Sustainable redevelopment following disasters has been a main policy objective of post-disaster recovery efforts over the past few decades. Yet, nine years after the 1999 Marmara earthquake in Turkey, the redevelopment of risky housing areas is still a point of debate on the urban planning and disaster mitigation agenda. However, planning studies on mildly and moderately damaged areas located in the centre of Istanbul are ongoing. This article presents the evidence of a pilot project undertaken by Zeytinburnu Municipality, Istanbul, four years after the Marmara earthquake.(2) The aim is to generate a debate on the preconditions required for a sustainable urban regeneration approach in the post-disaster recovery phase. The results of the pilot project underline the importance of capacity building in sustaining social capital, strengthening the legal framework, restructuring planning regulations, and managing the housing redevelopment process by taking advantage of a window of opportunity afforded by the disaster recovery period.