Sapanca Güral Hotel,
October 26th, 2016

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A year full of international agreements

The conversation around sustainable cities has focused on three major themes in recent years: population density in urban areas, the role of the cities in climate change and injuries and fatalities caused by traffic crashes.

In 2015, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris set landmark goals for taking action on climate change, aiming to keep the temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C and to pursue efforts limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C. Countries will aim to peak global emissions as soon as possible and have agreed to reduce emissions rapidly to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the second half of the century. 196 countries joined in together on the Paris Agreement, which will be officially signed on April 22, 2016. To achieve this, we need to change the way we build, manage and live in our cities.

Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 suggests that despite the increase in population and in the number of motor vehicles, traffic crash fatalities have not risen. However, the expected positive change is happening rather slowly. In November 2015, delegates from a hundred countries met in Brazil and discussed the possible solutions to cut the fatalities in traffic in half by 2020. The declaration links to greater issues of development, including sustainability, resilience, urban growth management and social equity.” This sets the stage for appropriate consideration of road deaths and injuries within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the future New Urban Agenda within the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Urban Development and Housing (Habitat III).

At Livable Cities Symposium 2015, we discussed how we can create energy efficient, smart cities in Turkey and around the world. At Livable Cities Symposium 2016, we will discuss how we are can implement the global commitments of 2015 in Turkey in beyond

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 – 09:40

    Dinçer Çelik – Temsa Global, General Manager

    Question – Answer
  • 09:40 – 10:55

    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
  • 10:55 – 11:10
    Coffee Break
  • 11:10 – 12:25

    Achieving Global Climate Goals & Climate Change Action Plans

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

    Question – Answer
  • 12:25 – 13:45
    Lunch break
  • 13:45 – 15:00

    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
    Ministry of Transportation
    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Ebru Çubukçu – Dokuz Eylül University, Academician

    Question – Answer
  • 15:00 – 15:10

    Dinçer Çelik – Temsa Global, General Manager

    Question – Answer
  • 15:10 – 15:20
    Coffee Break
  • 15:20 – 16:35

    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
    Moderator: Yasemin Keskin Enginöz – YAPI Magazine, Chief Editor

    Question – Answer
  • 16:35 – 16:45
    Coffee Break
  • 16:45 – 18:00

    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
    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.

Opening Speakers

Arzu Tekir
Director, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities

EMBARQ Turkiye Executive Director Arzu was appointed Director of the Turkish center of the EMBARQ Network in December 2011., where managed the establishment process of Sustainable Transportation Association. She initially joined EMBARQ in January 2011 as Operations Manager. Prior to joining EMBARQ, Arzu worked as a consultant and conducted several market research projects in New York and wrote business plans and reports for investors and telecom companies who were looking at developing innovative information technology (IT) projects in Istanbul. She also worked as European Union Projects Coordinator and External Relations Director for IT companies, directed the financing of research and development projects and initiated the firms’ participation in several key European Union (EU) organizations.

Zeki Toçoğlu
Mayor of Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality

He was born in Adapazarı in 1955. He completed his primary education in the Serdivan district, secondary and high schools in Adapazarı. He graduated from Advanced Islamic Institute in 1980.

Toçoğlu worked as a Teacher for two years in Hekimhan district of Malatya and five years for Imams and Preachers High school in Adapazarı. He worked as a branch manager at the Director General for Religion of National Education Ministry in years between 1986 - 1992. He was appointed to Libraries and Documentation Department Manager in 1992. Later on, he worked as the Secretary of Faculty of Theology in Sakarya University for six years. On 18 May, 1999 local elections, he was elected as President of Serdivan District municipality of Sakarya and then on 28 March 2004 was reelected for Serdivan District Municipality for second term. After the March 28, 2004 local elections, this time, he was elected as the Mayor of Sakarya Metropolitan Municipality.


Celal Tolga İmamoğlu
Road Safety Projects Manager,
WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities

Celal Tolga Imamoglu is a Road Safety Projects Manager at EMBARQ Turkiye with a focus on public transportation, bus rapid transit (BRT), cycling infrastructure design, traffic safety projects as well as integrated transport. He is currently involved in supporting efforts related to planning, development and implementation of sustainable transportation projects in Turkish cities and Ghana Accra, Ethiopia Addis Ababa, including road safety inspections, audits. He has conducted more than 50 road safety inspections and more than 20 road safety audits.

Tolga is a transportation engineer M.Sc. with a background in civil engineering. He obtained his civil engineering degree from Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, followed by a master's degree in Transportation Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. While at Istanbul Technical University, he worked as a course assistant for Earthwork and Railway Engineering. His master's thesis covers the environmental effects of transportation, highway construction and noise dampening on high-traffic roads.

Tolga previously worked as field engineer at the New Shakhtar Donetsk Stadium at Ukraine. His role covered developing business strategy, analytical and structural analysis, and synchronizing the building process.

A graduate of Lycée de Galatasaray, he is fluent in French and English.

Eric Mackres
Building Efficiency Director, WRI

Eric is the Building Efficiency Manager with the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. He supports the Building Efficiency Initiative through program development, project management, and research. Eric contributes to strategy development, work planning, partnership development, fundraising, monitoring, and evaluation related to the Center’s efforts on building efficiency and energy more broadly. He manages global projects and partnerships with key cities, including in Mexico, China and India. Additionally, he helps to conduct research on emerging trends and best practices in building efficiency and sustainable cities.

From 2010-2015, Eric worked at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) where he led an initiative focused on community-based and local government implementation of energy efficiency strategies in the United States. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen publications on energy policy, urban energy systems, and community development. Eric also has prior experience with affordable housing policy and organizing environmental campaigns.

Eric holds a Master of City Planning and Environmental Planning Certificate from the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and a B.A. in Political Science, Public Policy, and Environmental Studies from Albion College.

