Kadıköy (Turkey)

Kadıköy is a central district in the metropolitan city of Istanbul. Located in the southwest of the city, it is surrounded by the Marmara Sea to the west and south. The municipality has a population of over 450,000 inhabitants within its only 25km2 land area.

The cosmopolitan municipality boasts a wide range of urban attractions and activities, spanning social, cultural, and recreational events. Rapid urbanisation has brought with it swiftly rising urban land-value and put pressure on social spaces. Kadıköy has addressed this challenge head-on with a vision to repurpose and expand social space provision using participatory and innovative approaches.

These approaches have been enacted alongside a Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Action Plan that has led Kadıköy to be considered a leader among local governments in Turkey in working to combat climate change.


Sustainability focus: Integrated and participatory climate action

Since 2009, Kadıköy has developed policies to address climate change. These measures have facilitated greater resource efficiency both within the municipal organisation and at the district scale, and have led to a reduction in carbon emissions.

In 2013, Kadıköy collaborated with Boğaziçi University to prepare a “Sustainable Energy Action Plan” that aims to achieve a 20 percent reduction in carbon emissions and energy consumption by 2020. Kadıköy has targeted such a reduction through a series of building, lighting, transport and social awareness projects. These projects are in conjunction with efforts to reduce emissions within municipal units and services. By 2016, these efforts had resulted in around a 15 percent reduction in emissions from 2010 levels.

Kadıköy recently launched its “Integrated and Participatory Climate Action” project with funding from the European Union. This project broadens their Sustainable Energy Action Plan to become the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Action Plan. It applies a participatory and holistic approach to climate action and establishes measures to revise emission reduction objectives in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Taking a participatory approach to sustainability is a natural fit for Kadıköy, which has for years applied participatory methods to expand local social spaces. Doing so has been critical to successfully addressing the challenges of the rapidly growing municipality.

Participatory methods and climate action come together, for example, in the Bahriye Üçok Ecological Kindergarten Project (pictured above). The building ensures water and energy efficiency, efficient resource utilisation (such as the use of daylight and solar panels), and ecological building materials to protect air quality. The project integrated suggestions from local residents and included extensive input from architects and community members.


The need to knows

  • Kadıköy is a leader in using participatory methods to create and expand public space (click here to learn more)
  • Kadıköy’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Action plan aims to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020


  • Signatory of REC Turkey and ICLEI’s “Climate-Friendly Cities Statement”
  • Signatory of the Covenant of Mayors
  • Municipal projects have achieved substantial reductions in carbon emissions from 2010 levels
  • Awarded a European Union grant to support a large-scale project seeking to reduce the negative effects of climate change with a holistic and participatory approach. To learn more about the project, click here.



What the city has to say

“Climate change needs to be recognised by more people. We have to improve low-energy consumption and ensure that the technology is accepted and supported by society more widely. We are currently obliged to stand warmer weather in the summer, which causes us to have an air-conditioner in each house leading to very high energy consumption. From now on, we are going to draw more attention to climate change.”

Aykurt Nuhoğlu, Former Mayor of Kadıköy

ICLEI and Kadıköy

Kadıköy has been an ICLEI Member since January 2017. They are a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors.



Banner image by Edgardo W. Olivera. All body images provided by the Municipality of Kadıköy.