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Istanbul is accelerating its use of renewables and energy efficiency measures, and investing in green spaces to improve pedestrian flow.
Turkey is investing in renewables to deliver the increasing energy demands of its national growth targets in a more sustainable way. Investment in wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal sources is being supported by initiatives to improve energy efficiency in public buildings, such as the use of energy service companies (ESCOs) and performance contracts.
Meanwhile, the Paris Agreement continues to drive a fierce debate over whether Turkey should be treated as a developed or emerging economy. This has many implications, including the availability of funding assistance to support the country’s many decarbonization initiatives.
Istanbul is one of the most congested cities in the world, with commuters sitting in traffic for up to two hours per journey. This is having a significant effect on air quality, and a resulting detrimental impact on human health.
There are many initiatives to tackle congestion, including new ways to encourage commuters to use public transport for all or part of their journey. For example, a low-price ‘Park and Go’ scheme provides an app to help drivers find and reserve parking spaces close to public transport stations. The city is also considering whether to introduce congestion charging to reduce traffic and increase revenue from road use.
Investment in green spaces is helping to improve pedestrian flow around the city. Ten public gardens were opened recently, bringing the total number of green spaces to 23. Each park is designed to shorten journeys, increase recreational opportunities, and provide a safer place for citizens to go during an earthquake.
Istanbul is also building sustainable city squares to raise awareness about climate change issues. Each square includes features that draw attention to renewable energy, with some even generating their own electricity from renewable sources. There are also plans to introduce Wi-Fi networks, co-working areas and mobile apps to increase the popularity of these squares, and lay the foundations of a smart city.