Istanbul95 Urban Playspaces Conference

Fri, Sep 21

Urban Playspaces Conference, organized as a part of the Istanbul95 program, focuses on children’s urban experiences and play opportunities and will bring together speakers from the world of arts, politics, architecture and academia.

Istanbul95 is an initiative of Bernard van Leer Foundation and invites designers, planners and policy makers to look at Istanbul from 95 cm, the height of a healthy 3-year-old child, and asks the simple and bold question ‘what would you do differently?’. Urban Playspaces Conference will take place at Kadir Has University on September 21st and 22nd and is open to public.

September, Friday 21

4:30pm
Can play be without risk?

Case study presentations: Tim Gill, Alexandra Lange
Response: Elger Blitz, Avşar Gürpınar, Neslihan Öztürk
Moderator: Selva Gürdoğan
By the end of the 1800s, people like Jane Addams were trying to raise child labor age to 14 while at the same time advocating children’s play rights in the city. Almost 100 years later, in 1989, the right to play was included in The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, the place of play in the city is still a matter of debate. We will discuss different perspectives from history while looking at issues at stake today with risk-averse policies for public space.

6:45pm
How to mainstream “Urban95”?

Presentation: Cecilia Vaca Jones
Response: Fikret Toksöz
Bernard van Leer Foundation has launched its Urban95 program, the umbrella project that includes Istanbul95, in 2016. Focusing on childhood and early childhood for the last 50 years, the foundation seeks to underline the needs of the rapidly growing urban child population of the world and cooperate with cities to promote good practices. We will listen to the foundation’s work and vision from its program director.

September, Saturday 22

1pm
How does the city look from 95 cm?

Case study presentations: Jens Aerts, Elvanda Myshketa, Simon Battisti
Response: Ardan Kockelkoren, Abhimanyu Prakash, Gregers Tang Thomsen
Moderator: Yiğit Aksakoğlu
Although discourse on urban childhoods is not yet mainstream, there are many stakeholders drawing attention to this issue. We will focus on the experience of creating know-how about child and the city and the example of Tirana while discussing guides, design and practice.

3pm
Ask the play experts, what do children say?

Case study presentations: Sibel Çetingöz, Erdoğan Kahyaoğlu, Damon Rich, Jae Shin
Response: Yasemin Çakırer Özservet, Tim Gill, Cecilia Vaca Jones
Moderator: Selva Gürdoğan
Play is actually a difficult word to define because of the diversity of actions we identify as play. Likewise, the child is probably the most complicated “client” a designer will encounter because she learns something new every day while also changing in body and capacity. After listening to presentations shaped with words of children, we will discuss new priorities.

5pm
Why not the whole city as a play site?

Case study presentations: Elger Blitz, Arzu Erturan
Response: Bahar Aksel Enşici, Ayşe Coşkun Orlandi, Alexandra Lange
Moderator: Pedro Rivera
How to design parks that are exciting for children of all ages appealing to their desire for challenge and accomplishment? What could be the easy and natural ways to incorporate play in the city? We will be talking with designers and activists on creating space for play in cities.

7pm
Are children the starting point for a more livable city?

Presentation: Gil Penalosa
Response: Cecilia Vaca Jones
The “livability” ranking for cities was first put forward in 1984 as essentially an economic indicator. However, we should be able to assess “livability” of cities from the perspective of the citizens from the youngest to the eldest. In this presentation, we will hear of stories of cities from around the world that have started to prioritize children.

Istanbul95: Istanbul95 is initiated by Bernard van Leer Foundation in collaboration with Boğaziçi University, Kadir Has University, TESEV, Superpool and Studio-X Istanbul in partnership with Beyoğlu, Maltepe, Sarıyer and Sultanbeyli Municipalities. This pilot program will last for two years and aims to accomplish best practices for supporting young children and their caregivers.

Urban Playspaces Conference: Opening

WELCOME Rector Prof. Dr. Sondan Durukanoğlu Feyiz Kadir Has University, the host of the Urban Playspaces Conference is a key academic partner of Istanbul95 program and the rector will be presenting the Urban95 Master Program.

WHY İSTANBUL95? Yiğit Aksakoğlu Why should urban design be interested in early childhood? Aksakoğlu from Bernard van Leer Foundation will focus on the importance of looking at the city from 95 cm, the height of a healthy 3-year-old, and present Istanbul95 program.

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