Stephen Karam, lead urban economist in the Finance, Economics and Urban Development Unit of the World Bank, recently took part in the seminar series being held as part of the IR 4123 Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development course.
Mr. Karam provided an overview of global urbanization trends and how those trends have been experienced in Turkey. In his view, Turkey’s urbanization has been a positive example vis-à-vis other countries in terms of its pace and extent. However, he cautioned, Turkish cities will soon start feeling the pressure on their existing urban infrastructures, be it in the area of waste management, energy or transport.
As a means of dealing with such pressures, Mr. Karam emphasized the importance of urban planning, noting that Turkey will need to do better in this respect in order to ensure the sustainability of current development and maintain the country’s growth without infringing on the quality of life of its citizens. Many cities in Turkey need to produce more value-added products at the high end of the technological spectrum and be better connected to logistics networks to remain competitive in world markets and offer better employment opportunities.