The voting for the Urban Design of Taksim Square, organized with the collaborative work of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) and Istanbul Planning Agency (IPA) and held through the web site istanbulsenin.org is over. The first prize was awarded to Project No: 15 with the contributions of Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç, that has been offering the construction of a viewing terrace.
Faculty Member of Kadir Has University, Department of Political Science and Public Administration and Director of the Istanbul Studies Center, Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç has participated in the Taksim Collective Team, submitting Project No: 15 which was awarded with one of the three 1st prizes in the Taksim Square International Urban Design Competition. In addition to Prof. Dr. Murat Güvenç; Şerif Süveydan, Burcu Sevinç Yılmaz, Rıfat Yılmaz, Süleyman Yıldız, Sezer Bahtiyar and Herman Salm were the co-contributors of the Project. The advisory board of the Project comprised of Prof. Gülsün Tanyeli, Prof. Uğur Tanyeli, Evrim Gürel Süveydan, Duygu Çakır, Gürden Gür, Emrah Erdem Özlü, Cantekin Turan, Hakan Mintaş, Cem Kozar, Özkan Çalışkan, Ertuğrul Ağaoğlu, Ömer Altun, Duygu Erten, Bilge Kobaş, Zeynep Uşşaklı and İpek Duben.
352,784 people have voted for 25 days in the project of reorganizing the face of Taksim Square, Bakırköy Square and Salacak coastline, prepared with the theme "Istanbul is Getting Its Public Spaces”. 209 thousand 728 people voted exclusively for the Taksim Square project. The project number 15 by Taksim Collective was awarded the first prize with 86 thousand 597 votes in the competition held between projects numbered 15, 16 and 19, which made it to the finals.
Taksim Collective, owner of the Project No.15, introduces its projects as follows: “In our project, we aimed to integrate Taksim Square with Gezi Park to achieve a meeting point that can meet different demands. In order to strengthen and emphasize the current position of the Republic Monument located in the square, we transformed the two axes heading to Cumhuriyet Avenue and AKM into comfortable walking and resting areas, shaded by trees. Thus, we ensured these two axes to support the square. In order to take the advantage of Gezi Park more actively, we shall ensure the Park to regain two features that have been lost over time. The pedestrian bridge offered within the scope of our project both enlivens the memory of the viewing terraces overlooking the Bosporus at the end of Gezi Park and integrates Gezi Park to Maçka Park by ensuring the connection with cultural venues such as AKM and Atatürk Library. Thus, we aim to bring a new perspective to both the square and Gezi. Another contribution of the pedestrian bridge is that it will establish a new link between Gezi Park and Taksim and Maçka and Nişantaşı, which will balance the recently increasing tourism pressure.
At the entrance of the Talimhane, we suggested building a canopy and an event hall that would emphasize the existence of the circular square around the Monument. A new connection has been designed to allow the underground bus stops at the same point to receive daylight. Tram is one of the significant symbols of Taksim. We aim to extend the tram route that currently ends around the Monument to travel around Gezi Park, thus strengthen the connection of Gezi Park with Taksim.
On the other hand, public participation is a major feature of our project. We aimed to achieve a realistic theme of participation, rather than being just a wish; therefore we introduced a concrete program under the name of Taksim Collective. We envisage a participation process where people actively take the advantage of the customizable activity areas that we have defined in the square and the park area, express their demands and make their choices.
We aim to achieve the greatest benefit in Taksim Square, with the least possible intervention, without letting our citizens go through a long-term construction process once again. Owing to a multi-stage construction process, we will ensure the transformation of Taksim Square without interrupting daily life.”