İstanbul’s historic districts offer city’s top quality of life
Haydarpaşa Train Station, which was built in early 1900s, is for a lot of people the symbolic building in İstanbul’s Kadıköy district where İstanbullites enjoy the highest quality of life.
Firmly established and historic districts in İstanbul have the highest quality of living in the populous city as they are also the most economically developed ones, a recent report showed.
The term quality of life (QOL) is explained as “to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies,” by the “Dictionary of Human Geography.” “It is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics,” the book noted, adding that it should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is primarily based on income.
“Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment, but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.”
However, researching a certain city’s quality of living by only analyzing the economic and social developments will not give an accurate results as the perception of the people living in a city or district is also crucial to determine the quality of living. The İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) has prepared an interesting report on the quality of living in İstanbul by both using qualitative and quantitative data. The report, titled “Research on İstanbul’s Quality of Living,” shows the huge differences in the quality of living between the 39 different districts of Turkey’s largest city.
Kadıköy tops the list
The İTO report showed that Kadıköy, one of the historic districts of the Anatolian side, ranked as the district with the highest quality of living, followed by Beşiktaş and Beyoğlu both on the European side of the city. “When analyzing the results, we see that the level of economic development, the number and the of health care institutions, the variety of educational facilities and a wide network of public transportation are the reasons for the huge differences in the quality of living among the various districts in the city,” the report said. “Moreover, the number of bank branches, property value and the level of education of the people living in the districts contribute to the high level of quality of living in the top three districts of İstanbul.”
Accordingly, Kadıköy, Beşiktaş and Beyoğlu are among the busiest districts of the city. The top three districts all share similar characteristics; they are the most economically developed districts of İstanbul, meaning they are well served by main roads connecting to other places in the city.
At the bottom of the list are, as is to be expected, the least developed districts of Turkey’s biggest city. European side’s Esenler is at the bottom of the list followed by Gaziosmanpaşa and Sultanbeyli on the Anatolian side. The report underlines that these districts lack human capital and healthcare facilities, making Esenler, for instance, rank at the very bottom of the list of districts where people want to live the least of all the other districts of İstanbul.
More time desired for family visits
The report “Research on İstanbul’s Quality of Living,” prepared by İTO, also asked respondents how they spend their regular days and what they would like to do more. The results shows that 35.77 percent of the people not living with their families responded that they meet with their family members every day while the percentage of those who answered “We meet at least once a week” stood at 17.69 percent and those who meet with their family once or twice a month stood at a mere 11.87 percent. However, when asked how frequent they meet with their relatives — those outside the core family — only 2.36 percent said they meet with them every day while 33.60 percent stated they meet with their relatives once or twice a month. “This shows that many people living in İstanbul meet less with their relatives, the most important reason for this being the fact they do not live at close proximity to each other. Many of the respondents said the problems with public transportation are the major reason for keeping them from family visits,” the report noted.
Moreover, 30.64 percent of all respondents said they desired to pay more family, followed by the group who wanted to watch more television in a day (23.21 percent), surfing on the Internet (20.36 percent) and be involved in social and political activities (12.09 percent). “This is also another interesting result of the quality of living in Turkey’s biggest city. The crowded city life and long working hours prevent people living in İstanbul from allocating more time to their private life and this is seen as the biggest obstacle for socializing,” the report underscored. “However, when looking at the results, many people consider watching television and spending time on the Internet as their desired social activity. This means that many people do not make use of İstanbul’s many opportunities for pastime activities as they perceive watching TV and surfing on the Internet as allocating more time for their private life.”