The Making of: Plans for Beyoğlu

Moderator Hans Venhuizen

Salt Beyoğlu

September 17, 2011 14.00

In the context of its current boundaries, the district of Beyoğlu has been an area of varied historical and cultural dynamics since ancient times. The site of remnants of Latin colonial settlements in Galata; of the Tersane-i Amire in Haliç, the Ottoman Empire’s first operation in İstanbul; of the European structures in Pera built by the Levantines in the 19th century; and of the first symbolic Monument of the Republic in Taksim, Beyoğlu harbors the physical evidence of İstanbul’s urban formation.

Beyoğlu was declared a conservation site in 1993 as a means to protect the district from pressures of development. Seventeen years later, in 2010, an extensive set of conservation plans was completed and approved by İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality. These plans - the final determinant of all physical and functional aspects relating to construction work in Beyoğlu - were publicly announced at the beginning of 2011 by the Municipality of Beyoğlu. The plan’s report articulated the goals “to eliminate existing negativities; to establish sustainability between the past and the future, taking into consideration the unique identity of the Historical Peninsula and of İstanbul and the region with regard to history, culture, science, art, commerce and tourism; to highlight the district’s distinct characteristics while preserving their differences; to maintain Beyoğlu’s historical, cultural and architectural assets on a regional scale; and to be one with its historic cultural values.”

The scope of the plan for Beyoğlu includes the reintroduction of lost monumental artifacts and civil architectural structures; the clearing of visual pollution from above-ground transportation posts by transferring them underground; increased accessibility to public squares through pedestrianization of existing routes; the establishment of multi-storey car parks; elimination of functions incongruent with Beyoğlu’s original character and re-functioning according to the district’s historical texture; the resolution of circumstances contributing to social and/or physical degeneration; development of real estate to stabilize the day-to-night population in areas of commerce; and cultivation of cultural tourism through urban projects, conferences, congresses, and the creation of arts and cultural centers and exhibition spaces.

What other strategies could be developed to improve and sustain Beyoğlu’s social and physical patterns?

This workshop will be held in English. The page for the workshop in Turkish on December 24, 2011 can be viewed here.

You can register to the workshop by emailing your contact information to
Plans for Beyoğlu