With regard to its strategic geographical location, climatic conditions, ease of transportation and employment opportunities, almost half of the industries in the country are settled within and/or in the vicinity of this metropolis. It is the only city in the world situated on two continents.
It is also one of the highly populated cities of the world facing unplanned and uncontrolled urbanization. In order to understand the importance of the residential retrofitting in this area it is relevant to position it in the wider national and city context. Turkey’s population growth is 1.2 % and its rate of urbanization is 1.7% per annum. This means that for every three new born there are approximately four people moving to the city. Today 70% of the Turkish population lives in urban areas. In 2007 Istanbul had 12.5 million inhabitants according to the National Statistical Institute. It dwells almost 18% of the national population and grows at a pace of 14 new residents every hour, roughly equal to 122,000 people a year. This will continue for the next 25 years, positioning ultimately the city among the top twenty biggest on Earth. It is divided geographically in European and Asian side and yet connected by a flow of 1,200,000 people that crosses the Bosporus every day. Istanbul’s population is split in two unequal parts: 65% resides in the west and 35 % in the east. 47% of Istanbul’s land area is forested and 16 % is built up. The tension between built and un-built is strong with continuous pressures of expansion towards the forested area. According to Architectural Engineers Chambers‟ research, 80% of building stock in Istanbul is residential buildings.
Kartal is one of the municipalities in Istanbul, located in the south waterfront coast of the Anatolian side. According to 2008 census its total population is 541,209 and total land area is 147,000 m2, which includes some countryside areas inland.
The municipality of Kartal focuses on 5 main strategies to develop its district:
- Istanbul as a global city
- Sustainable development
- Istanbul as word city of culture
- Invest on the service sector
- Improve the quality of life
Therefore municipality is very keen on the following;
- transform the selected region to high quality housing district.
- improve the quality of urban life and create innovative unique housing district which is sensitive to the ecological values