In this new video from our friends at StreetFilms.org, the crew travels to Istanbul, Turkey to speak with local urban planner Kevser Üstündag, and see firsthand how this city of 12 million people is actively dealing with its transportation problems.
Blessed with graceful natural beauty as well as a rich historical urban fabric, Istanbul faces serious challenges in trying to accommodate an additional 100,000 cars every year. Public transport initiatives include a metro (which Üstündag jokingly refers to as a "centimetro," because of its limited reach), as well as light rail and planned BRT lines. Istanbul also utilizes the Bosphorus strait, which runs through the city, as a public transportation artery, and efforts are being made to integrate the various forms of pubic transport into a coherent whole.
Back in 1987, the Taksim area was closed to motor vehicles and transformed into a pedestrian street, a move which was initially opposed by local businesses, but which today is generally considered a great success. Nowadays, the city is experimenting with car-free Sundays a la Bogota.
Also check out this video - part of CNN's "Eco-Solutions" series - on Mexico City's recent efforts to integrate progressive urban planning measures, based on policies implemented in Bogota and Curitiba, including car-free weekends, BRT lines and a new network of bike lanes.