Panel V

Turkey and Syria after the Earthquakes
Panel 5: Hatay Planning Center Report

February 22, 2024 — 9-11am EST | 17:00-19:00 GMT+3

The 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes that hit Southeastern Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023, officially took an estimated 60,000 lives. Entire neighborhoods across 11 provinces were destroyed in cities such as Kahramanmaraş, Adiyaman, and Hatay, with more than 500,000 collapsed or severely damaged buildings and more than 2 million people displaced. The humanitarian crisis facing the region presents urgent 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 panel discussions curated by CARRRE (Collective Action for Readiness, Recovery, and Resilience), a collective of U.S.-based architects and academics with deep ties to Turkey. 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.

“Hatay Planning Center Report” is the fifth panel in CARRRE’s discussion series. In the aftermath of the destruction, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality joined with the Hatay Metropolitan Muncipality to form the Hatay Planlama Merkezi (the Hatay Planning Center) to address the recovery and reconstruction processes of the province of Hatay, one of the provinces most damaged by the earthquakes. The report examines the challenges and opportunities that arise in connection with the long-term, municipal-level planning initiatives and resilient rebuilding of cities and communities, created with input from administrations, universities, national and international institutions, experts, professional organizations, non-governmental components, volunteers and most importantly, the people of Hatay. The expert panelists who will respond to the report will address post-disaster planning strategies and building techniques, engineering seismology and hazard assessment, and focus on alternative approaches developed for Turkey and other countries.

Key topics include:

  • Interplay between natural disasters and sustainable development in communities.
  • Consideration of long-term post-earthquake planning guidelines and methodologies and sustainable urban and economic development in communities.
  • Concepts of seismic evaluation, design, and retrofit of existing buildings and infrastructure in regions of repetitive earthquakes.
  • Basic principles of regeneration projects which incorporate an overriding urban development vision, political commitment, and willingness to implement binding and structural measures.

Co-host: Salt (Istanbul)

Organized by: AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee; Collective Action for Readiness; Recovery, and Resilience (CARRRE)

The organizers are strongly encouraging that attendees make donations to Turkish Philanthropy Funds in support of the planning and rebuilding efforts.

Hatay Planning Center Presentation:

Structural Engineer, Istanbul Technical University, ITU

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Beyza Taşkın

Born and raised in İstanbul, Beyza Taskin obtained her B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1992. She earned her Master’s Degree in the field of Earthquake Engineering in 1994 and PhD in Structural Engineering in 2001 from the same university. During her post-doctoral studies, she joined the research team of Professor Anil K. Chopra as a visiting scholar at the University of California-Berkeley between 2003-04.

Dr. Taskin is currently working at Istanbul Technical University, as an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering in the division of reinforced concrete structures and serves as the Deputy Head in charge of administrative affairs.

Other than acting as the Secretary General of Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) Turkey Section since 2006, Dr. Taskin has earned Emergency Management Instructor Certificate from the Project ACHIEVE (ACooperative Hazard Impact-reduction Effort Via Education), which was a bi-national collaborative effort between Turkey and US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Since then, she is serving as an adjunct faculty in Emergency Management Institute of ITU.

Dr. Taskin always participated the reconnaissance teams as a member to perform site investigations after destructive earthquakes. She was the project director during the preparation of the official damage assessment forms of Ministry of Interior - Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) for concrete and masonry buildings subjected to earthquakes, floods and fires.

She has numerous publications, many memberships in professional societies, consultancies and community services in recognition for disaster preparedness and preventing earthquake damages.

Prof. Dr. Okan Tüysüz

Geological Engineer and Advisor in the oil and energy industry, research professional in tectonics, ITU

Okan Tüysüz graduated from the Faculty of Science of Istanbul University in 1976 and completed his PhD thesis in 1985. He was appointed as Assistant Professor to Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Mines in 1988, and as an associate professor of Structural Geology-Tectonics in 1993 and a professor in 1999. He was Deputy Director (1998-2003) and Director (2003-2009) of Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences. He retired at his own request in 2018. He has been continuing his professional life as a consultant since 2018.

Okan Tüysüz has more than 130 papers, more than 250 published abstracts, and a textbook in Turkish “Earthquake and Turkey”. These publications were cited more than 9,000 times. During his academic life, he supervised 6 PhD and 12 MSc students, as well as many undergraduate students, gave lectures and conferences at different universities, and provided thesis advisory.

