Sustainable Development and Planning 2015

7th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning


19 - 21 May 2015
Istanbul, Turkey


Sustainable Development and Planning 2015

The 7th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning (SDP 2015) recently took place at the School of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University. The conference was co-organised by that Institute, represented by Professors Ozlem Ozcevik and Sinan Mert Sener, and the Wessex Institute (WIT), represented by Professor Carlos A Brebbia.

The conference follows the success of previous meetings which started in Skiathos, Greece (2003), and continued in Bologna (2005); Algarve (2007); Cyprus (2009); the New Forest, UK, home of the Wessex Institute (2011); and Kos, Greece (2013).

In the words of Prof Sener, Dean of the Architectural School, “Istanbul Technical University (ITU), carries out educational, research and development activities and gives priority to projects in science and technology, which are a direct contribution to society”. He explained that ITU started as a Military Engineering School as early as 1773 and after restructuring in 1928 became the “High School of Engineering”, which included an Architectural Department. In 1944 the School became part of ITU.

ITU School of Architecture is located near Taskisla Square in a large heritage masonry building constructed between 1848 and 1853 for the Ottoman Army. The building has been carefully restored in the last few years under the direction of Professor Sener.

The conference brought together scientists and other stakeholders from across the globe to discuss the latest scientific ideas in the field. The meeting also highlighted developments in managerial strategies and associated tools for policy and decision makers.

 Opening of the Conference

Prof Carlos A Brebbia welcomed the delegates in the name of his Institute and started by thanking the School of Architecture authorities for hosting the meeting. Istanbul, a city in the process of rapid development was a most appropriate location for SDP 2015.

Carlos then explained the aims of WIT, ie providing a medium for knowledge transfer at an international level. This objective is achieved through a series of activities, ie meetings, including conferences; research at postdoctoral level; publications; and consultation services for industry.

WIT software codes, based on advanced computational methods, are widely used in aerospace, energy and mechanical engineering, amongst others. WIT’s commitment in this regard led to setting up a special office in Boston to serve the USA industry. SDP 2015 is part of the 25 or so international conferences that WIT organises every year. They cover a wide range of interests focussed on the importance of promoting interdisciplinary exchanges.

Carlos finished his introductory remarks by stressing the success of SDP15 in terms of the number of participants and the quality of the papers published in the conference volume. The volume is part of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (volume 193) and was published in digital as well as hard cover formats. All papers are also archived in the eLibrary of the Institute ( where they are easily accessible to the international community.

Presenters at the conference (as well as other WIT meetings) are encouraged to submit enhanced and extended versions of their work for possible publication in one of the Institute Journals. In this case the most appropriate being the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.

 Conference Topics

The Conference sessions had the following headings:

  • City planning
  • Regional planning
  • Rural developments
  • Sustainability and the built environment
  • Sustainable indicators
  • Policies and planning
  • Environmental planning and management
  • Energy resources
  • Cultural heritage
  • Quality of life
  • Community planning and resilience
  • Sustainable solutions in emerging countries
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Learning from nature

 Keynote Speakers

“Urban planning from a top-down to a bottom-up model: the case of Mexicali, Mexico”, by Rosa Rojas-Caldelas, Autonomous University of Baja California, Mexico

“The influences of Syrian refugees on the cities of Turkey: Gaziantep case”, by Sirma Turget, Yildiz Technical University, Turkey.

“Is there an engineering approach for the transition to a sustainable hydrogen economy?” by Max Platzer, AeroHydro Research and Technology Associates, USA.

“The potentiality of Green IT for sustainability and corporate responsibility”, by Roman Brandtweiner, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria.

“Evolution of particulate matter burden in built-up areas of the March Region: a case study”, by Giorgio Passerini, University of La Marche, Italy.”

 Special Session

In addition, Prof Hanan Taleb, from the British University of Dubai, organised a special session on Learning from Nature, consisting of fifteen papers discussing a variety of applications related to this important topic, such as:

  • Achieving bankable green deals in the commercial sector
  • A case study of Dubai Sustainable City
  • From natural concepts to sustainable solutions
  • Climate change challenges for public health and the environment
  • Forgotten spaces in Palestinian cities: the case of Ramallah and Al-Bireh
  • Tree bark as a biomimicry concept
  • The case study of human skin
  • Nature inspired solution for improving building performance
  • Passive design strategies
  • Grape viticulture as a biomimicry concept
  • Mimicking fungus and lichen mechanisms to achieve thermal comfort
  • Biomimicry inspired by the lotus flower
  • Onion layers as a natural concept to improve building performance
  • Energy reduction by applying passive cooling strategies
  • Rethinking and redesigning sustainability in Dubai

 Conference Dinner

The conference banquet took place in a well-known restaurant located in an historical building, originally endowed to the poor Greek-Turkish citizens by a well-known family. It offers a series of local specialities from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. It also offered a unique musical show which on this occasion consisted of a selection of Balkan songs led by a well-known singer. Some of the delegates were able to dance during the musical offerings. Drinks included some Turkish wines as well as the excellent local beers and, for those brave enough, a glass of the very strong raki. The whole evening was most friendly and gave the participants a taste of some delicious Turkish dishes.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met to discuss how the meeting can be improved when the conference is reconvened. Several new topics were put forward, as well as nominations for new members of the committee. The location of the conference will be investigated by the Conference Division of Wessex Institute and participants will receive advanced notice of date and venue. The members agreed that Istanbul was an excellent location which attracted participants from many different countries from where it may have been more difficult to reach other places.

 Closing of the Conference

The conference was closed by Carlos, who thanked the delegates for their participation and reminded them of the possibility of submitting a paper for publication to the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Sustainable Development and Planning 2015 - Sustainable Development and Planning VII, 1146pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-924-1; eISBN: 978-1-84564-925-8) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary in Volume 193 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X Digital ISSN: 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at

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