Demolición en Estambul de tres rascacielos para preservar la visión del Patrimonio de la ciudad

La ciudad de Estambul en Turquía ya ha tenido varios ejemplos de protestas ciudadanas ante casos de Urbanismo salvaje y desconsiderado con el entorno. Un modelo a seguir en otras ciudades del mundo y, sobre todo, en las españolas, que en pocos años han perdido lamentablemente sus señas de identidad en aras de una especulación delictiva. El caso de la decisión gubernamental de demoler tres grandes rascacielos en Estambul que entorpecen la visión del paisaje urbano es singular (ver foto), tal vez único en una gran ciudad del planeta, que es Patrimonio de la Humanidad. Tras largo tiempo de disputas y conversaciones técnicas y políticas a todos los niveles, el gobierno turco ha tomado esta decisión 'ejemplarizante' de lo que debería ser un gobierno de todos los ciudadanos, sin caer en la especulación y la corrupción tan habituales por estas tierras.
"WEBURBANIST* : After a huge and lengthy legal battle fought on various fronts by developers, municipalities and the Council of State, the Turkish government has ordered the partial destruction or total demolition of multiple large buildings said to threaten the historic architectural heritage of Istanbul (above image via Gorkorg).

When speaking of skylines, one generally thinks of of the towers that define them – but the courts have ruled that modern-day Istanbul (not Constantinople) is not allowed to reach for new heights, or even maintain its currently-constructed ones. Adding pressure to the mix, Unesco has threatened to revoke the city’s status as a World Heritage Site, in part due to rampant urban development

At the heart of this particular legal issue are views of a series of structures long central to the civic identity of Istanbul, including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque, all of which are now being overshadowed by three new structures standing dozens of stories tall. These new threats to the existing sihuoette are part of Onalti Dokuz complex, a residential development already largely finished.

Detractors are celebrating the victory, which started with legal attacks beginning last year. From Dezeen and the Turkish newspaper Todays Zaman, “two legal cases were launched against the development – one seeking cancellation of the permits for the construction of the building and another to shut down the construction and destroy parts of the buildings that had already been completed.”

The government has rejected appeals by the developers and city, and it remains unclear who will pay for the cost of the necessary size reductions the buildings in question must now undergo. It is easy to see why critics would feel threatened by these and other new developments, but at some point one has to wonder: who has the right to suppress urban growth, and where do we draw the line between preservation and urbanization?


* WebUrbanist - Diciembre 2014
Foto: Skyline de Estambul, con los rascacielos al fondo - Gorkorg