Oyun Sokağı (Game Street)

Istanbul, Turkey ,2022

For the first time in Istanbul, the ‘Pedestrian Priority Road’ sign was hung in Maltepe province on the 22nd April 2022. On Onur Street in the Yalı Mahallesi neighbourhood, the ‘Game Street’ experiment was implemented with a focus on pedestrian safety, particularly for children.

Traffic calming measures were implemented by narrowing the vehicle lanes and arranging them in an S-shape. In addition, the redundant car park in front of Atako primary school and a marmaray (middle distance train) station was transformed into a vibrant public space. Here children can play safely and residents and caregivers find a resting place with benches and trees.

This implementation was the result of cooperation between the municipality @maltepebeltr, @ulasimistanbul, @superpoolorg and @global.streets. They were further supported by the @bvlfoundation and the @urban95cmprogramme, which focuses on the city and early childhood.

Feedback from users and inhabitants was collected over a period of 6 months and processed into a permanent design. In June, as a demand for more cycling facilities and more play elements was noted, a connection of the experiment to the beach cycle path was provided. In addition, in the playgrounds created for the children, a cycling course, a sculpture and painting workshop, and table tennis activities were organised.

The measure not only contented the heavy pedestrian traffic in the area, but as the municipality cites, it helps to ensure that ”children’s free spirits are not trapped in the strict lines of the cities”.

What about you? Would you like children to have more freedom in cities?

Photos by: @hayrettingunc, @global.streets & @superpoolorg

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