Climate change in megacities

International scientists and local politicians developing strategies for solving climate problems at workshops in Istanbul

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig is working on strategies for solving the problem of climate change in the world's largest cities and is also bringing together researchers and politicians from Germany, Turkey and other countries as part of the German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation 2014.

After the first workshop in October 2014 with more than 60 participants, Dr. Kerstin Krellenberg, scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), is organising a second one-and-a-half day meeting on the Bosporus in order to answer the most pressing questions relating to climate change in megacities. Participants will be working on transferable research approaches in cooperation with international scientific experts. These will be presented to politicians in Istanbul and discussed with them.

"Safeguarding the livelihoods of future generations"

"We are developing concepts and processes that will help safeguard the livelihoods of future generations," says Dr. Kerstin Krellenberg. "Our project aims to raise political and administrative awareness of the effects of climate change on cities and to continue developing strategies for solving these problems."

Krellenberg is extremely satisfied with the results of the first workshop. It was successful in bringing together high-ranking representatives of Istanbul's city administration with Turkish and international researchers, including a researcher from Columbia University who reported on climate initiatives that have been successfully implemented in New York. "A lot of excellent preliminary work has been done in New York," said Krellenberg. "Other cities could by all means take a leaf out of its book."

Intensifying German-Turkish cooperation in environmental research

In New York - as in Santiago de Chile - a wide variety of protagonists (e.g. in the fields of science and politics) have been working on developing answers to the problem of climate change. Krellenberg: "It would be ideal if Istanbul could build on these examples by coordinating and substantiating the work being done in the fields of politics, administration, science, business and civil society." The workshop in Istanbul was an initial step in this direction, and the second workshop will be building on it. 

It is hoped that the project will provide decisive inspiration for the development of an integrated strategy focused on solving the problem of climate change in Istanbul. The goal is to continue the German megacity research performed in recent years, particularly by the Helmholtz Association, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation, and to expand and intensify cooperation with Turkey in the areas of environmental research and climate change. The project is part of the German-Turkish Year of Research, Education and Innovation, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Turkish Ministry of Research, Industry and Technology.

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