12 May 2017 | Reading 11 mins.

Istanbul: City of water

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Peter Easton
Senior Advisor Water and Sustainability

Peter Easton, Senior Advisor Water and Sustainability

Sustainability challenge for megacities

Istanbul is a clear example of the sustainability challenges facing humanity with more than 50% of the world’s population now living in urban areas, and with many cities rapidly growing. There are over 300 cities in the world with a population greater than 1 million, and 23 megacities with more than 10 million, including Istanbul. Water is just one of many themes cities need to address, but a critical one that integrates a number of sustainability issues.

Istanbul has faced a complex challenge of meeting its water needs throughout its 2700-year history, previously as Byzantium and Constantinople. Recent large engineering projects have ensured sufficient drinking water for some years to come. But with a large and rapidly growing population, combined with climate challenges, there needs to be constant and careful planning for the future.

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