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Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or room to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
MON7.3: Challenges and opportunities in building a resilient city
Time: Monday, 27/Aug/2012: 6:40pm - 8:10pm
Session Chair: Seda KUNDAK, Istanbul Technical University
Location: Seehorn

Session organized by Istanbul Technical University

Session Abstract


Challenges and opportunities in building a resilient city


Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, Republic of

Disasters are able to cause dramatic changes in all systems at every level. Losses may be counted by the severity of damage in one hand, but on the other hand, the size of disruption may create a great shift to re-consider and install a new improved system instead of old and miss-functioned one. In this context, we can evaluate disasters as great opportunities for governments and communities to establish resilient cities. Turkey has experienced such a devastating event in 1999 due to Kocaeli Earthquake where more than 17.000 people died, 44.000 injured people and approximately 10 billion USD of economic losses which were equivalent around 4% of the country’s GDP.

Aftermath the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake increased perception of disaster risk lead to form new projects and to establish new regulations. In August 2000 AKOM (Coordination Center for Disasters) was established under Istanbul Greater Municipality and DMC (Disaster Management Center) was established under the Istanbul Governorship. In September 2000, TCIP (Insurance against Natural Hazards) was founded. In 2002, two comprehensive studies have been released: one was by Istanbul Greater Municipality and Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the other one was Bogazici University. The both studies include earthquake scenarios, vulnerability level of Istanbul and risky areas. In 2003, Istanbul Greater Municipality, within the contribution of academic staff of 4 pioneering universities of Turkey (Istanbul Technical University, Bogazici University, Middle East Technical University and Yildiz Technical University) developed “Earthquake Master Plan” for Istanbul. In 2007, the new regulations on Building Codes were set. In 2009, as a major step in risk management, AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency) was established.

In 2005, the agreement of ISMEP Project (Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project) was signed between Republic of Turkey and International Bank of Construction and Development. Istanbul Project Coordination Unit (IPCU) has been established within Istanbul Governorship, Special Provincial Administration to implement the Project. The activities of ISMEP Project are being implemented under the three components: (1) Enhancing Emergency Preparedness Capacity; (2) Seismic Risk Mitigation for Critical Public Buildings; and (3) Building Code Enforcement. The recent accomplishments of the ISMEP Project can be cited as reinforcement of more than 555 schools, 17 health facilities and 7 dormitories; establishment of Disaster Management Center under the coordination of the Istanbul Governorship and disaster awareness campaigns and training activities for decision makers, technical staff and community representatives that the project has already reached to 350.000 people and about five million training materials have been delivered to Istanbul residents. At the agreement period of the ISMEP Project, the project was planned to be completed by 31th of March 2010 with a budget of €310 Million. However, the outcomes of the project were so efficient, applicable and tangible that new funds were provided to sustain and disseminate activities. Consequently, the budget of the ISMEP Project has reached to approximately €970 Million with a time extension until 2015.

The ISMEP project has been launched as a best practice to enhance the resilience capacity of communities through structural, institutional and social reinforcement providing the linkages and integration among them. Even the name of the project refers Istanbul as the case, the developed methodology, implementation tools and dissemination activities have expanded through the other provinces of Turkey.

Today, we know that several high populated cities are facing natural threats and they are working hard to reduce risks and to increase public awareness which would support mitigation activities. Despite of differentiations in all features of world countries, our global aim is to enhance resilience and as well as quality of life on this earth. Therefore, this special session is proposed not only to promote the ISMEP Project but also to share experiences in using/creating opportunities and in dealing with overcome/existing challenges. The expected outputs of the proposed session are to improve implementation tools in disaster risk reduction in an international platform and to contribute in building and then sustaining resilient communities with a multi-perspective applicable road map.

Resilience: from theory to practice


Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, Republic of

The concept of resilience has been described in different ways. Each new definition makes the meaning broader so that the point we have reached today, resilience has a comprehensive meaning but less quantifiable. The main common point of these definitions is that resilience is a way to improve a strategy/behavior to be able to survive and to adapt against external shifts/impacts. To construct resilience the main ingredients are resource, latitude (redundancy), networks (social and institutional), information, experience, knowledge, diversity and robustness. Certainly these components should be performed by innovations, creativity, flexibility, collaboration, self-reliance and feedbacks. Once achieving desirable level, the crucial point is to sustain/manage resilience by self-organization, increasing learning and individual capacity and rapid response. The terms given in italics are pieces of resilience puzzle revealed after many striking events; nevertheless the whole picture has not been fulfilled yet. Once looking at the bright side, disasters may be seen as opportunities to get lessons and to do things right. Consequently, big shocks are able either to wipe out or to unfold most of the weaknesses in the system. Therefore, efficiency of rehabilitation/mitigation process after disaster is crucial to achieve resilience in the future. Turkey has experienced such a big shock due to 1999 earthquakes. The management system at all levels shifted from disaster management to risk management/mitigation. It is worthy to note that this new approach requires long run to achieve resilient communities. This paper discusses the overall achievements of ISMEP Project as well as other relevant attempts with the frame of urban/community resilience concept. The practical indicators of resilience are tested on ISMEP project to show how we may exercise our theoretical knowledge on resilience on real cases.

Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP)

K. Gokhan ELGIN

Istanbul Project Coordination Unit, Istanbul Governorship

Istanbul is located in seismic-prone area close to the North Anatolian Fault that makes it highly vulnerable to earthquakes when it is combined with its high population and its commercial and industrial densities. Considering the probability in the coming years that a major earthquake in Turkey is likely to bring mass destruction to the physical environment and the economic vitality along with the high risk of death toll, there is an urgent need to shift the existing faith-oriented, reactive, and recovery based policies into proactive, mitigation-oriented and preventive approaches.

The Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation Project (ISMEP), financed by the World Bank and European Investment Bank, Council of Europe Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, is a significant attempt in order to improve the city of Istanbul's preparedness for a potential earthquake by implementing the essential principles of comprehensive disaster management

ISMEP Project consists of three components: (A) improving the institutional and technical capacity for disaster management and emergency response, (B) reduction of seismic risk for critical public buildings and (C) supporting measures for better enforcement of building codes and land use plans. Supervision and the realization of the activities within the scope of the project are conducted by Istanbul Project Coordination Unit under the roof of Governorship of Istanbul. In order to raise awareness and preparedness level, several communication and training programs are being conducted with Istanbul community. Significant progress has been begun depending what we have learnt from the past disasters in Turkey and all over the world. Therefore, ISMEP is promoted as an outstanding model for the design and implementation of other national and international projects and activities in the field of disaster risk mitigation.

The ISMEP activities on raising public awareness, education and volunteering


Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, Republic of

The objective of this programme is to raise public awareness of risks and to play an active role in disaster reduction and disaster preparedness. This encompasses a substantial part of ISMEP’s activities whose aim is to transform Istanbul into a disaster-prepared city through individuals, families and institutions. Training programmes based on the concept of “Safe Life Volunteers” have been implemented for creating basic disaster awareness among individuals and families and of teaching basic knowledge and behaviour models. The programme also motivates a “safe life” culture and ensures extensive participation in citywide preparations, laying the groundwork for a proposed disaster volunteers system. Fifteen different training modules have been prepared for one of the projects implemented by ISMEP. Experts from both the private and public sectors together with academics have prepared programs under the supervision of instructors and authorized departments. To achieve complete organizational preparedness, training programmes have been initiated with the goal of reaching everyone in the community, starting with individuals and families. Innovative training materials for all ages were also prepared to convey messages to various target groups. The basic premise of disaster awareness training is not merely to inculcate people with information but to change people’s habits and behaviours and to motivate them to take action. This is why the module of “Safe Life Training” focuses on hands-on applications. The programme’s objective is to equip people with practical skills after being given information on disaster preparedness. Public information and awareness, training programmes and dissemination models organized for Istanbul residents are explained with examples.

A training program for disaster mitigation through urban planning


Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, Republic of

Since the Marmara Earthquake (1999), the role and responsibilities of local governments in disaster management have increased. Within the current legal framework, the municipalities in emergency situations still seem to be more service oriented and supplementary, rather than related to direct management of emergency operations, but municipalities play a main role in disaster mitigation through land use planning and building code enforcement. Recently The Law of Urban Transformation under Disaster Risk No: 6306 provides a powerful tool for disaster mitigation for Municipalities which are located on risky areas. Istanbul is the best case in Turkey in terms of both institutional arrangements resources and implementation within a more planned approach. In 2006, Istanbul Provincial Administration started the Istanbul Seismic Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness Project (ISMEP) with financing from the World Bank to strengthen local disaster response and emergency management capacity, to retrofit public facilities and to protect cultural heritage buildings from disasters. A community and institutional capacity building project is also developed within the framework ISMEP project. Among several trainings, Part B program is related mitigation through urban planning. In the content of Part B training programs applied Bagcılar and Pendik Municipalities about defining risks in regional and urban level, location choice for appropriate urban activities and appropriate building structures at the three target groups: decision makers, technical staff and community representatives. Due to these activities at the two pilot areas, training materials have been improved according to the feed-backs from the participants. The benchmarking of this training program might be given as the final session that all participants from each target group came together to share their perspectives, expectations from each other and to create a collective action to achieve disaster resilient community in their districts.

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