10 / 03 / 2016

An “Integrated Green Urban Design” is possible!

An “Integrated Green Urban Design” is possible in a rapidly urbanizing country like Turkey? 

During the “Sustainable City Transformation & Integrated Urban Design Congress” of CEDBIK (Green Building Council of Turkey) in Istanbul, the participants and panellists had discussed this dilemma for two days.

Turkey is one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies with Europe’s second highest population. This rapid growth comes with some socio-economic problems. In the last 30 years, millions of people moved from villages and rural areas to big cities and it is obvious that cities were caught unprepared for this mass of people.

What is the solution?

For two days, more than 500 professionals representing private and public sectors, universities, governmental bodies and NGOs, participated in the “Sustainable City Transformation & Integrated Urban Design” Congress in Istanbul on 4-5th February 2016, and they entirely discussed the market barriers of green urbanization and the solutions to overcome them.

The congress opened with the “Sustainable Certification” session and panellists discussed the national and international certification systems and application problems in the Turkish market. This session was followed by two other sessions, “Sustainable Settlement” and “Sustainable Material”. During these sessions, the main discussion was about lack of incentives and financial mechanisms to encourage the sector in developing green projects.

Innovative financial solution developed by the EBRD…

The second day started with the most critical session: “Sustainable Finance”.

The session was moderated by Ms. Derya Ozet Yalgı from Garanti Bank where the panellists were distinguished representatives from the EBRD, TuREEFF and IFC.

During the session, Mr. Miroslav Maly, Operation Leader of TuREEFF from the EBRD, gave information about the green sustainability policy of the EBRD and shared the challenges and lessons learnt from financing green buildings in Turkey. Mr. Maly stated that low awareness on advantages of higher energy performance in buildings among homeowners and low awareness on the EPC among SME construction companies, are the main challenges and barriers in the market.  He also underlined that there is lack of inspection of applications, which negatively affects the reliability of current EPC certification in Turkey.

TuREEFF Project Manager Ms. Güliz Örnek spoke about TuREEFF’s sub-products (Rehabilitation for existing buildings and Reconstruction for new buildings) developed by the EBRD, which are integrated with the government’s Urban Transformation Plan.

She gave information about TuREEFF Rehabilitation & Reconstruction Loans which have been developed for SMEs and New Building loans (Green Mortgage) for relatively large project developers. She stated that TuREEFF’s project consultants are working at the field closely with the construction sector, and this may be an advantage to identify potential projects for LEED/Bream and National Green Building Certification. 

Both Mr. Maly and Ms. Örnek underlined TuREEFF’s solutions targeting to reach EPC A class are in line with the EU Directives, and these solutions have already been proposed and welcomed for a cooperation with “national green building certification”, developed by ÇEDBIK.

TuREEFF’s innovative financial solutions that go beyond business as usual, blended with EU funded technical assistance were highly appreciated and attracted big interest by the audience.

During the Q&A session, Mr Maly underlined that EBRD gives great importance to the verification and monitoring of the project, and also environmental and Health & Safety standards are crucial factors for the EBRD.

During the afternoon session, Dr. Murat Sarıoğlu, Managing Director for MWH Global in Turkey and Project Director of TuREEFF, gave a presentation about ”sustainable energy efficiency”. During the second part of his presentation, he touched upon TuREEFF and its contribution to sustainability in residential energy efficiency. He also presented some case studies financed by TuREEFF so far, and shared comparative technical and financial figures including energy savings, reduced carbon emissions and cost analysis. 

An “Integrated Green Urban Design” is possible in Turkey?

We say: YES

Following the two day congress, the most challenging question seemed to have an answer in people’s minds: Yes, it is possible. And with its proven success, TuREEFF will have a crucial role in this transformation with its ready and applicable financial solutions customized for Turkish market.

Increasing visibility of TuREEFF and Donors

The congress was followed by the national and local media and was a very good opportunity for increasing the visibility of the programme and creating demand. After the event, TuREEFF team received many emails and phone calls from construction companies, NGOs and media members.