Urban Age Award 2009 Istanbul

On 04 November 2009, the 3rd Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award was awarded in Istanbul to Baris Icin Müzik ("Music for Peace"), which by focusing on the children in the neighborhood aims to connect people and empower residents, while raising the quality of the neighborhood.

Istanbul’s spatial inequity is a result of a rapidly growing process, which has intensified problems over time: traffic congestion, lack of open space, the informal and self-made city, as well as the restoration of the city’s heritage and derelict areas. Many of the eighty-seven initiatives which applied for the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award 2009 addressed the critical problems faced by Istanbul’s most fragile communities — new immigrants, isolated women, disadvantaged children, the disabled, and homeless young men. The projects combined the spirit of social entrepreneurship and collective action that characterizes many of the grassroots initiatives developed in Istanbul.

 Bird view of Istanbul

The winning project Baris Icin Müzik ("Music for Peace") is impressive in its simplicity. It offers music training as a catalyst in a depressed innercity neighborhood, where extra-curricular opportunities are not ordinarily available. The project in Edirnekapi, one of Istanbul’s most disadvantaged inner-city neighbourhoods, offers free musical education to local school children between the ages of 7 and 14. The project allows young boys and girls to spend time with dedicated volunteer musicians. By creatively adapting the unused basement of the local state school into a bright and airy space where children spend afterschool hours playing accordions, learning composition, repairing instruments, performing and eating together, the initiative performs an important social cohesive effect.
Music for Peace Istanbul
The winning project Baris Icin Müzik ("Music for Peace") offers free musical education to local school children between the ages of 7 and 14 in Istanbul's Edirnekapi neighbourhood.
Apart from its obvious social impact on the children and their families, many of them recent immigrants from poorer regions in Turkey, the project represents a commitment to an inner-city area suffering from disinvestment and increasing deprivation. The project is an innovative investment in human and social capital, which uses arts and culture in a highly pragmatic and unsentimental way to empower local residents, promote urban regeneration and raise the overall quality of the neighborhood.
The two foundations Kadin Emegini Degerlendirme Vakfi, which supports women's work, and Umut Çocuklari Dernegi – Bakirköy Gençlik Evi, which supports young homeless men, where honoured with special mentions.
Urban Age Award Istanbul 2009
Özlem Gürses (Journalist), Dr. Josef Ackermann (Chariman of the Managing Board DB), Mr Ersin Akyuz (Chief Country Officer DB Turkey), Istanbul's Mayor Topbas and Demet Mutman (Architect) announcing the winners of the 2009 Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award.
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