Think well about what you want exactly and try to focus on it during your studies by making contacts and starting projects and research in your fields of interest.
I am an internationally oriented person with a fascination for fast growing cities around the world. Cities are the places where most of the people live, so it's important that quality of life is superb for the inhabitants. By travelling to different cities on the globe I saw the pros and cons of rapidly growing cities. Most of the cities share a common issue. There is no integral urban plan and the quality of life is low in most of these cities. This is one of my main reasons that I chose to study Urbanism after my bachelor in building engineering.
I think that this study gave me time to learn the profession, to identify my strenghts and weaknesses and to think about my future job. In my 5 years at the academy I have worked at different offices, from small to medium-sized businesses, which where mostly working on projects in the Netherlands. But I felt that only working inside the Netherlands was not enough for me, so now I am working at an international firm in London. At the academy I learned always to develop myself next to the job, so this is something that I will keep doing, which is a big benefit to yourself and the company.
New Kadiköy City
My project area is situated in the heart of the Metropolis of Istanbul.
In approximately 100 years Istanbul saw its population growing with more than 200%. The prognosis is that the population will keep growing with almost 500,000 inhabitants per year till 2025. Due to the growing population the city grew in a non-planned way. The high pressure of the rapidly growing city brings short term visions (declining ecology, car oriented development) and quantity is more important than quality.
Nowadays developments are mostly on large plots along the highways around the city. Commonly these are mono-functional and high-rise developments. These are little cities on their own without any interaction with the surrounding city and public transportation. Unlike "who pays, desides" there are not much other development strategies in Istanbul.
It's important for Istanbul to grow as a city which takes care of the quality of life for its inhabitants and that it shows to the international world that it's an important subject for the future of the city, to attract people and to keep people loving and living their own city. Istanbul has to realize that the city is located at a very strategic place between Europe and Asia; with this in mind it can get the capital of the Global Region. The challenge is not only to attract back offices and manufacturing, but creating an environment to attract head offices and Research & Development departments of companies and institutes. To achieve such an environment Istanbul has to create a new strategic plan, which is about connectivity, quality of life and environment (public space, City ecology), and the cities culture, history. That the economy is growing is positive, but let's now focus on a city that grows in a sustainable and livable way.
The essence of my project is making an integral urban design, in which the quality of urban development in Istanbul will improve through time. As example I have designed a masterplan for one of the main intersection points at a beautiful and strategic location with 3 main goals in mind:
1. Creating a super attractive environment for establishment.
2. Invest in connections, literally (infrastructure) and figuratively (meeting places).
3. Invest in the ecology of the city to improve the quality of life.
Instead of separate non-integral developements I will bring the 3 main goals together to create a integral plan for New Kadiköy City. The most representative location of Istanbul will appear, where every part of the project will get the same attention, to eventually achieve a high quality in every layer of the development ( public space, public transportation station, parks etc.).
Quality of the public space is the most important and distinctive element of New Kadiköy City, when comparing it with surrounding districts. Instead of only focusing on real-estate I will focus on a super public space, that will increase the real-estate value in a new way. The disappearing interaction on street level, between people and various functions will come back in the development of New Kadiköy City.
The design of New Kadiköy City makes specifically use of its local qualities, but the main goal is to show, that with an integral approach Istanbul will get the chance to create a higher value for future developments.