Parking lot with trash bins in Istanbul turned into a low-cost public square and play space

Published October 29, 2019

Maltepe Municipality in Istanbul has piloted an intervention to transform a busy intersection, Zümrütevler Square, into a more attractive place for children and caregivers to spend time. Roads were painted to encourage traffic to slow down, and an area of tarmac used for parking and bin storage was transformed using artificial turf, seating, shade and low-cost play furniture.

The project was covered in local media and generated many reactions on social media. At the ceremony to initiate the intervention, Maltepe Mayor Ali Kılıç explained that if the experiment proved popular with locals, it would be made permanent.

Photo: Courtesy of Pinar Gediközer

The intervention is a joint venture of Istanbul95, the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Urban95 programme in Istanbul, and the Streets for Kids project, in partnership with the Maltepe municipal government, architects SUPERPOOL and the NACTO Global Urban Design Initiative.