City Resilience Against Climate Change: The Case of Istanbul

In this specific CityLab, the UNIC team at Koc University focused on the theme "City Resilience Against Climate Change: The Case of Istanbul."

Virtual Place



Start: 24.09.2021
End: 24.09.2021


Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality , MiReKoc , Sarıyer Municipality , Sustainable Living Film Festival Initiative

In this specific CityLab, the UNIC team at Koc University focused on the theme "City Resilience Against Climate Change: The Case of Istanbul." The main objective was to discuss Istanbul's vulnerability and resilience in the face of climate change. After engaging in thoughtful discussions, participants brainstormed ideas and potential solutions to enhance the city's resilience against climatic events.

Our primary aim was to break down the barriers between the university and the city in order to develop relevant solutions for urgent issues. Simultaneously, we sought to provide students with a learning experience that is closely connected to the real challenges experienced in urban contexts.

The workshop followed a format where the participants engaged for a duration of 2 hours. It commenced with concise presentations delivered by academics and stakeholders, focusing on the current challenges posed by climate change and the extent to which Istanbul was resilient. Following the presentations, the participants employed an interactive and inductive approach, using a 'station model' across specific sub-topics to identify the main challenges. This process was facilitated through the platform Miro, allowing for effective collaboration and idea generation.



Birce Altıok, Koç University Migration Research Center (MiReKoc)

15:10 – 15:20 CLIMATE CHANGE AS A SYSTEM PROBLEM Pınar Öncel, Co-Founder of Sustainable Living Film Festival

15:20 – 15:30 Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality – CLIMATE CHANGE STUDIES Pelin Kıvrıkoğlu, Environmental Engineer, Department of Environmental Protection and Control / Directorate of Environmental Protection, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

15:30 – 15:40 POP-MACHINE: TOWARDS THE LOCAL CYCLICAL ECONOMY Asım Evren Yantaç, Koç University Department of Media and Visual Arts Faculty Member

15:40 – 15:50 CLIMATE CHANGE, DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND ISTANBUL Sibel Salman, Koç University Industrial Engineering Department Faculty Member

15:50 – 16:00 DISTRICT FOCUS ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS: SARIYER MUNICIPALITY Ali Güneş, Forestry Engineer, Landscape Architect, Environmental Protection and Control Manager, Sariyer Municipality

16:00 – 16:30 COLLABORATION ON the MiRO PLATFORM – Identfying Challenges

16:30 – 16:50 FINDINGS and DISCUSSION

16:50 – 17:00 Closing speeches

Total participants: 42

Total students: 26

Total Staff members: 6

Total representatives of societal stakeholder: 9

CityLabs serve as dynamic platforms that foster learning and collaboration, bridging the gap between different knowledge domains and transforming practices related to urban sustainability. The specific CityLab organized by the UNIC team at Koc University focused on addressing the theme of "City Resilience Against Climate Change: The Case of Istanbul." Through engaging discussions and ideation, participants delved into Istanbul's vulnerability and resilience in the face of climate change, aiming to enhance the city's capacity to withstand climatic events.

This CityLab exemplified the commitment to breaking down barriers between academia and the city, seeking to provide students with a meaningful learning experience rooted in practical challenges. By combining academic expertise with stakeholder perspectives, the workshop facilitated the development of relevant solutions to pressing climate-related issues.

The workshop format, featuring informative presentations and interactive exchanges, allowed for a comprehensive exploration of the challenges associated with climate change. Through collaborative exercises using the Miro platform, participants identified key challenges and initiated the process of generating innovative ideas.

Overall, this CityLab served as a crucial step towards building a resilient and sustainable future for Istanbul. By nurturing partnerships between academia, government, and other stakeholders, the aim is to leverage diverse knowledge and know-how to address complex urban challenges.


UNIC CityLabs | Urban resilience | green city


Resilience | Climate change

Type of Case

Panel discussion | Workshop



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