Test Site Istanbul

Photo: George Burgmans

The international Curator Team of the 5th IABR has been working since 2009 with local parties in Rotterdam, São Paulo and Istanbul on current urban issues. Open and new alliances between urban designers, academics, businesses, developers and local authorities form the driving forces behind these projects. They will be presented to the public during the 5th IABR: Making City. The aim is to actually realise the concrete solutions after the 5th edition has ended.

Arnavutköy, Istanbul
The municipality of Arnavutköy holds crucial drinking water reservoirs for the Istanbul metropolitan region. This area is largely agrarian. But as the city advances, tension is growing between ecological interests and ongoing urbanization. The challenge is to incorporate urban developments in the existing productive landscape.

Test Site Istanbul
The IABR is developing a Strategic Plan for the area together with the municipality of Arnavutköy. An international team headed by Joachim Declerck (member of the Curator Team) is working on the assignment in a multidisciplinary and ‘multi-departmental’ manner and to be ready in the Spring of 2012. The core team consists of H+N+S Landscape Architects from Holland and the design office 51N4E from Belgium.

The problems that Arnavutköy faces are not unique. All around the world the menacing imbalance between ecology and urbanisation is a problem facing many metropolitan regions. The team is therefore working on a local solution that can also serve as an example for other municipalities in the north of Istanbul.

The Strategic Plan lays the foundation for the sustainable development of Arnavutköy. This plan will then be elaborated into an Action Plan and a number of concrete pilot projects, to be presented at the main exhibition of the 5th IABR, Making City. Subsequently, the projects will be further developed in 2012 and the results will be presented in the exhibition Making City Istanbul opening in October at the Istanbul Modern, as part of the 1st Istanbul Design Biennial. At least one of the projects will be realized in 2013. Flood protection will be build along a section of the flood-prone Bolluça River, simultaneously creating an urban park and and "eco-corridor".


local curator
Asu Aksoy (member of the 5th IABR: Making City Curator Team, Bilgi University Istanbul)
Municipality of Arnavutköy - Head of Planning: Gülnür Kadayifçi

design team
Architecture Workroom Brussels
H+N+S Landscape Architects

parties involved
Istanbul Metropolitan Region Authority (including the Istanbul Metropolitan Planning Office), national government of Turkey, ISKI water services department and other administrative authorities, NL Agency.

Test Site Istanbul is funded by the Netherlands Architecture Fund.