Insights from a Novel Graduate-Level Planning Studio Design: Research- and Experience-Based Learning

Akçakaya Waite İ.

EELISA Research-Based Learning Symposium, İstanbul, Turkey, 17 - 18 May 2022

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The two-semester graduate-level planning studio conducted in 2018-19 at the ITU Urban Planning Master's Program was designed to employ research-driven and experiential learning methods and principles in an inclusive environment inherent in both the studio topic, collaborative planning and governance, and the studio process. Aside from the more conventional desk criticisms and jury assessments, research-process-based methods of learning involved multiple structured site visits to Pınar Neighborhood, Sarıyer, that included frequent communication with the municipality and other relevant stakeholders; surveys and semi-structured in-depth interviews with community members; focus groups with local stakeholders; and a final feedback colloquium delivered on site by students to communicate the refined planning models to the stakeholders and fine tune their planning decisions. The studio process also involved an instructor-designed workshop on focus group study, in which students learned about the aims, design and analysis of this qualitative research method that they designed, conducted, and reported. The hands-on research-based learning methods, combined with literature research and review, were reflected on novel collaborative plans, and collaborative governance models adapted to the case project. Thus, the students aimed at planning of the neighborhood with a thorough organization of relevant stakeholders and their fair involvement in planning decisions so as to achieve successful and sustainable planning outcomes towards the betterment of the local public’s wellbeing.