Üsküdar is one of the districts of Istanbul, but it is not small: it is composed by 33 different neighbourhoods. in order to raise awareness about the project at local level, the Municipality of Üsküdar has started a series of workshops engaging one neighbourhood at a time. These workshops are not only meant to introduce the locals to the project, but also to collect input regarding their mobility and transportation problems and generate ideas to overcome them.
The first neighbourhood to be involved on was Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi. The workshop was held on May, 15 in Keşfet Üsküdar (Discover Üsküdar), the Citizen Mobility Lab of Üsküdar with 8 citizens and the local mukhtar (local representative). Several exercises and visual supports such as the online map of the neighbourhood were used to stimulate creativity in a brainstorming session. Participants highlighted the following problems:
- Sidewalks are too high to step on for elderly and disabled people.
- Traffic is poorly organised and therefore causes hindrances to pedestrians, car drivers and street users in general
- There is lack of parking space because streets are too narrow and the neighbourhood is too densely populated
- New social places such as museums, festival areas do not function well when big crowds attend, creating mobility issues for local residents on occasions
- On the seaside, there are many cafes, which occupy sidewalks illegally, creating problems to pedestrians
- Public and social areas should be greener to create a better atmosphere.
Unfortunately, no session for the ideation of possible solutions was planned for the day. However, this won’t be a one-off and over time, in the course of the project, solutions will be ideated, transformed into concepts and prototypes and interventions will be tested.