Deciphering the Complex Structure of Large Urban Systems through the Case Study of Istanbul

Demireş Özkul B.

in: The Elgar Companion to Urban Infrastructure Governance, Matthias Finger,Numan Yanar, Editor, Edward Elgar , Gloucester, pp.1, 2022

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Publisher: Edward Elgar 
  • City: Gloucester
  • Page Numbers: pp.1
  • Editors: Matthias Finger,Numan Yanar, Editor
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Successful megacities have become critical components of the global flows of information, technology, materials, and finance. The daily demands of these cities have forced administrators to address pressing concerns that affect their residents’ quality of life. They have achieved this by adopting a long-term vision and addressing the underlying problems of these concerns. City planning has played a critical role in setting a direction for the governance of megacities. This chapter provides an overview of the demand challenges that these growing megacities face. It will highlight the complex structure of a longstanding global center – Istanbul – relaying how it has managed challenges involved in connecting a geography that splits the city across two continents, supplied steady potable water for its growing population, transformed a semi-formal city into an internationally networked global metropolis, and through it all managed to rebuild and rehabilitate due to local and global crises. The policies developed and planning techniques implemented in responding to these challenges could provide a pathway for global megacities to face current and future challenges such as climate change, disaster mitigation, and migration.