Last Updated:
23/03/2024 - 16:14

Intensive Programs (IPs)

The intensive programs, Europian Union-supported initiatives in the framework of the Socrates schemes, aim to promote exhange programs between universities. The Faculty of Architecture has recently involved in three IPs, namely Borderlines in Urban pace and Planning, BRANCABIKA, Spatial Development Planning.


The Department of City and Regional Planning is the partner of the two Erasmus-Socrates intensive programs (IP), and a new IP program is being prepared:

Border-Lines in Urban Spaces and Planning
Spatial Development Planning


The Department of City and Regional Planning is also a full member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and Association of Turkish Schools of Planning (Türkiye Ulusal Planlama Okulları Birliği, TUPOB).

BRANCABIKA was carried in partnership with the Department of Architecture, while the partners of the other IPs were the Department of City and Regional Planning.


Borderlines in Urban Space and Planning

‘Borderlines in Urban Space and Planning’ was a two-week international and interdisciplinary education program carried out in partnership with five niversities, Politecnico di Milano (Italy), Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg (Germany), University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (Austria), Middle East Technical University (Turkey), and University of Cluj (Romania). The IP aimed to offer the opportunity for the participants to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge over the general theme of borders and local urban policy issues, to discover different forms and types of border in urban space, and to learn the roles and effects of ‘urban border’, while shaping the urban space. Within the program, the three subsequent workshops were held in Milano, Hamburg and Vienna between 2004 and 2006. The first workshop focused on ‘The Paolo Pini’ that used to be the main psychiatric hospital of Milano, and turned into a derelict deprived site, while ‘HafenCity’, the former harbour area at the immediate periphery of the city centre of Hamburg, and ‘Flugfeld Aspern’, the former airport in Vienna, were the project sites of the workshops in 2005 and 2006. Each year, the workshops brought together 30 students studying undergraduate or graduate degrees in city planning, architecture, landscape and sociology. In each subsequent workshop, students worked as international and interdisciplinary teams of 6, and produced 5 alternative projects with a number of creative solutions.

The didactical method employed by the program was ‘research by design’ approach, based on the idea of exploring existing situations and developing policy or action strategies through the interaction of designers, researchers and stakeholders. On the one hand, this was achieved by promoting a crossover attitude among different educational profiles in the knowledge process. During the three workshops, the students were organised in small groups, mixed in terms of nationality and educational background. They therefore studied the ‘urban border’ problems at city-region, metropolitan city, and neighbourhood levels regarding their multi-facet characteristics by using multiple-method approach, and developed proposals through an interdisciplinary collaboration. In this sense, the IP did not only provide the participants with the opportunity to experience the process of dismantling the borders between disciplines, but also to experience an interdisciplinary collaborative process. On the other hand, the IP students were expected to make a qualitative exploration, and to develop visions and project suggestions through active interactions with local stakeholders. For each workshop, the local experts and actors were invited into the meetings and contributed through their opinions and views about the borderline problems in the project sites. Also, the students met and interviewed some other stakeholders related to their projects. In this way, they gained the opportunity to experience and learn participative and collaborative planning process; to know the real actors of the border problems; to define the problems with them, and even to find out the solutions for these problems with them. The project outcomes can be classified under four categories: i) methodology, ii) interventions, iii) design/concept, iv) scenarios. The student projects once again proved that borderline problems in urban space require a design and planning pproach bringing along a wide set of interconnected dimensions that continuously produce new configurations of dynamic balance to complex urban systems.

Coordinators: Ingrid Breckner, Massimo Bricocoli
Studio team: Müge Akkar Ercan, Ingrid Breckner, Massimo Bricocoli, Dagmar Grimm-Pretner (the IP 2006 only), Lilli Licka, Corinna Morandi, Rudolf Poledna



BRANCABIKA is an educational project realized as an Intensive Programme (IP) within the framework of EU-Erasmus mobility programmes, intended for students at undergraduate as well as graduate level. The acronym BRANCABIKA stands for BRugge, Ankara, Canterbury, BIalystok and KAiserslautern, cities where the institutes of higher education participating in the project are located. During ten days period, fifty students and ten members of staff from five countries provided a European dimension to the project from the world of architecture and city planning. “Modular housing system for starters” was the theme of the first workshop that took place in Brugge (Belgium) between 18-27 April 2005.

