MMU Urban Planning Platform Established

Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) has founded Urban Planning Platform consisting of directors and officials working in the respective departments at its member municipalities. Together with this new platform, MMU has now 12 thematic inter-municipal platforms focused on different themes such as migration, environment, local diplomacy, IT, culture&art, financial services and so on.

MMU Urban Planning Platform aims to contribute to the formation of cities with high quality of life, sustainability of natural resources, preservation of cultural heritage, and creation of fair, inclusive and participatory urbanization models. It further plans to publish bulletins in order to inform its members about the inspiring best practices, to organize trainings for its members, and to conduct and facilitate projects on urban planning.

First Urban Planning Platform Meeting Held
The first meeting of MMU Urban Planning Platform was held on January 13, 2021. In the meeting, MMU Secretary General Mr. M. Cemil Arslan delivered the opening speech. Arslan underlined that the aim of the platform is to provide the basis for knowledge and experience sharing and to carry out activities to produce common policies in line with the demands and needs of local governments by ensuring coordination among them. Referring to Marmara Urban Forum (MARUF), a biennial international forum organized by MMU, Arslan further emphasized “We want to recount the best practices of cities in Turkey to the world and global practices to Turkish local governments.” and added “We wish to organize MARUF21 together with you.”

MMU Urban Planning Coordinator Ms. Ezgi Küçük Çalışkan, then, informed the participants on the aims and activities of MMU’s Urban Planning Department and Urban Policy Center. “With this platform, which was established to ensure the coordination among local governments and to lay the groundwork for sharing knowledge and experience, we aim to engage in activities aimed at determining common policies in line with our members’ demands and needs. In order to produce common solutions to problems occurring at the city or regional level, MMU Urban Policy Center has launched a program through to support the master's theses and doctoral dissertations prepared in the universities located in the Marmara Region.” Küçük Çalışkan said. Furthermore, she stated that within the framework of the Golden Ant Award of MMU, the applied projects of member municipalities were associated with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this showed us which SDG is more prominent in the projects of the cities in the Marmara Region.”

In the meeting, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ocakçı, Prof. Dr. Gülden Erkut and Prof. Dr. Fatih Terzi from Istanbul Technical University (ITU) made presentation on the Marmara Region Spatial Development Strategic Framework Research Project which is carried out by MMU in partnership with ITU. Following the presentations, platform members exchanged ideas about the future work of the platform.