Halic Bahariye Island Landscape Restoration
|Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Bahariye Islands are natural properties of the Golden Horn. In history, Golden Horn was so polluted by the industrial uses that the sludge accumulated in the bottom of the sea formed toxics islands. In the 1980s, heavy pollution removal and ecological enhancement program took place in the Golden Horn. The effort included the removal of the artificial islands. However, a part of naturally occurring Bahariye Islands was also shaved off hence reducing its habitat size. Currently, the islands look derelict and neglected; only some small boats reach the islands bringing uncontrolled and illegal uses. Despite its damaged soil and vegetation structure, some seabirds and migrating bird species still use the islands. Bahariye islands can be seen clearly from the upper elevations of the Golden Horn hence presenting a beautiful vista. In addition to its vista potential, there is a high user potential from the closeby Dervish Lodge on the western shore. The design concept forefronts the restoration of ecological qualities while enhancing the visual potential of the islands. Subsequently, the habitat size is enlarged based on the historical aerial photos and maps, followed by the rehabilitation of morphology, soil, and vegetation of the site as well as the establishment of vegetation and habitat structures. These structures are to provide shelter, breeding, and resting opportunities for the migrating bird species. The island on the south serves to birds and other animals, and the one on the north provides both ecological services and some controlled use for calm walks on the island. A raised wooden walking path is created on the northern island to direct the movement and enable people to enjoy the Golden Horn view. This whole new enhanced ecology will boost the general appearance of the islands hence increasing the visual potential perceived from the upper plateaus of the Golden Horn.
We observe and study species behavior and habitat requirements. This essential information sets the rehabilitation scheme on the site. Topography, soil, vegetation, and species composition intertwined with sea-level fluctuations yield zones of breeding and resting for fauna. The integration of humans to this habitat in a controlled way will make the site a memorable urban ecosystem.