Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey with an area of around 5750 km(2) and a population of around 10.8 M (2000). In 1980, the population was only around 4.7 M and so has more than doubled in only 2 decades. In 2000, around 65% of the population were living on the European side of the city with its large industrial/commercial and trade centres. The population is increasing as a result of both births exceeding deaths and mass immigration. Consequently, planned and unplanned housing are increasing while green areas are decreasing in area. Monitoring urban growth will enable the Municipality of Istanbul to better manage this complex urban area.