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Istanbul Planners Press Ahead with 2020 Olympics Bid

Posted on 30 August 2012

Planners in Istanbul are already pressing ahead with preparations for the 2020 Olympics, as the city is currently one of the final three choices for these games. This has prompted numerous questions into where the venues could be located, and how Istanbul‘s infrastructure will need overhauling to cope with the influx of visitor numbers.

At the moment the city has no clear answers to these questions, even though many think this attempt is its best chance yet of hosting the games. Istanbul has made four previous attempts to host the games, and is up against Tokyo and Madrid.

As yet there’s been no real discussion as to how the government could facilitate the games, and the impact of any infrastructure projects on its citizens and the city. Investment plans could see around $21 billion being spent on infrastructure and transportation during the next eight years, but these plans haven’t been properly presented to the public or assessed to see if they are in line with Istanbul‘s long-term needs.

The Asian side of the city recently saw the opening of the M4 Metro line, something which planners argue would be central for the games as it can carry up to 70,000 passengers an hour through some of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Istanbul. However this would mean that facilities for the Olympic Games would need to be placed in some of these high density neighbourhoods and some residents could be evicted or bought out in order to make sufficient space.

Istanbul’s official bid includes plans to set up 36 venues, and 25 have yet to be built. Several are likely to be built in the old city, while others could be located in more touristy neighbourhoods.

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