The 7.8- and 7.5-magnitude earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023 officially took an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 lives. Entire neighborhoods were destroyed in cities such as Kahramanmaraş, Adıyaman, and Hatay, with more than 160,000 collapsed or severely damaged buildings. The region is facing a humanitarian crisis that presents immediate aid and disaster-relief challenges as well as concerns for long-term, safe, sustainable, and resilient rebuilding efforts.
“Turkey and Syria After the Earthquakes” is a series of four panel discussions curated by Collective Action for Readiness, Recovery, and Resilience (CARRRE), a collective of US-based Turkish-American architects and academics. CARRRE aims to amplify awareness among a global audience regarding the catastrophic repercussions of these earthquakes, and to provide agency to architects, planners, engineers, municipalities, and builders on the ground by assisting with local relief efforts, sharing professional expertise, and aiding in the development of long-term rebuilding strategies. These panels aim to provide an international platform for learning, debate, and actionable projects.
“Mid-Term Relief and Transitional Programs” is the second panel in CARRRE’s four-part series. This panel will examine the challenges that arise from the extended occupancy of temporary disaster shelters, including housing, community spaces, and settlements. The speakers will address conventional post-disaster planning strategies and building techniques, and focus on alternative approaches developed for Turkey and other countries. These approaches will include transitional building techniques in short to mid-term developments, as well as alternate and innovative, traditional building techniques. Special attention will be paid to designs that retain a community’s sense of place and identity within social and environmental ecologies.
Key topics include:
• Alternative and Innovative Building Technologies for Resilience, Transition, and Affordability
• Transitional Building from Short to Mid-Term Developments
• Considerations of Long-Term Planning in Short to Mid-Term Developments
• Defining Communities in Post-Disaster Building
Meltem Şenol Balaban, Associate Professor, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi / Middle East Technical University (METU)
1. Edward Ng, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong
2. Yasmeen Lari, UNESCO Adviser; Executive Director, Heritage Foundation Pakistan - pre-recorded presentation
3. James Garrison, AIA, Principal, Garrison Architects; Adjunct Professor, Pratt Institute
4. Alp Arısoy, Co-Founder, Urban.koop
She was graduated from the City and Regional Planning Department (CRP) at Middle East Technical University (METU) in 1998 with a Bachelor in City Planning and subsequently did a Master of Science in Urban Design. Dr. Balaban holds two PhD titles. In her City and Regional Planning PhD thesis she focused on flood disaster management in Turkish cities, targeting the associated risks for society and planning processes. In her second PhD in Urban Engineering as a JICA Scholar she developed a GIS-based model for spatial distribution of potential urban spaces used as evacuation and temporary shelter sites and piloted this concept in a case study of a district in Istanbul. Her experience is highly relevant when it comes to applying disaster risk prevention concepts in a very practical way on the municipal level.
After her Bachelor degree Dr. Balaban continued to work in CRP at METU. From 1999-2005 she was employed as Research and Teaching Assistant. During that period, she was seconded as researcher to the German GeoForschungZentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam, where she dedicated herself to urban flood management in mega cities. Since 2005, with some breaks in between, she is working as part-time instructor and (since 2013) as Assistant Professor in CRP at METU. Main focus of her work is on integrating GIS in planning processes, risk management and mitigation planning, urban flood risk management, GIS-based modelling in mitigation planning. Dr. Balaban is very familiar with all relevant national and international DRM methodologies and concepts. She authored a wealth of publications in relevant fields, e.g. the definition of barriers in the Turkish local context as regards climate change adaptation or lessons learnt for resilience in urban planning derived from an assessment of flood risk factors in riverine cities of Turkey, thus providing her with state-of-the-art knowledge and research experience. Since August 2018 she holds the position of Director of METU Disaster Management Implementation and Research Center.
Dr. Yasmeen Lari is a revered figure in Pakistan and globally renowned for her architectural journey. From international modernism for the elite to zero-carbon architecture for the masses, her transformation was recognized with the prestigious Royal Gold Medal in architecture, approved by King Charles III, making her only the second woman to receive the Gold Medal in her own right since 1848.
