Students at İzmir Camp Map Urban Challenges

A group of young people walking confidently outside

Image by IMM: Ali İhsan Mimtaş

In İzmir, Türkiye, university students specializing in landscape architecture and urban planning embarked on the "1st Innovation Camp" undertaken as part of Re-Value to evaluate the use of Alsancak - a popular area with intensive public use especially by young citizens. 

This initiative, closely tied to the Re-Value waterfront pilot project and undertaken by the Turkish chapter of JA Europe, aimed to address climate neutrality, inclusive design, and city aesthetics. The area today is widely recognized as a public space for national festivities and is equipped for outdoor recreational activities, making it heavily utilised in everyday life. It is conveniently located near various modes of transportation and serves as a gateway to İzmir for visitors through its northern cruise port.

The practical efforts involved utilising open-source tools like Kobo Tool Box (a suite of data collection tools) and Wikiloc (a mapping software). Moving into the real world, the students gathering in groups and began a detailed survey of the Alsancak area by collecting and geotagging specific issues they identified, enriching the project's data layer. Geotagged photographs of problematic areas were incorporated into a dataset pinpointing issues based on their locations, for future action.

Going forward, the work undertaken on this first Innovation Camp will be a key element for the 2nd Innovation Camp happening next year, which focuses on taking the next step in "re-valuing". Here, the students' findings will be integrated into the "Digital Twin" model of the area, using GIS technologies. Overall, the students contribute to the broader Re-Value ambition of reimagining urban spaces in a more sustainable and inclusive way.

About the Innovation Camps

In partnership with JA Türkiye, a renowned organisation dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation among young people, the Municipality of İzmir is hosting Innovation Camps as part of Re-Value. 

An Innovation camp is an idea competition and a learning method for creativity and innovation. During a limited period of time, the pupils and students deliver their solutions to the challenges presented to them. It is an innovative learning method based on a tripartite collaboration between local work and business, the educational institution and the local chapter of JA Europe.

A map of a part of Izmir, showing an aread marked by a red line, multuple routes marked by Orange and then blue dots representing issues marked by students

A map of the route with light blue dots representing "problems" marked by students. Visual by  Ceyhun Cubukcu

A group of people sitting around a table

Image by IMM: Ali İhsan Mimtaş

A big hall from above, with students engaged in talks on various tables

Image by IMM: Ali İhsan Mimtaş

A photo of four people on a big square with phones that were used as part of the assignment.

Image by IMM: Ali İhsan Mimtaş

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