Istanbul to Host Ecocity World Summit 2009 in December

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Istanbul will host the 8th International Ecocity Conference (Ecocity World Summit), December 13 -15, 2009. The event will be convened by Ecocity Builders, the Municipality of Istanbul, Yildiz Technical University, and Parantez International. Business and civic leaders around the globe will gather to design the city in balance with nature.

The idea is to design communities so that instead of having to drive

Istanbul will host the 8th International Ecocity Conference (Ecocity World Summit), December 13 -15, 2009. The event will be convened by Ecocity Builders, the Municipality of Istanbul, Yildiz Technical University, and Parantez International. Business and civic leaders around the globe will gather to design the city in balance with nature.

"Times are crying out for a much larger effort in the direction of the city that restores, not destroys, the biosphere," says Richard Register, President of Ecocity Builders and author of Ecocities, Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature (New Society Publishers, 2006). The answer to many of our pressing social and environmental problems, he believes, is to redesign and rebuild cities for people and revitalization of nature instead of for cars and sprawl.

The world-renowned series follows the first, held in Berkeley in 1990, and six subsequent conferences in Australia, Senegal, Brazil, China, India and San Francisco. Ecocity World Summit 2008 will take center stage before a highly influential community of architects, planners, designers, policy makers, green businesses, political and nonprofit leaders, with the added participation of international experts and delegates.

Speakers include Ambassador Bozkurt Aran - WTO - Chairman of Environment and Trade Committee, TURKEY; Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis, Founder and President, Biopolitics International Organization (B.I.O.), Athens, GREECE; Sahar Attia, Professor of Planning & Urban Design at Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; Wulf Daseking, Director of Planning City of Freiburg, Germany; Marcel Diallo, poet, musician, artist, philosopher, social entrepreneur, activist, California, USA; Paul Downton, Ecopolis Architects, Adelaide, Australia - Convener, the Second International Ecocity Conference in Adelaide, Australia; Parris Glendening, former Governor of Maryland, President, Smart Growth Leadership Institute, USA; Arnold J. Goldman, Chairman & Founder, BrightSource Energy, Inc., Israel; Colin Grant, Board Member of the International Center for Sustainable Cities, Founder and CEO, Visible Strategies, Vancouver, Canada; David Hall, Founder, NewVista, CEO, Novatek, Provo, Utah, USA; Walter Hood, Principal, HOOD Design, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, USA; Erhun Kula- Bahcesehir University of Istanbul, Turkey and Tutor at the Centre for Financial and Management Studies at the University of London, United Kingdom; Janet Larsen, Research Director, Earth Policy Institute, Washington DC, USA; Ong Beng Lee, Director (Eco-city Project Office), Ministry of National Development, Singapore; Andrew McKillop, energy expert and economic analyst, France; Suha Ozkan, Architect, Urban Planner, Historian, Theorist, Founding Chairman, World Architecture Community, TURKEY; Richard Register, President, Ecocity Builders, Founder of the International Ecocity Conference Series, USA; Sudarshan Tiwari, Architect and City Historian, Katmandu, Nepal; Brent Toderian, Director of Planning, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Rusong Wang, President, Ecological Society of China, Co-convener, Ecocity World Summit 2008, CHINA; Ken Yeang, Architect, United Kingdom - Malaysia.

According to proponents of the ecocity approach, the healthy built human habitat is the "walking city," of which some parts of existing cities are already good examples. Whether small scale or large, it would cover a small fraction of the land consumed by today's sprawling cities and towns. The guiding principle is "access by proximity."

"The idea is to design communities so that instead of having to drive "over there," what you need or want is "just around the corner," says Register.

Current conference sponsors include Izoder, Cedbik, Union of Turkish World Municipalities, Garanti Bank, Union of Anadolu Municipalities, Novatek, Ecological Society of China, and Ecocity Builders, Inc.

Ecocity Builders is developing a third-party set of standards to evaluate "ecocity projects" that will frame the discussions around ecocities and facilitate the application of ecocity concepts and ideas. Towards that goal, Ecocity Builders will produce The Ecocity Challenge during Ecocity 2009 in Istanbul, a special four-hour session where conference participants will begin to define internationally acceptable principles and metrics against which to evaluate the performance of ecocity projects worldwide. Delegates from other ecocity projects will be invited to present their ecocity models and associated principles and metrics.

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