Monday, November 9, 2009

Istanbul in an Urban Age

For someone who loves cities like I do, it was nothing short of fascinating to spend two days listening to the big thinkers – architects, planners, academics, and activists from around the world – that Urban Age brought to Istanbul this past week for the ninth in its series of globe-trotting conferences on the future of the planet's mega-cities. (The stunning, Bosphorus-side setting at the Esma Sultan Yalısı, a thoroughly modern interior re-imagining of a gorgeous wreck of an old mansion into an airy event center, didn't hurt – nor did the decadent amount of tasty food served.)

The event also marked my writing debut for the local English-language newspaper the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, for which I filed two stories, an overview of the conference ("The future of cities in an Urban Age") and a look at some imaginative architects' ideas for re-envisioning parts of our often chaotic and under-planned city ("New design visions for Istanbul neighborhoods").

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