EBRD Green Cities programme supports Istanbul metro line

Istanbul from above

The largest city in Turkey becomes the 47th member of the Green Cities programme.

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, has set out plans to scale up its urban regeneration. It has secured financial support for a 14km east-west underground metro line, joining the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) flagship Green Cities urban sustainability programme.

As a first step within the programme, Istanbul and the EBRD will start developing a Green Cities Action Plan to assess, prioritise and address the city’s main environmental challenges. This will allow for a greener and more sustainable vision for the future of Istanbul and its 16million inhabitants.

In support of this goal, the EBRD has agreed to provide financial support to the construction of a new 14 km metro line connecting the east and west of the city. Developing Istanbul’s underground public transport is key to reducing car traffic, which is heavily congested and the major cause of air pollution.

The EBRD and Istanbul will also work together to identify investment opportunities in green infrastructure priority areas such as urban regeneration, solid waste management, water and wastewater, urban roads and lighting, urban transport, public building energy efficiency, renewable energy, and power infrastructure energy efficiency.

The EBRD president, Renaud-Basso, welcomed the news, saying: “The EBRD’s Green Cities programme offers a pioneering vision of how we can reimagine and reshape the cities we live in and build a better and more sustainable future for us all. The EBRD is already financing two metro lines that keep Istanbul on the move and we are ready to fund more improvements to public transport and other areas of city life.”

Istanbul’s mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said: “My biggest promise since becoming the Mayor of Istanbul was a green Istanbul. In two years, we have added more than 4 million square meters of green spaces and created related infrastructure. Istanbul has more metro lines under construction than any other city in the world.”

Istanbul is the third Turkish city after Izmir and the capital Ankara to join EBRD Green Cities and has become the programme’s 47th member overall. Turkey has a long-running strategic ambition to strengthen its sustainable technology and energy for environmental and energy security reasons.