Press Release November 4, 2009
Presentation of the third Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award in Istanbul
Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award goes to a community music project in the heart of Istanbul
The unanimous decision by the jury praised the vision and generosity of the project’s sponsor Mehmet Selim Baki, the palpable impact on the children’s musical and social skills, the clear messages that it gives for inner-city living and the potential for the project to act as model for similar initiatives in other urban areas. The jury said: ‘Music is an essential element of urban life, in streets and other public spaces, connecting people and catalysing the best of a city’s potential. With more than a hundred participants, this project brings a remarkable quality to the neighbourhood: not only to the children themselves, but also to their families, and their local community. They are proud and their music creates a communal spirit, bringing together officials, educators and families.’
Of the 87 submissions, five were shortlisted. Along side the winner, two stood out as ‘Special Mentions’ due to their unique and critical contributions to vulnerable urban populations in Istanbul. Mr. Ersin Akyuz, Chief Country Officer of Deutsche Bank Turkey awarded US$ 10,000 each to Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Vakfı (Foundation for Support of Women’s Work) that offers skills, childcare and employment support for new migrant women in Istanbul, and Umut Çocukları Derneği – Bakırköy Gençlik Evi (Children of Hope Foundation – Bakırköy Youth House) for their work on the Bakirkoy House, a shelter that also acts as a training centre towards employment for young men who have been forced to live on the streets. By awarding ‘Special Mention’, the jury admired these projects’ vision with the hope they would become model projects for others to follow.
From its launch in April 2009, the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award in Istanbul received submissions from all corners of Istanbul’s vast metropolitan area, with initiatives from inner-city neighbourhoods and peripheral areas on the European side, to spaghetti-junctions and housing estates on the Asian side, as well as projects on the Marmara Sea coastline and on the edges of the Black Sea. Many of the projects addressed some of the critical problems faced by Istanbul’s most fragile communities – new immigrants, isolated women, disadvantaged children, and the disabled and homeless young men – while others focused on the spatial inadequacies of this rapidly growing and intense city – traffic congestion, lack of open space and restoration of the city’s heritage.
The jury, composed of a range of international urban experts and local figures with knowledge of city’s diverse urban communities, met in Istanbul on 29–30 September 2009. Members included Chair of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ, renowned Professor of Sociology Çağlar Keyder, Behiç Ak the architect, author and cartoonist, and architect Han Tümertekin. They were joined by the former Mayor of Washington D.C. Anthony Williams, Founder of TEN Arquitectos Enrique Norten and LSE Professor and Director of the Urban Age Ricky Burdett, acting as chair of the jury.
Notes to Editors:
- The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award (DBUAA) was established in 2007 to encourage citizens to take initiatives to improve their cities.
- The award is organised by the Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society.
- It is a traveling award organized in parallel with the Urban Age Project, a joint initiative of the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society. In 2007, the award was given in Mumbai, in 2008, in São Paulo, and in 2010, the award will be located in Chicago, United States of America.
- The Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award Ceremony will be followed by the Urban Age Istanbul Conference is on 5 and 6 November. Attendance by invitation only.
Alfred Herrhausen Society
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