Sapanca Güral Hotel,
October 26th, 2016

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Today, half of the world population –which is already above 7.2 billion- lives in the cities, according to studies conducted by United Nations, and this urbanization rate will reach 70 percent by 2050. Within only 15 years, urban areas will be doubled and approximately 1.2 billion vehicles will be on the road. World Bank’s data indicates that, the urbanization rate in Turkey—with a population of about 75 million, of which 72 percent currently live in cities—will likely surpass 80 percent by 2030.

The dramatic rise in urban populations, expected both in Turkey and in the World, requires the efficient use of resources that are already under strain. Cities are responsible for 70 percent of the energy-related emissions, and thus contain vast opportunities for solutions. If we are able to direct technological innovation and infrastructure development through resourceful planning and vision, we can make our cities smarter, more sustainable and livable.

Energy Efficiency Improvement Program Action Plan, developed by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, reveals that Turkey is one of the most energy-dense economies when compared with other developed countries, with energy consumption per unit GDP above the averages of OECD and EU-27 countries. As one of the six components of the Action Plan, energy efficiency in transportation is a critical area for improvements. Expanding public transportation, establishing smart bicycle networks in suitable locations, expanding pedestrianized areas closed to traffic, encouraging the use of vehicles with higher fuel efficiency, alternative fuel technologies and similarly innovative solutions that employ technologic advances are among the ways that cities can decrease energy use.

As part of the Action Plans developed in the EU adaptation process, urban transformation projects that are expected to be completed by 2023 are estimated to cost around 400 billion USD. Sustainable and safe transportation, efficient transportation, and accessible and inclusive transportation are among the five action items determined in the Transportation Sector Operational Plan. In the next seven years, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance has allocated 440 Million Euros for the implementation of sustainable urban mobility plans in at least ten cities.

2015 presents great opportunities for Turkey to transform cities into more livable and sustainable places. The Annual Livable Cities Symposium, organized each year in November, hosts experts from Turkey and around the world to share best practises. Livable Cities Symposium aims to support decision-makers and implementers from various cities in building more sustainable and livable cities.

Event Program

  • 09:00 – 09:30

    Opening Remarks

    Zeki Toçoğlu – Mayor of Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality
    Muzaffer Elmas – Rector of Sakarya University
    Arzu Tekir – WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities

    Question – Answer
  • 09:30 – 10:45

    From Global Commitments to Local Actions

    Mehmet Duman – UCLG MEWA, Secretary General
    Sibel Bülay – WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities, Member of Advisory Board
    Zeki Toçoğlu – Mayor of Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality
    Menderes Türel – Mayor of Antalya Metropolitan Municipality – to be confirmed

    Question – Answer
  • 10:45 – 11:00
    Coffee Break
  • 11:00 – 12:15

    Achieving Global Climate Goals & Climate Change Action Plans

    Levent Kurnaz – Boğaziçi University, Academician
    Ministry of Environment and Urbanization – to be confirmed
    Ümit Şahin – IPC, Climate Coordinator
    Sam Adams – WRI US, Director
    Moderator: Semra Mazlum Cerit – Marmara University, Academician

    Question – Answer
  • 12:15 – 13:30
    Lunch break
  • 13:30 – 14:45

    Accessible Cities for All

    Arif Emecen – İETT, General Manager – to be confirmed
    Buğra Gökçe – İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Vice Secretary General – to be confirmed
    Ministry of Environment and Urbanization – to be confirmed
    Ministry of Transportation – to be confirmed
    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Ebru Çubukçu – Dokuz Eylül University, Academician

    Question – Answer
  • 14:45 – 14:55

    Dinçer Çelik – Temsa Global, General Manager

    Question – Answer
  • 14:55 – 15:10
    Coffee Break
  • 15:10 – 16:10

    Efficient Buildings: Great Opportunity for Cities

    Seda Güleç – Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Green Building Expert
    Kemal Gani Bayraktar – İzocam, Technical Marketing Manager
    Eric Mackers – WRI, Building Efficiency Director
    Prof. Dr. Pınar Mengüç – WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities, Member of Advisory Board
    Ministry of Environment and Urbanization – to be confirmed
    Moderator: Yasemin Keskin Enginöz – YAPI Magazine, Chief Editor

    Question – Answer
  • 16:10 – 16:20
    Coffee Break
  • 16:20 – 17:30

    Cities Safer by Design

    Büşra Bektaş – İETT, Manager of Service Improvement – to be confirmed
    Tolga İmamoğlu – WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities, Road Safety Projects Manager
    FIA Foundation – to be confirmed
    Ministry of Transportation – to be confirmed
    Moderator: Göktuğ Kara – Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Team Coordinator Transport Policy - Climate Change

    Question – Answer

WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities reserves the right to change the people and organizations in the draft agenda.

Organisation Partner


For information

Hande Küçükcoşkun Dönmez

Turkey Sustainable Cities, Communication Director