Trapped in the city with no free space .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - A project to improve the standards of living in Istanbul and solve the problems of the city, "Projem Istanbul," has been held each year since 2006 by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and provides university students with an opportunity to come up with significant projects for the city.

Fatih Kara, a graduate student and geography research assistant at Fatih University, wrote a thesis on "The behavior of people in recreational areas and developing sustainable recreation planning."

According to his research, Toronto has 15.7 square meters of recreational area per person, Hamburg has 17.2, and Istanbul has 1.57.

The research also revealed 37.6 percent of people in Istanbul benefit from recreational areas. Of those surveyed, 30 percent of people do not undertake activities in recreational areas and 29.7 percent spend their spare time watching TV.

People like having picnics in recreation areas

People in Istanbul use recreational areas when having picnics, playing football and basketball, and walking. Because of a lack of recreational areas people do not play tennis or water sports. When asked what the biggest problems of Istanbul’s recreational areas were, those surveyed said they were pollution, over crowding, and a lack of purpose, maintenance and security.