floating garden in istanbul
warm-up academic exercise - TU Delft |2013|

 

In a general attempt to understand Istambul’s main matters, what stands out in the studies, analysis and news, is the production of space dictated by neoliberal policies, in witch the private capital/investment has priority above public interest. These policies, also seen in many other metropolis of developing countries results, in a general picture, an intense privatization of the soil, in detriment of the public realm.

The riots that took place in May 2013 in the city “exploded” after the announcement that the a shopping mall would be constructed where today relies the Taksim Gezi Park, one of the few remaining public and green spaces in Beyoğlu district, central Istambul. The population went massively to the streets to defend what they say is ‘one of the last places one can rest without spending money.’

Seems reasonable to state that the ‘chaotic’ situation of the city is due to ‘perverse’ administration and politics, but also a matter of land and location. If there were enough places to expand “healthy”, and if there was a better distribution of public transport the battle against space and soil could be somehow less unfair.

Therefore, the choice of the project relies on the possibility of expanding public territory - not only by fighting for returning privatized areas – but also by occupying a space that is theoretically public – the waters. The idea is to multiply the public soil, by spreading floating gardens throughout the canals, wherever are necessities of public space for rest, and wonder, and space for generating income.

The floating garden is a fusion of three programs:

_land for cultivate natural resources, providing means of work for the population;
_a shop, for trading cultivated items, to be run, ideally, by a cooperative of producers, selling what is cultivated, but also being able to function as a small scale restaurant/café;

_public plaza, for leisure, rest, see the canal and maybe even swim.

As the floating garden is replicable and attachable, there is no specific site for it’s construction, but for the matter of the expression of the idea­, the project is shown as being built in the nearest canal to the brave Taksim Gezi Park.

[click on the image below to start slideshow]