He took part in more than 40 national and international projects. Okan Tüysüz, who is one of the most experienced people in Turkey on the geology of the southern Black Sea region, is one of the first to initiate the applications of geographic information systems in geology in Turkey. After the 1999 Kocaeli earthquakes, he worked on mapping of active faults, seismicity and site selection in many parts of Turkey.

His main research and publications are as follows: Palaeo- and Neo-tectonics of Turkey, Active tectonics and morphotectonics of the Asia Minor and surroundings, Geology and oil potential of the Black and its surroundings, Tectonic evolution of the Central Anatolian basins, Geographical Information System applications in geology, Seismicity of power plants and natural gas lines, Geothermal resource investigations.

Prof. Dr. Himmet Karaman

Geomatics Engineer; Professor skilled in Disaster Management, Resilience, ArcGIS Products, Spatial Analysis, Land Surveying, and Earthquake Engineering, ITU

Dr. Himmet Karaman received the B.E. degree in Geodesy and Photogrammetry Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, in 2001, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Geomatics Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University, Institute of Science and Technology, Turkey, in 2003 and 2008, respectively. His PhD thesis was about development of HAZTURK software on earthquake loss assessment and decision support software. He was a research scholar in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign between 2006 – 2007 at the Mid America Earthquake Center. In 2009, he joined the Department of Geomatics Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering in Istanbul Technical University as an Assistant Professor, and in 2015 became an Associate Professor. He is a Full Professor since 2020 in the same institute.

Since December 2015, he has been the director of GIS Lab of the Civil Engineering Faculty. He is also serving as vice department head of Geomatics Engineering Department and the member of Earthquake Science Supreme Board of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and consultant to the Istanbul Urban Transformation Master Plan, Istanbul Resilience and Emergency Access Roads projects. His current research interests include resilience, disaster management, geographic information science, decision making, earthquake engineering. Dr. Karaman is a Fellow of the Board of Scientific Dictionary of Turkish Academy of Science and the member of Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s Earthquake Advisory Board since 2009. He has fifteen sci articles published in respected journals with 10 h index. He has completed 5 projects as consultant, 4 projects as principal investigator and 12 projects as researcher within the scope of disaster management. He is currently advising 21 graduate students working on disaster management and resilience subjects and completed 3 Ph.D. and 11 M.Sc. thesis.

Gürkan Akgün

Deputy Secretary-General and Head of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) Department of Housing and Urbanization

Born on May 1, 1984 in Trabzon, Gürkan Akgün completed his primary, secondary, and high school education in Trabzon. He graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of City and Regional Planning in 2006. He completed his Master's Degree in Urban Planning at the same university.

After working as an urban planner in various companies, he worked as a Bureau Supervisor in Planning and Urban Transformation Offices within the Planning and Project Directorate of Beylikdüzü Municipality since 2012. Since 2016, he has served as the Planning and Project Manager of Beylikdüzü Municipality. Akgün, who served on the Istanbul Branch and Headquarters administrative boards of the TMMOB Chamber of City Planners between 2012 and 2016, has published many articles in various books, magazines, and newspapers about urban planning and policy.

As of July 2019, he was appointed as the Head of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) Department of Housing and Urbanization.


Dr. Şafak Arslantürkoglu,

Structural Engineer, Staff of Professorship for Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH); PhD Thesis "Risk-based Seismic Assessment of Existing Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in Switzerland"

Şafak Arslantürkoğlu obtained his structural engineering diploma in 2013 from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Following graduation, he contributed to Baertschi Partner Consulting in Switzerland from 2014 to 2018, where he assessed and retrofitted diverse structures with a focus on seismic and punching shear safety.

With a solid foundation in the industry, he pursued a Ph.D. in Earthquake Engineering at ETH Zurich, concentrating on seismic assessment, particularly for unreinforced masonry structures. His research emphasized codified assessment procedures and innovative methods, addressing seismic risk and its mitigation in seismically active regions with a specific emphasis on life safety considerations.

Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich and the founder of LEO Consulting, dedicated to the assessment of existing structures. Through LEO Consulting, he actively contributes to advancing structural safety and resilience, effectively bridging the gap between academic research and practical applications in the field.

