NASA Satellite Images of Istanbul

Two satellite images of Istanbul clearly shows the urban development took place since the construction of the two bridges connecting Asian and European sides of the city. The Third Bridge Project, following the lack of interest by private sector in last month’s tender for built-operate-transfer model, now was decided to be financed by the national budget.  Being planned on the Northern most part of the city, passing right through the green areas, agricultural land and water reservoirs,  the devastating impact on the urban ecology of the 3rd bridge project can be estimated from these two photos below. Click on the images for the full size:



…In 1975, Istanbul was still centered around the Golden Horn, the estuary that flows southwest into the Bosporus Strait. By 2011, the city had expanded over many kilometers to the east and west, and a new reservoir is visible to the west. Istanbul housed more than 13 million people by the end of 2011—18 percent of the population of Turkey. Much of Istanbul’s growth is happening as people move to the city for industrial jobs.

The images reveal some interesting patterns of growth. In 1973, the first bridge across the Bosporus opened, connecting the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side. The bridge is faintly visible in the 1975 image, and the urban areas in the newly connected east are near the bridge. In 1988, Istanbul opened a second bridge across the Bosporus. Farther north, this bridge is visible in the 2011 image. Not surprisingly, the dark gray of dense settlement has filled in the area between the two bridges on both sides of the strait.

Also check the cool app comparing the two maps at the NASA’s website.



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