UCLG-MEWA organized a series of visits in July. These visits were made to universities and municipalities within the province of Istanbul. Thus, collaborations with academia and local governments were discussed, and various ideas were exchanged for partnerships.
The first visit on 18 July 2023 was made to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Faik Tanrıkulu, an academic and Project Coordinator at Medipol University. Dr. Tanrıkulu informed the MEWA delegation about his work in the field, and the areas of cooperation were also discussed in the meeting.
Subsequently, on 20 July 2023, a visit to the Directorate of Strategy Development, Sultanbeyli Municipality, was organized. During the interaction, Mehmet Aktaş, Strategy Development Manager, provided information about the work areas of the directorate and municipality and the Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR).
Afterward, a meeting was held with Bestami Özkaya, Vice-Rector of Research Planning at Yıldız Technical University on 21 July 2023. The meeting’s main theme was the potential work areas that could be formed with the cooperation of academia and the public.
On 26 July 2023, Deputy Dean Dr. Fatma Kantaş Yılmaz and Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Fevzi Esen of the University of Health Sciences hosted the UCLG-MEWA delegation. The meeting was focused on the “Resilience and Post-Earthquake Recovery” and the academic training that can be given to local governments in the earthquake zone, and the discussion on various cooperation were also taken up during the visit.
During the visit to the Directorate of Strategy Development, Pendik Municipality, on 27 July 2023, Sümeyye Topal and Zuhal Bektaş Temür, project experts, provided information about the activities, festivals, and “Sister Cities Program” and “Smart Waste Container” projects of the municipality.
On 28 July 2023, during our visit to Sultangazi Municipality, Murat Yıldırım, Director of Culture and Social Affairs, informed us about the functioning and training processes of Sultangazi Municipality Education Support Academy (SEDA) and Sultangazi Municipality Women’s Culture, Arts and Vocational Training Academy (SU-MEKAN) carried out by the municipality in the field of education. Murat mentioned that some of the projects were realized with funds from national and international organizations. He also stated that they are working simultaneously with many projects in the process of local financing.
Avcılar Municipality Directorate of Strategy Development was visited on 31 July 2023. Dr. Rana Seymen, the Director, gave information about the activities carried out in the municipality. She added that Avcılar has created a model on Physical Resilience, Climate Resilience, Innovation, and Social Economic Resilience and has worked on a resilient neighborhood for many years.
While the visits in July were productive and beneficial, they also emphasized the importance of exchanging ideas with stakeholders about the projects.