The subject of the second workshop that was held at METU Faculty of Architecture in Ankara between 5-15 March 2006 (1) was “low cost housing for low income groups in disaster prone areas: Sustainable Neighbourhood and Housing Design in Ankara”. The transformation/regeneration of the old squatter housing that contemporary etropolitan cities in Turkey are confronted with constituted the context of the design problem that was dealt with in the Ankara 2006 workshop. Within the project, alternative models for low cost, low income housing were developed.

Contributors from each participating partner brought to both workshops their specific points of view. Not only subject related ideas and views and educational aspects were shared between all involved but contributors were also faced with the challenge of working together with others of different cultural and professional backgrounds.


International project coordinator:

Rob Van Helvoort (Hogeschool West Vlaanderen Belgium)


Project coordinators at METU:
Inst. Sevin Osmay (Dept. of City and Regional Planning)
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cânâ Bilsel (Dept. of Architecture)

Project Team:
Inst. Dr. Halûk Zelef (Dept. of Architecture)
Assist. Prof. Dr. Anlı Ataöv (Dept. of City and Regional Planning)
Res. Assist. Onur Yüncü (Dept. of Architecture)
Res. Assist. Burak Büyükcivelek (Dept. of City and Regional Planning)
Res. Assist. Erol Işık (ICT Assistant)
Res. Assist. Ozan Bilge (ICT Assistant)


Spatial Development Planning

The Department of City and Regional Planning is one of the partners of the Erasmus-Socrates intensive program (IP) Spatial Development Planning. This program is carried out with the partnerships of University of Milano - Bicocca/Department of Sociology and Social Research (Italy), Middle East Technical University/Department of City and Regional Planning (Turkey), University of Newcastle upon Tyne/School of Planning, Architecture and Landscape (United Kingdom), University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille/Faculty of Economics and Social Science (France), Catholic University of Leuven/Department of Architecture (Belgium), Utrecht University/Department of Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning (Holland), University of Averio/Department of Social, Legal and Political Sciences (Portugal), Mediterranean University of the City of Reggio Calabria/Department of City, Landscape and Territory Planning (Italy), Harokopio University/Department of Geography (Greece), University of the Basque Country University of the Basque Country/Department of Applied Economics (Spain), Kraliyet Teknoloji Üniversitesi/Şehir Planlama Bölümü (Sweden), Helsinki University of Technology/ Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (Finland), University of Naples Federico II/ Department of Social Sciences (Italy), Sapienza University of Rome/Department of Territorial and Urban Planning (Italy), Slovak University of Technology/ Department of Architecture (Slovak Republic), Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration/Department of of Urban and Regional Development (Austria).

The main purpose of the IP on Spatial Development Planning is to provide students with a learning experience on different planning contexts, to become familiar with different instruments and approaches, and to confront the problems and issues at hand. In particular, this learning experience is focused on achieving a critical understanding of: a) different urban redevelopment patterns and models; b) methodologies to evaluate the economic and social impact of these redevelopment projects at various scales; c) conceptual tools for the analysis of governance dynamics.

Within this IP, two projects were prepared in 2007, related to two transformation areas in Milan. Three students from our Department participated in the IP workshop together with the coordinator Dr. Bahar Gedikli. Students worked in collaboration with other participant students; while the coordinators assumed the teaching duty. The first project involved the BICOCCA area, where the University of Milano-Bicocca is also located. The University have become a central part of a large redevelopment project informed by the “knowledge-city model”, where higher-education, R&D and cultural functions are mixed with advanced business services and high-quality residential units. The analysis of this project enables a critical appraisal of the development patterns set in motion by policies promoting the Knowledge–Based Society and their impact in the metropolitan area. The second project is on PARCO NORD, a 600 hectare green area along the northern border of the city of Milan and including portions of five minor municipalities of the metropolitan area. The park is managed by a Consortium of the municipalities involved and constitutes a successful example of collaboration at the inter-municipality level; while connecting adjacent municipalities this park plays a large role in providing opportunities for socially innovative initiatives which promote an inclusive and active fruition of green spaces (for example, urban vegetable gardens, well-equipped paths and facilities for educational purposes). In 2008, in addition to the two transformation areas studied in 2007, Manufattura Tabacchi was chosen as the third project area; the planning of a cultural district. Three students from our Department participated in the project. Next IP workshop is held in Stockholm in 2010.

Project coordinators: Asst.Prof. Dr. Bahar Gedikli