The impact of economic growth oriented development policies on landscape changes in Istanbul Province in Turkey

Serhat Cengiz, Erdoğan Atmiş*, Sevgi Görmüş

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study has been conducted based on the main question how urban policies focusing on economic growth and urban sprawl affect green areas and forests in the course of time. Its main goal is to assess the effects of Turkey's rapid urbanization policy on the green areas in Istanbul. The sub-goals of the study are: (i) To determine the land use and land change in 1984-2000–2017, (ii) To explain the ecological response of the pressure of land change on urban green areas and (iii) To discuss the urban and forestry policies accelerating change of land use. Physical data, socio-economic data and media news on urban policy, and other statistical data were used in the study. To determine the changes in inland use in Istanbul, satellite images of 1984, 2000 and 2017 as well as the DEM data for Istanbul from ASTER GDEM v2 were classified via Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS). The study has concluded that transformations in Istanbul's land forms occurred not individually, but connected to each other, and these changes might have different trends in different periods, yet these changes always occur in expanding urban areas. It has been numerically identified and interpreted that these changes evolved within the scope of unearned income and private benefits. It has been suggested that country's policies change towards social policies, which highlight ecology, as opposed to neoliberal policies, which highlight economy, to improve Turkey's green areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104086
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalLand Use Policy
Early online date17 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Built environment
  • Forest
  • Land use policy
  • Land use transition
  • Urbanization


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