After completing her education at Oxford Brookes University, Yasmeen returned to Pakistan in 1964 to establish her architectural practice in Karachi, becoming the first woman architect to do so. She emerged as Pakistan's star architect, pioneering Brutalism and designing houses for the urban middle class. Alongside landmark buildings, she also focused on social housing and co-founded the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, dedicated to preserving the country's architectural heritage, including World Heritage Sites like Makli and Lahore.
Yasmeen challenges architects to embrace responsibility for ecological justice and adopt sustainable practices that leave a lighter footprint on the planet. Her life and career are celebrated in an exhibition at the Architekturzentrum in Vienna, accompanied by a catalog published by MIT Press. She continues to inspire, receiving an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Oxford Brooks, and serving as the Sir Arthur Marshall Visiting Professor of Sustainable Design and Visiting Fellow at Jesus College in Cambridge.
Professor Edward Ng is an architect and Yao Ling Sun Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He specializes in Green Building, Environmental and Sustainable Design, and Urban Climatology for City Planning. As an environmental consultant to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Professor Ng developed the performance-based daylight design practice note, the Air Ventilation Assessment Technical Guidelines and the Urban Climatic Maps for City Planning. He has also worked with governments and agencies in Singapore and Macau, as well as a number of Chinese cities, on Urban Climatic Maps. Recently, he has focused on designing for the elderly, taking climate change into account. In early 2014, noting the cultural and socio-economical needs of remote villagers in South West China, Professor Ng established the “One University One Village Project Initiative (1U1V)” to continue his humanitarian work with his students. Professor Ng has published over 500 papers and 3 books. He has twice received the International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Recently, his village rebuilding demonstration project in Yunnan, China, won the World Building of the Year Award at the 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Berlin. The Earth Building Research and Development Centre (also known as the “Terra Centre”) won the TERRAFIBRA Award 2021 in the category of “Public Cultural Equipment”. The 1U1V initiative also won the 2021 International Green Gown Award under the “benefitting society” category.
Jim Garrison hails from western Pennsylvania and was profoundly impacted by the devastation caused by surface coal mining and deforestation in his childhood landscape. This experience ignited a lifelong passion for ecological preservation and sustainable architecture. He pursued his studies at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, where he delved into researching innovative urban housing under Werner Seligman's guidance. Graduating with design honors, he further refined his skills by apprenticing with modernists Lewis Skoler and Kermit Lee, who instilled in him a refined ethos for architecture's impact on society.
In 1978, Jim Garrison joined Polshek and Partners while simultaneously venturing into academia, teaching and conducting research on building design and technology at Columbia University's Architecture school. Merging practice, teaching, and research throughout his career, he now serves as an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the Pratt Institute. In 1991, he founded his own studio-based practice, setting a course for the next three decades dedicated to elevating sustainability and prefabrication in architectural expression. His projects, like the acclaimed 500 Park Avenue, exemplify his commitment to contextual design and earned him accolades from Ada Louise Huxtable and the American Institute of Architects. The Syracuse University School of Architecture, a significant project he undertook, unveiled the building's original passive ventilation features and inspired new strategies for sustainable design, fostering unity and visibility within the university community. Embracing innovation, Garrison Architects continues to push boundaries in creating highly sustainable and affordable ownership housing using cutting-edge prefabrication methods. Their exceptional designs have earned recognition and awards from prestigious institutions, celebrating Jim Garrison's remarkable contributions to sustainable architecture and ecological responsibility.
After graduating from MSGSU architecture department, he received his master degree in urban landscape from the Politecnico di Milano and his Phd from ITU. He has been the coordinator of the Urban Studies Department of CEKUL Foundation from 2010 to 2020 and conducted urban scale conservation, revitalization and strategic planning projects in Anatolian cities. His research and publications are focused on the cultural policies, urban life and social structure of the city. He is a lecturer at the architecture department of İstanbul Topkapi University and one of the co-founders of Urban.koop (Urban Studies Cooperative). He is currently managing the field and research projects of the cooperative.
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