological hazards (extreme temperatures, fires, and flooding).

Since the 1999 Izmit Earthquake, the population of Istanbul has increased from around 8 million to 15 million. Population growth rates, urban expansion speed, composition and integration of new migrants (native, foreign and refugees from countries like Syria and Afghanistan) contribute to the increasing disaster risk. The income and welfare gap between wealthier and disadvantaged groups is more visible in such big agglomerations. Consequently, disadvantaged groups become more vulnerable once considered disasters. Primate cities pioneer the country’s economy, but they also behave as global representatives within their role in international urban networks. This means that the impacts of certain shocks will be propagated through diverse channels to other cities. After the 1999 earthquakes, which hit the most industrialized zone of Turkey, some industrial businesses in other parts of the country urged to import some intermediate goods as they could not purchase them from Kocaeli because of the large-scale destruction. Most of the Istanbul’s population is internal migrants who still have connections to their city of emigration. After devastating earthquakes, it has been noted that people tend to turn to these cities of emigration temporarily or permanently. This mobility can create some real estate pressure in target cities, mostly by means of the rental price increase. In the case study of Istanbul, we plan to focus on urban dynamics (demography, social, economy, built-up environment, etc.) to reveal systemic vulnerabilities.