Mapping Workshop in Urla, an Outstanding Brand Intermediary City in Turkey

Co-organized by UCLG Intermediary Cities Forum and UCLG-MEWA Intermediary Cities Working Group, the mapping workshop took place on 15-18 March 2018, in Urla, the brand intermediary city of İzmir, Turkey.

Following the footsteps of Intermediary Cities MEWA Regional Forum on 21-22 September 2017 in Nevşehir, Turkey as a starter for the activities in the MEWA Region, our efforts are continuing with mapping workshops for highlighting the specific dynamics of the intermediary cities with a comprehensive project analysis, and for framing their 2030 vision. After the first mapping workshop that took place recently in Nevşehir, the second workshop has been organized in Urla, renowned as an outstanding brand intermediary city in Turkey. Sibel Uyar, Mayor of Urla, alderman, representatives of Urla Citizens’ Assembly, NGOs and academics, as well as Önder Can, District Governor of Urla, came together in the workshop, which created a 4-day opportunity for interactive evaluations on Urla’s 2030 vision.

In the opening session, Mayor Uyar underlined that many of their current activities are already referring to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; and she also noted the importance of joint projects carried out with İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, within the framework of the Peninsula Sustainable Development Strategy Program. Stating that the mapping work will also contribute to the recognition of their activities, Mayor Uyar also underlined the fact that the workshop was a very significant activity, for identifying the point they want Urla to reach, with a participative approach.

As the general coordinator of the workshop; Firdaous Oussidhoum, Coordinator of UCLG Intermediary Cities Forum, stated in her opening speech that the accumulation of people in large cities is increasing day by day, therefore the importance of intermediary cities connecting rural areas with metropolises has begun to emerge and that their role will strike more in the future. After Ms. Oussidhoum; Salim Korkmaz, UCLG-MEWA General Coordinator, approached intermediary cities from the perspective of the MEWA region. Stating that there are over 500 intermediary cities in the MEWA region, General Coordinator Korkmaz flagged Urla as one of the most important intermediate cities in the region, considering its branding activities, ideal scale and population ratio.

On the first two days of the workshop, municipal activities were classified under five different capitals, namely economic, social, cultural, human and environmental; with the participation of Urla Municipality staff and other stakeholders, and each activity was marked on the Urla map in different colors. On the third day, the projects and activities were linked with the Sustainable Development Goals that they refer to, and right after, on-site visits were conducted to the application areas of leading projects. On the fourth and last day of the workshop, a preliminary classification and mapping work was presented, and the program ended with the projections on the Ideal Urla in 2030, shared by the participants, as residents of the city.

The next step of the work constitutes the classification and mapping work, the preparation of a reference document through charts and maps in the light of the data collected. You can find the document prepared after the similar mapping workshop held in Chefchaouen, on the UCLG web site.

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