Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has implemented Turkey’s first “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan” (SUMP). Ekrem İmamoğlu, the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, shared with the public the summary of the “Istanbul Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan”, which IMM started 2 years ago.

İmamoğlu emphasized that Istanbul SUMP is a study that includes, preparation and analysis, strategy development, planning of measures, implementation, and monitoring processes. He said, “The plan was prepared with a human-oriented approach and with the aim of ‘integratedly development of sustainable transportation modes’, starting from the principle of social inclusion.” Also, pointing out that Istanbul SUMP is the first of its kind in the world to be developed in a megacity with a population of more than 16 million. 

İmamoğlu Shared 9 main objectives of SUMP

  • Have an accessible, affordable, integrated, and inclusive transportation system
  • Have an environmentally sustainable transportation system
  • Have an economically sustainable and resilient transportation system
  • Improve the safety and security of transport and travel
  • Reduce traffic volumes, congestion, and automobile dependency
  • Stimulate the modal shift to public transport
  • Stimulate the modal shift to active modes (walking and cycling)
  • Have a transportation system that promotes compact and polycentric development
  • Have an efficient city logistics system with minimal negative impact


İmamoğlu went on with his words explaining the stakeholders and working methods of the project as follows:




“Istanbul SUMP, within the scope of the UK’s ‘Global Future Cities Programme’; was carried out with the coordinating skills of IMM Transportation Planning Directorate, strategic consultancy of UN-Habitat, and ARUP as the contracting partner. In our municipality, we have done it together with the Department of Transportation, Transportation Planning Directorate, internal stakeholders involving 23 units of our municipality, and about 110 external stakeholders including district municipalities and NGOs. We worked with the principle of ‘Leaving no one behind’, in total 25 workshops were organized and 20 surveys were conducted throughout the whole process. In summary, we achieved a representation rate of 73 percent, according to the principle of ‘Gender Equality and Social Inclusion’ (GESI). In other words, we ensured the participation of ‘underrepresented groups’ in the process. We have defined our vision as ‘An innovative and inclusive transportation system focused on people and the environment for a sustainable and resilient future.”






Underlining that they have made all their preparations according to the 2040 projection, İmamoğlu said, “In the current situation more than 30 million journeys are made with our population of approximately 16 million, our population will reach 18.8 million and the number of journeys to 38 million in 2040. Today, the distribution in our transportation system is 24 percent rail system, 42 percent bus, 10 percent Metrobus (BRT), 22 percent minibus, and 2 percent sea transportation. We plan to change the distribution in 2040 to be as; 47 percent rail system, 25 percent bus, 7 percent Metrobus, 17 percent minibus, and 4 percent sea transportation.”




İmamoğlu stated their goals within the scope of the ‘Climate Action Plan’, which they announced with the title of ‘Green Solution’ last year, and went on with his words ” We prioritized, ensuring Istanbul’s transportation system to be environmentally friendly, our citizens to adopt the ‘Low Carbon Transition’ theme which encourages a sustainable, active and healthy lifestyle, and ultimately the carbon neutral target. Thus, we planned to reduce carbon emissions from transportation by 60 percent in 2040 and to reach the carbon neutral level by 2050. “Today such topics like; the conversion of vehicles to electric vehicles, promotion and dissemination of carbon-free transportation, walking, cycling, and micro-mobility are the topics that the whole world is talking about, whilst transitioning to the carbon-neutral target. If we cannot make progress on these issues already, the world will face irreversible risks,” İmamoğlu said, and added that “Therefore, we prepared an environmental vision, which aims to get the vehicles, bus fleets, Metrobuses (e-BRT), ferries (within ‘Şehir Hatları’), electrified; to have electric taxis, electric water taxis, and even hydrogen-based buses in our fleets. We have already started the implementations within the framework of this vision”.






Sharing the information that they are planning to implement methods such as limiting the entry of vehicles to the historical peninsula, as in the leading cities of the world, and getting more payments from those who enter. İmamoğlu said, “Taxis, tourist buses, and freight vehicles will continue to enter the historical peninsula, but we will impose restrictions on private vehicles. In line with our plan -‘Green Solution’- to transform Istanbul into a carbon-neutral city by 2050, we continue to build on 10 rail system lines.” 

Expressing that when they took over the task on June 23, 2019, the total length of 12 rail system lines in Istanbul was 140.90 kilometers. İmamoğlu said, “With the mobilization we call ‘Big move in rail systems’, we gave Istanbul’s priority to metro investments. I am extremely proud that we have started a worldwide mobilization move in this area.”



İmamoğlu also drew attention to the HIZRAY project (which will cost approximately 6 billion dollars) as part of the plan. Emphasizing that they will connect HIZRAY’s 13 stations, which will cross Istanbul from east to west, to the metro lines on the north-south axis of the city over 12 transfer hubs. He added, “This express line, which will travel at an average speed of 100 kilometers per hour, will not only connect Istanbul from one end to the other. It will also connect all three airports of Istanbul. This project, which perfectly connects all the rail system lines of this ancient city and eases the traffic congestion, is a comfortable way of transport and definitely a star project for improving the life quality of Istanbul residents. Our project and its feasibility studies are ready. We will get the tender preparation documents ready by the end of the year.”


In the event held at the IPA Campus in Florya, respectively; Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Advisor İbrahim Orhan Demir, SUMP Local Team Leader Prof. Dr. Haluk Gerçek, UN-Habitat Local Strategic Advisor and Project Partner Yelda Reis and British Consul General of Istanbul Kenan Poleo gave speeches.