Spring Break in Istanbul, Turkey – March 2015
International Perspectives on Urban Law & Policy
In conjunction with the spring semester law course, International Perspectives on Urban Law & Policy, the Center offers a one week study abroad program over the March spring break week. This past spring, students had the opportunity to study abroad in Istanbul, Turkey at Bahcesehir University School of Law.
Istanbul was selected because it is a strategically important and historically rich megacity with a strong, stable economy. However, disasters – natural and man-made – threaten Turkey’s financial and economic security. Turkey faces significant risk from landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, environmental disasters, rising sea levels and tensions along the border with Syria.
The Spring 2015 study abroad program offered students a unique opportunity to experience first-hand how metropolitan areas tackle the challenges posed by an extremely dense urban environment when planning for disasters. Istanbul’s metropolitan population of 13.8 million people, combined with narrow streets, densely packed buildings and sometimes poorly constructed and limited greenspace poses significant challenges for the city.
Over the course of the week, students focused on land use planning, historic preservation, environmental law and policy, growth management, and disaster planning in Istanbul. The program featured a combination of lectures by leading academic, public and private sector professionals and site visits designed to enrich the academic and cultural experience.
The study abroad destination for Spring 2016 has not yet been determined.