“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.
“Long-Term Recovery: Building Back Better” is the third panel in CARRRE’s four-part series. This panel will examine the challenges and opportunities that arise in connection with the long-term, large-scale planning initiatives and resilient rebuilding of cities and communities in post-earthquake areas. The speakers will address conventional post-disaster planning strategies and building techniques, rapid damage assessment tools developed through AI, and focus on alternative approaches developed for Turkey and other countries.
Key topics include:
• Interplay between natural disasters and sustainable development.
• Consideration of long-term post-earthquake planning guidelines and methodologies in Turkey
• 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.
1. Ebru Gencer, Columbia University, Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; Founding Exec. Director of Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R); World Bank, Senior Urban Resilience Adviser
2. Prof. Dr. Osman Balaban, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi / Middle East Technical University (METU), Dept of City and Regional Planning
3. Prof. Dr. Oğuz Cem Çelik, Istanbul Technical University, Structural & Earthquake Engineering
4. Ertuğrul Taciroğlu, F.ASCE, University of California, Los Angeles, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department, Chair
Ebru Gencer is a researcher, scholar, and practitioner on urban risk, climate resilience, and sustainable development.
Ebru Gencer, a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University, is the Founding Director of the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, and a Senior Urban Resilience Adviser at the World Bank.
She was a Steering Committee member of the UN’s Making Cities Resilient Campaign and the Co-Chair of the Urban Planning Advisory Group to the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr. Gencer has worked on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and urban development and design projects in South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions and is the author of several books and articles on urban risk, climate change, and sustainable development.
Osman Balaban is a professor of urban planning at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey, Editor-in-Chief of the METU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, and editorial board member of npj open access journal Urban Sustainability.
Osman Balaban holds a PhD in city planning, a master’s degree in urban policy planning from METU with a focus on the political and economic dynamics that shape the production of urban built environments, and he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan.
His research and teaching cover such topics as climate change, low-carbon and climate-resilient urbanism, environmental politics, urban politics and local governments, and urban regeneration. In his recent research, Dr. Balaban deals with climate change adaptation, urban resilience, post-disaster recovery planning, and social vulnerability analysis.
Oguz Celik is a Professor of Structural & Earthquake Engineering at the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and Associate Editor of the Journal of Steel Structures. ITU is my alma mater if I may add that.
Professor Celik studied Civil Engineering and holds a Masters and PhD degree in Structural Engineering -all from ITU. His post-doctorate research brought him to New York where he worked at the SUNY Multi-Disciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER).
Professor Celik has both research and application experience in seismic assessment and retrofit of existing buildings (both new and historic) and bridges, including research visits to earthquake-stricken areas in Turkey and Italy and speaker engagements all over the world.
Professor Celik’s current research focuses on the analysis, design, and development of seismic energy dissipation members that could be used in new and seismically vulnerable structures.
Ertugrul Taciroglu is a department chair at the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at UCLA, he’s the inaugural Chief Editor of The Multidisciplinary Journal of Civil Engineering, and he serves on Editorial Boards of several journals, including Earthquake Spectra, Soil Dynamics & Earthquake Engineering, and Structural Control & Health Monitoring.
Dr Taciroglu is also a fellow graduate of Istanbul Technical University (ITU), he holds a Masters and PhD degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed postdoctoral research at the Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets.
Ertugrul Taciroglu’s research interests span the disciplines of theoretical & applied mechanics and structural & geotechnical earthquake engineering. He is currently conducting projects on regional performance-based risk assessment of civil infrastructure under natural hazards, and structural health and performance monitoring. Dr. Taciroglu is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Walter Huber Prize of the American Society of Civil Engineers where he’s a member of the Engineering Mechanics Institute Board of Governors.
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.
Ebru Gencer is a distinguished expert in urban risk, climate resilience, and sustainable development. She serves as the Founding Director of the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R) at Columbia University, where she is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. In addition, she holds the position of Senior Urban Resilience Adviser at the World Bank. Dr. Gencer earned her Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Columbia University in 2007 and has been actively involved in disaster risk reduction and urban planning initiatives globally. She has authored numerous books and articles on the intersection of urban risk, climate change, and sustainable development, contributing significantly to the field.
Dr. Gencer's extensive career includes involvement in various international organizations, research projects, and consultancy roles related to disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and urban development. She has played pivotal roles in initiatives such as the UN's Making Cities Resilient Campaign and the Urban Planning Advisory Group for the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction. Her work has left a lasting impact on the understanding and promotion of resilient cities and territories worldwide, making her a prominent figure in the field of urban resilience and disaster risk management.
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.
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