Ecocity World Summit 2009: Istanbul

The ecocity world summit 2009: Istanbul (13 – 15th December)

Ecocity summit 2009: what was it?

“Get the city right and everything else has a chance”

In November I planned a trip to Turkey to take in the “World Heritage Site of Troy” in the West of Turkey and then on to the ancient Greek city of Priene on the southern slopes of Mount Mycale in Turkey’s South West.

The 4th Century city of Priene believed to have 4 to 5 thousand inhabitants which held no great political importance but was one of the first recorded solar cities of the world. So to find out Istanbul was holding the Ecocity summit for 2009 made it a complete viable trip worth going for.

I only had time for the opening day of the summit but I was greatly rewarded by receiving precious information that was valuable to me.

Even though there was an amazing array of topics and speeches to listen to I choose the list below as the ones that stood out the most to me.

Thanks to Kirstin Miller, Executive Director at the ecocitybuilders

Session 1: The City and the shape of the Future

Mr. Parris GLENDENING, Former Governor of Maryland, USA, President, Smart Growth Leadership Institute

Governor Glendening is President of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute

With his kind of “Don’t follow us” speech I think it was the first speech of the day I noted down as “heroic”. He bravely addressed current concerns that have engrossed America’s culture and way of life. It was an extraordinary speech, my hat of to you sir.

Session 2: Policy, Theory and the World Content

Dr. Rusong WANG, Member of Congress, Peoples Republic of China, Chinese Academy of Science

Dr. Rusong Wang conducted an outstanding perfectly arranged speech. With the aid of his laptop he took us on a rehearsed diagrammatic projected slide show of ecological city theory and Problems in the Environment. His energetic and enthusiastic manor was felt throughout the room.

I remembered I was thinking “man” this is a guy who should be educating the political world leaders attending the Copenhagen summit. The below video was taken at the previous 2008 Ecocity summit. Poor sound but you can see the passion in his work. Video link of speech

Session 3: Ecocity Architecture and Urban Design

Land use and architecture taken together and arranged by landscape architecture and urban design are the physical bones of the city and determines much else that is possible or impossible in the functioning of the city. (Text from ecocity2009)

This was the reason I choose day 1 over the other days for my visit. Both Speeches below displayed an amazing assortment of assignments. They both presented immensely different approaches to display their work, which kept the delegates glued to their seats. . Gives one “hope” when you see what can be achieved.

Dr. Ken YEANG, Eco-Architect, Malaysia and United Kingdom

He is the world’s leading architect in ecological and passive low energy design. Website Lecture video

Mr. Walter HOOD, landscape architect, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

Through his pioneering work as an “urbanist” Hood has integrated architectural features such as playgrounds, plazas and squares into city sites whose pasts are vibrant but forgotten. (Text from ecocity2009) Walter’s website

Session 4: Psychology in Urbanism

Mr. Ertürk ISIKPINAR, Planning and Design Consultant, Turkey

The quiet, softly spoken voice of Mr. Ertürk Isikpinar to me was the most appealing. Why? Because it wasn’t about fixing the problem it was about understanding the problem. I guess we call it  “Prevention is better than cure” By a careful worded and cleverly arranged flow chart, Mr. Isikpinar explained the importance of the Psychology of man in his environment. His topics covered:

Ecopsychology Cognitive Psychology Ecocentic awareness

Mr Isikpinar then continued his speech with reference to too many names to list here but took us on a continuous precious in depth journey far to complex for me to explain but if you are looking for a “deeper” understanding click on the links below. Brilliant stuff.

Jean_Baudrillard Cultural theorist, French Sociologist, post modern Philosopher

Environmental psychology Journal of Environmental Psychology explained

Images taken from a bar

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One thought on “Ecocity World Summit 2009: Istanbul

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Nick Chapple

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