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2011 Urban Planning Travel

Istanbul Studio Site Trip

In mid-March, the Istanbul Studio traveled to Turkey to carry out research and meet with stakeholders and relevant community entities.The Istanbul Studio focused on spatial, social, and economic strategies to connect residents of the historic Fatih district with the waterfront.

Field research included a site visit to Halic, the Golden Horn of Istanbul, and extensive analysis of the adjacent neighborhoods. The students also met with stakeholders in the development process, including: the Mayor of Fatih District, the Istanbul Municipal Planning agency, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, the project director of the Homeowners & Renters Association in the Fener/Balat neighborhood, community activists, prominent real estate developers, and professors of urban planning, sociology and communications at Kadir Has University, architecture professors at Yildiz Technical University, and an economist at Bilgi University.

The studio developed a social-spatial plan for two neighborhoods along Halic, to address lack of transparency and community participation in the planning process.

Rio De Janeiro Studio Site Trip

In mid-March, the Rio Studio carried out two weeks of site research, meetings, and workshops in Rio de Janeiro State. The Rio Studio is examining the construction of a large petrochemical complex in Rio de Janeiro State will effect regional development.

The studio is an interdisciplinary engagement between Columbia University, Universidade Federal Fluminense, UN-HABITAT, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras and CONLESTE, a regional consortium of municipalities. The students are working with their Brazilian and transnational partners to develop strategies to leverage the economic development associated with the new complex while ensuring that benefits are shared among all members of society.

The studio produced recommendations for strengthening CONLESTE and realizing its vision as a regional policy platform. The lessons of this study have implications for the practice of regional governance and planning in response to megaprojects.

Nathan Tinclair Kinne Trip (MSUP '11)

Travel to Montreal and Toronto Canada

"My Kinne trip to Montreal and Toronto, Canada, was a great chance to explore cities relatively similar, yet somewhat different than those found in much of the United States. Montreal is obviously unique because of its French language heritage, but it also features dense housing, interesting architecture, and vibrant neighborhoods. The city is built around Mount Royal, a small mountain that has been turned into an Olmstead designed city park. Building heights are limited to the height of Mount Royal so the view of the city center from the top offers an incredible vantage point on the city

Toronto seems to be a city much more built around the present. The city replaced Montreal as the economic capital of Canada in the mid 20th century, and this ascendance is reflected in the vast amount of construction occurring in the city from then through today. In fact, Toronto currently has more high-rise buildings under construction than New York City and it is incredibly apparent in the skyline. I also had the chance in Toronto to tour the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant (named after Toronto's Robert Moses equivalent), a large treatment plant on Lake Ontario that cleans 45% of the drinking water consumed in the city. The plant is also the largest collection of Art Deco style buildings in the city."

Ben Hendricks Kinne Trip (MSUP / JD 2011)

Travel to Brazil - Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Salvador da Bahia and Sao Paulo.

"I lived with a local family in Recife and took a week of Portuguese classes. In Salvador, I toured the historic part of the city, which was basically the center of the slave trade in Brazil for 200 years. In Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, I did some sightseeing, met some family friends, and visited some slums with local guides."

Based on his experience, Ben is now interested in applying for a Fulbright post-graduation research grant (for 2011-2012) to do some fieldwork in either Brazil or Colombia regarding planning for slums and/or public transportation. He has been inspired by the planning approaches in both of those places (i.e. planning for urban slums in Northeast Brazil or public transportation planning in Colombia). He has been looking into university contacts in Brazil and was hoping to speak with some urban planning professors at the Federal University of Pernambuco (in Recife), which is one of the well-known Brazilian public universities.

Georgia Bullen and Greta Byrum

Exploring Hybrid Connectivity and Community Information Sourcing in India

Christina Ghan and Eugenia Malwelyan

Accessing Creativity: Lessons from Danish and Dutch Adaptive Reuse 'Cultural Clusters' for the Brooklyn Neighborhood of Wallabout

Jorge Colin Pescina

Interdisciplinary approach to neighborhood effect on academic performance: Evidence from Mexico City