Livable Cities Symposium convenes network of sustainable development experts
On November 20, 2013, EMBARQ Turkey hosted its first Livable Cities Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey. Boasting a lineup of 17 expert speakers from five different continents, the Symposium brought together urban planners, engineers, government officials, and development professionals to address how sustainable urban development can contribute to healthy, active, and livable cities.
Transit-oriented development is a pillar of livable cities
While the Symposium addressed a broad range of topics – including smart cities, car-sharing, public participation, public spaces, urban design, and historic preservation – transit-oriented development (TOD) was acknowledged as a common thread throughout the event’s presentations. As one of the most widely hailed measures to make cities function better for people, TOD policies foster walkable cities by increasing density and encouraging mixed-use residential and commercial development. Moreover, TOD increases accessibility by making it easier to connect to transport modes like bus or metro. TOD has also been recently recognized for its contributions to public spaces and cultural heritage, and for enabling non-motorized mobility. TOD policies are most often developed using participatory planning – which relies on citizen input – to ensure that future urban development best serves urban residents.
To learn more about TOD policies and how they’ve been implemented around the world, see these presentations from the Livable Cities Symposium:
- Robin King: Connecting People to Places
- Salvador Herrera: Metrobús Line 4 Connection to Historic District and Suburban Integration via Public Transportation
- Rejeet Matthews: Building Complete Communities – TOD in India
- Benjamin Welle: Designing for Safe, Active and Clean Cities – Using TOD to Improve Quality of Life & Health
EMBARQ Network at the Livable Cities Symposium
The EMBARQ Network was represented by Ben Welle and Robin King from EMBARQ Global, Salvador Herrera from EMBARQ Mexico, Rejeet Matthews and Surya Prakash from EMBARQ India, as well as the EMBARQ Turkey team and Board members. The Symposium highlighted EMBARQ’s emphasis on the importance of people-centric approaches to transport and urban planning, and used examples from Mexico and Turkey to situate the Avoid, Shift, Improve approach within specific contexts of urban design.
EMBARQ Turkey, under director Arzu Tekir, organized the Livable Cities Symposium to convene global experts on urban development and address the core question of how to make cities better places to live. Knowledge from the event was shared on social media using #livablecity. Following the success of the event, EMBARQ Turkey is planning future events around the themes of livability, accessibility, and equitable urban development for all, including a discussion of people-oriented cities with a half-day seminar on December 11. The seminar will focus on creating safe cycling conditions in cities.