Dr. Nikola Blagojevic

Civil Engineer, Staff of Professorship for Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, ETH; Developer, iRe-​CoDeS framework for probabilistic resilience-​based design of the built environment

Bio: Dr. Nikola Blagojević is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering at ETH Zurich. His research focuses on the development of novel tools for regional resilience assessment and post-disaster reconstruction modelling. His current work involves developing tools for hospital resilience assessment. In addition to his academic work, he collaborates with the insurance industry to enhance tools for business interruption loss assessment. He is the lead developer of the open-​source python software for regional reconstruction simulation and resilience assessment: pyrecodes. He holds a PhD from ETH Zurich (2023), and a MSc (2016) and BSc (2015) in civil engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Maria Carrizosa

Architect, Senior Urban Planner, Climate Resilience Expert, Miyamoto International; Co-founder, urbanSEED, interdisciplinary design and planning action tank, and BUILDING LOCAL, an organization dedicated to the aesthetic and tectonic study of local building practices

Maria is a Senior Urban Planner and Architect at Miyamoto International, a global, multi-hazard engineering, urban design, and disaster risk management firm dedicated to building resilience to sustain economies, safeguard communities, and save lives worldwide. She is a licensed architect with an undergraduate degree in architecture from Universidad de Los Andes (Colombia) and a dual Master’s degree in Architecture, and City and Regional Planning (with a concentration in Housing and Community Development) from UC Berkeley. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor of Climate Change and Urban Design at Universidad de los Andes.

With over 20 years of experience, Maria is an award-winning architect specializing in collaborative practices between architecture and urban planning. Her portfolio encompasses a diverse array of projects, including institutional and housing architecture, public space design, and neighborhood improvement planning. Throughout her career, Maria's work has been characterized by a steadfast commitment to sustainable design and planning principles. She emphasizes passive design, closed-loop practices, and resilient development, integrating Nature-based Solutions, proximity plans (such as the 15-minute city concept), and Transport-Oriented development. Maria employs strong participatory processes to tailor solutions to the unique needs of each community, empowering residents with the tools to shape and improve the places they live in.

Maria's recent projects include local plans for the southeast of Bogotá, urban rehabilitation initiatives, and urban design projects focusing on resilience in cities like Kinshasa, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and Lima. She is particularly interested in vernacular construction and resilience practices, exploring the use of local materials such as earth and bamboo in Colombia. Through her involvement with BUILDING LOCAL, a non-profit organization, Maria organizes international design-build workshops that explore sustainable materials and construction techniques, furthering her commitment to resilient and environmentally conscious architecture and planning.

Dr. Yun Fu

Architect and Design Critic, Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Partner, Semester Studio (recipient of the 2020 Rome Prize)

Yun Fu is a partner of Semester Studio and a Design Critic in Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD. Joining the faculty in 2018, he co-authored the Master of Architecture in Urban Design core studio and offer courses on housing, cities, and urban design theory. Yun's scholarly work focuses on design thinking, or the method of solutions, surveying different approaches to familiar classes of problems - expanding design repertoires in the built environment. He is the author of several books, including Thinking and Building on Shaky Ground, Southeast Asian Modern: From Roots to Contemporary Turns, and Korean Modern: The Matter of Identity. Yun’s held the Rome Prize at the British School for his work on the function of slowness in cities, the Sinclair Kennedy Travelling Fellowship for the study of post-disaster reconstruction in the Asia Pacific, and was a Confucius Scholar at Peking University. His publication re-framing risk and resilience as a critical design problem was supported by the Graham Foundation. He received a doctoral degree from Harvard University, a MArch I AP from Harvard GSD with the AIA Henry Adams Medal, and a BAs from UNSW Sydney with the AIA Undergraduate Design Medal.

Maulin Mehta

Regional Plan Association, New York Director

As New York Director, Maulin is responsible for leading RPA's research, planning and advocacy activities across New York State. His work includes researching and building support for a broad range of projects and policies to improve equity in land-use, housing, transportation and health in our region. Prior to this, he worked with non-profits in New York and New Jersey overseeing projects to address economic development, resiliency, and real estate challenges. He helped improve neighborhoods through placed-based strategies including participatory planning and affordable housing development centered on community values and goals. He also worked at NYC Parks helping to solve inter-agency issues for critical open space and infrastructure projects throughout the City. Maulin is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rutgers University.

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