General Issues
Planning & Development
Scope of Influence


2012 Urban Planning in Kadikoy District of Istanbul, Turkey

February 2, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
January 13, 2019 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
September 16, 2017 Matt Kienzle
May 15, 2016 Matt Kienzle
General Issues
Planning & Development
Scope of Influence

This is a teaching case-study on the workshops that residents of Kadikoy, Turkey participated in regarding the future of Kadife Street and its social impacts, intending to enlighten the complexities and trade-offs in local governance and the benefits of a participatory approach.

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Problems and Purpose

In 2012, Kadıköy (a district within Istanbul, Turkey) had grown in popularity as an entertainment district. In an attempt to solve noise pollution concerns without closing businesses and cutting off the social aspect of Kadife Street, stakeholders were invited to participate in a series of workshops

Background History and Context 

The growing presence of bars, cafes, and restaurants in the area was largely a result of the government’s suppression of alcohol consumption in other areas of the city. One Kadikoy Street in particular, Kadife Street, had become incredibly trendy—earning it the reputation of “the street of bars.” As Kadife Street became more popular, existing bars, cafes, and restaurants expanded onto the sidewalks, and many new entertainment options opened in the surrounding residential streets. As a result of this expansion, other more practical businesses, such as clothing stores, grocery stores, and butcher shops, left the area. All these changes gave rise to significant urban space usage problems: while restaurant and bar owners consider Kadife Street and its surroundings a commerce area, inhabitants view it as residential, and patrons consider it an entertainment district.

Many of the area’s residents are homeowners who have been living there on average for 50 years, and they overwhelmingly agree that their quality of living has decreased since the opening of the bars. The businesses have significantly increased the amount of noise on the street, and many residents find alcohol consumption troubling. Additionally, businesses that obtain liquor licenses are granted permission to use the backyard of their building. Inhabitants find this particularly problematic because the vast majority of homes have bedrooms facing the backyards—and thus are more vulnerable to noise and invasions of privacy. Furthermore, the expansion of bars and restaurants has resulted in ever-shrinking sidewalks, forcing pedestrian traffic onto the streets. This severely hampers automobile traffic in the area, creating a major inconvenience for residents. Other Istanbul neighborhoods have experienced similar problems and chose to solve them by closing the bars and restaurants in the area, which left their streets desolate.

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

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Participant Recruitment and Selection

Stakeholders include: residents of Kadife Street and its surrounding area, people who consume alcohol and socialize on the street, business owners, and the head of the neighborhood council. 

Methods and Tools Used

This initiative uses participatory urban planning whereby affected stakeholders and local residents take responsibility for shared decision-making, regarding the use of urban space. The idea is that residents will "provide local knowledge and information to compliment the technical know-how of experts and officials" so that they can each meet their needs. [1]

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Residents, patrons, and business owners all believe that the problem can only be solved if one of the three groups left the area. This is the first time these groups are discussing their problems with one another, and the atmosphere is tense. The following concerns and solutions were discussed:


· Do not want the presence of bars or the patrons that they attract on their streets

· Want an explanation for why licenses for 22 bars and 3 liquor stores were given in a residential area

· Are concerned that the street is over capacity because it has been turned into an “outdoor bar”

· Do not want to be known as “the street of bars”

· Were in the area prior to the bars’ arrival and feel a strong connection to the area

· Feel unwanted in their own neighborhood and home values are being depressed

· Do not have a problem with alcohol consumption, but insist their standard of living has decreased

· Many cannot sleep because of noise

· Many have installed bars on their windows for security

· Assert that individuals consuming alcohol can be a public nuisance (public urination, vomiting, fights, sleeping on the street)

Business Owners

· Want to avoid the fate of bars in other neighborhoods who were shut down due to similar problems

· Express readiness to collaborate to solve the problem

· Feel residents are treating them poorly simply because they own bars

· Prefer patrons to only drink inside because taxation laws make it more profitable for them than outdoor drinking

· Express disappointment that homeowners are unwilling to compromise

· Not pleased with the noise level and dislike how inefficient the street has become


· Believe the situation is a consequence of the state ban on alcohol

· Many come to Kadife Street area because they cannot drink in their own neighborhood

· Willing to participate in meetings to work out disputes

· Many are aware of the concerns of Kadife Street’s residents and seek to stop inappropriate behavior if possible

· Express disappointment that many homeowners are unwilling to meet and discuss problems

All the parties left this tense meeting feeling like they had been able to voice all of their concerns, but there was no solution, and all three parties continued to use this shared urban space. Despite this frustration, all three parties agreed to meet together one more time to brainstorm ideas and try to decide on a communal decision to address all of the parties’ concerns. 

In the brainstorming session, participants would first meet in groups of three, with one person representing each stakeholder group. In the small groups, they develop what they agree to be the best solution to the problem facing Kadife Street. Second, all the small groups will reconvene and negotiate with one another. Each group of three will advocate for the plan that they are agreed to. The final plan will need to be voted and agreed upon by a majority of groups. Throughout this process, trade-offs will be analyzed and compromises will be made, both in the small groups, and the large group.

Influence, Outcome, and Effects

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Analysis and Lessons Learned

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See Also

Participatory Urban Planning 

Collaborative Planning 

Scenario Workshops 

Community Organizing 

Participatory Urban Planning Workshops for Kadife Street in Kadikoy, Istanbul 


External Links

Politics of Participatory Urban Space Design: A Case Study on Istanbul


Lead Image: Kadife Street Popular Nightlife

Secondary Image: Kadife Street View