Two views on… The city
With Arzu Tekir and Korhan Gümüş
This issue, Two Views focuses on İstanbul. Turkish Review speaks to Arzu Tekir, director of EMBARQ Türkiye, part of the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, and architect Korhan Gümüş of Mimar Sinan University’s Urban and Regional Planning Department, who produces ‘Metropolitica’ on Açık Radyo and writes a column for architecture magazine XXI Dergisi, about their perspectives on the city
Turkish Review: You once said in an interview that investing in people rather than in car-centric transport would lead to better public spaces. First of all, would you tell us what investing in people really is; who can do that?
Arzu Tekİr: I’d like to respond to this question with a quote by Jan Gehl, who is a great teacher and the world-renowned founding partner of Gehl Architects. “Nothing in the world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people,” he said. Cities are built for people. Public spaces are built for people. There is no reason to leave out people when we plan the traffic or design cities.
We organized a Bikeable City Masterclass in Copenhagen last year. There, we learned that every time someone rides a bike for one kilometer, society gains $0.42; every time someone drives a car for one kilometer, society loses $0.20. The most important socio-economic impact of cycling lies in the area of healthcare. When we cycle, we save ourselves and society as a whole significant healthcare costs, including saved treatment expenses and increased tax revenues as a result of fewer illnesses.