Eric is a Michigan native. He enjoys learning, traveling, and being outdoors (in both natural and urban environments). Eric and his wife have lived in the District of Columbia since 2010. Since moving to the area they have particularly enjoyed spending time in and around Shenandoah National Park.

Prof. Dr. Levent Kurnaz
Academician, Boğaziçi University

Prof. Levent Kurnaz was born in Istanbul. He received his B.S. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1988, his M.S. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and his B.S. Degree in Physics in 1990 from Bogazici University, his M.S. Degree in Physics in 1991 and his Ph.D. Degree in Physics in 1994 from University of Pittsburgh. Between 1995 and 1997 he worked as a research associate at Department of Chemistry in Tulane University. In 1997 he joined Bogazici University Physics Department as an assistant professor. Since he has been a Professor of Physics at Bogazici University. In 2014 he has been appointed as the Director of the Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies at Bogazici University. Prof. Kurnaz has 1 international book and 28 scientific papers in international journals. He has been an advisor to 24 M.S. and 7 Ph.D. thesis ongoing and finished. He is married with two children.

Mehmet Duman
Secretary General, UCLG MEWA

Mehmet DUMAN was born in Bergama/İzmir in 1955. He was graduated from Gazi University, Department of Foreign Relations. He completed his Masters’ Degree at UNESCO International Education Planning and Management Institute in Paris, France; and at Gazi University Social Sciences Institute, Department of Political and Social Sciences.

He served at various executive positions at Department of  Food, Agriculture and Livestock between 1976-1981 and at  Ministry of National Education between 1981-1994. He served as the Director and Head of Department at Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality between 1994-2002.

He assumed the task of Founding Secretary General at Adapazarı Metropolitan Municipality, in 2003 and 2004.

He worked as the Principal Consultant for the Prime Minister between 2003 and 2010.

He has been serving as the Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section, since 2010. He was elected for this post for the second time in April 2013.

Mehmet DUMAN, who was elected as the Chairman of the Board of World Academy for Local Government and Democracy in 20011, in addition to his post as the UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, is still holding the same position.

Mehmet DUMAN, who serves as the Advisor to the Mayor of Istanbul, in addition to his positions at UCLG-MEWA and WALD, participates in the management and activities of various civil society organizations.

Prof. Dr. Pınar Mengüç
Member of Advisory Board, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities

Professor Mengüç received his BS and MS from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, and his PhD from Purdue University, USA in 1985, all in Mechanical Engineering. In 1985, he joined the University of Kentucky as assistant professor and was promoted to the ranks of associate in 1988 and full professor in 1993. He was awarded an Honorary Professorship at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral, Ecuador in 2006. Professor Mengüç was the coordinator of the Umbrella Program on Nano-scale Engineering (UPoN) and the director of the Nano-scale Engineering Certificate Program (NECP) at the University of Kentucky. At the end of 2008, he was promoted to the ranks of Engineering Alumni Association Professor UK. He joined Özyeğin University as the founding professor of the Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program in 2009, and has established the Center for Energy, Environment and Economy at OzU in the same year. Since then, he serves as the Director of CEEE. Professor Mengüç is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and as of 2010, he became the Turkish delegate of the Energy Commission for the European Union Framework Programmes (EU-FP7).

Sam Adams
Director, WRI US

Sam is the former Mayor of Portland, Oregon. As director of WRI’s U.S. Climate Initiative Adams leads WRI’s efforts to analyze and develop new policies, build political will and support coalitions that will encourage the U.S.’s transition to a strong, low-carbon economy.

“Sam is a dynamic and savvy leader, who will invigorate U.S. climate activities at a critical time for the nation and planet,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “As Mayor, a member of the city council, mayoral chief of staff and nonprofit leader, Sam played a central role in making Portland, Oregon one of the most livable and sustainable cities in the United States. We are excited to have his leadership to build support for national action that will address the climate challenge.”

As mayor, Adams ensured that sustainability was integrated across all city-level decisions by combining the sustainability office and city planning agency. He also led a coalition of government, business and labor leaders, along with neighborhood and environmental advocates, to create Portland’s Climate Action Plan and “We Build Green Cities” job creation and economic development strategy. According to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the city’s emissions were cut by 11 percent between 1990 and 2013, alongside significant population and economic growth.

Sam holds a B.A. in political science from University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.

Seda Müftüoğlu Genç
Green Building Expert, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality

She was born Istanbul in 1987. After completing her primary, secondary and high school education in Gaziantep, she entered faculty of engineering and architecture in Çukurova University. After graduating from university, she started doing her masters degree for her graduate study specializing in ecological architecture in Haliç University and her master’s thesis was accepted in 2011. After gaining many experiences from various jobs between the years of 2008 and 2011 in Istanbul, in august 2011 she began her active duty as the director of City Design department of Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality. Presently, she is still carrying out ecological projects.

Sibel Bülay
Member of Advisory Board, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities

Sibel Bülay was the founder of EMBARQ Turkey. Prior to joining EMBARQ, Ms. Bülay worked in Product Development at Ford Motor Company. At Ford, in addition to product design and development in chassis and powertrain systems, Ms. Bülay led sustainability initiatives, worked at the Ford Unlimited Think Tank, and was involved in integrating systems engineering into the product development process. Ms. Bülay was an instructor at the Middle East Technical University in Gaziantep, Turkey.

In October 2011, Ms. Bülay was elected to a three-year term on the Council for the European Transport Association, the European sister organization to the Transportation Research Board in the United States. Ms. Bülay holds master’s degrees in both business admistration and mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. She also holds a degree in communications from the State University of New York



For information

Hande Küçükcoşkun Dönmez

Turkey Sustainable Cities, Communication Director