2009 Istanbul, Turkey
Social Cohesion in Istanbul
Eighty-seven initiatives combined the spirit of social entrepreneurship and collective action that characterizes many of the grassroots initiatives developed in Istanbul.
Istanbul’s spatial inequity is a result of a rapidly growing process, which has intensified problems over time: traffic congestion, lack of open space, the informal and self-made city, as well as the restoration of the city’s heritage and derelict areas. Many of the initiatives found respond directly to some of these issues, impacting the urban environment while focusing on social aspects.
Music for Peace is impressive in its simplicity. It offers music training as a catalyst in a depressed inner-city neighborhood, where extra-curricular opportunities are not ordinarily available. The project was first located at two primary schools of the neighborhood, but was later able to move into a structure exclusively built for its use. By focusing on the children in the neighborhood, Barıs¸ I˙çin Müzik aims to connect people and empower residents, while raising the quality of the neighborhood.
Nurtepe First Step Cooperative—under the umbrella of Kadın Emeg˘ini Deg˘erlendirme Vakfı—creates a neighborhood center where women are able to access cooperative childcare, which allows them to find part-time employment. The women’s center focuses on the value of women’s labor, its cooperative dimension, and its contribution to the emancipation of newly urbanized households.
Children of Hope—Youth House offers a modest-scale shelter and limited employment training for young men who have been forced to live on the streets. It makes a humble but important contribution towards the recognition of a significant problem.
Director, Urban Age & Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism, London School of Economics
Arzuhan Dog˘an Yalçindag˘
Chair, Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD)
Professor of Sociology, Bosphorus University
Cartoonist, author, architect
Founder, TEN Arquitectos, New York and Mexico City & Miler Chair of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania
Former Mayor of Washington, DC and is the Executive Director of the Global Government
Architect, Mimarlar Design, & Visiting Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design