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Turkish Healthy Cities Association Gathered in Sandıklı


Turkish Healthy Cities Association’s 32nd Ordinary Assembly Meeting and Conference on “2030 Sustainable Development Goals” took place on 25-27 October 2019 and hosted by Sandıklı Municipality.

Alinur Aktaş, Chairperson of Turkish Healthy Cities Association and Mayor of Bursa; Mustafa Çöl, Mayor of Sandıklı; Eflatun Can Tortop, Sandıklı District Governor; mayors of member municipalities, council members, Association’s Advisory Board members, relevant managers of institutions and organizations, academicians and students from Universities, Healthy City coordinators, experts and members of the press attended the meeting.

Before the opening speeches, a short introductory film about Sandıklı was shared with the participants.

The Conference began with the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Emine Didem Evci Kiraz, Head of the Organizing Committee, Department Chairperson of the Environmental Health Department of Adnan Menderes University, Member of the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health Department, and Member of the Advisory Board of Turkish Healthy Cities Association. In her speech she said “We are here for a meaningful meeting and we are in a meaningful place. We always say that cities are living organisms. They breathe, they walk, they develop, and they sometimes get sick. Our duty is to ensure the sustainability of cities, which is the theme of the conference.”

After the speech of Prof. Dr. Emine Didem Evci Kiraz, Mustafa Çöl, Mayor of Sandıklı took the floor and said: “Today, the members of our country’s most important association have gathered in our beautiful district of Sandıklı in Turkish Healthy Cities Association’s conference, which was founded to increase our country’s healthy living standards. Today, we are hosting this conference and have here Chairperson and Mayor Alinur Aktaş, mayors and councilors of member municipalities.  It is very important for us to have an important stage of this workshop for a sustainable 2030 vision in Sandıklı. Because Sandıklı is the center of geothermal resources in our country and the center for geothermal studies both in our country and beyond, that’s why we are honored to host this activity. I wish that this meeting will be fruitful. I would like to thank you with the hope of creating better investments, better projects, and better meetings”.

Following the speech of Mustafa Çöl, Alinur Aktaş, Chairman of Turkish Healthy Cities Association and Mayor of Bursa took the stage and explained that the association will prepare its 2020-2024 strategy plan together with all its stakeholders and said “Our Association was established to develop and implement the Healthy Cities Movement initiated by the World Health Organization. Since its foundation, the Association works has been continuing its activities to spread the concept of “Healthy Cities”. With the slogan of “Sustainable Development” and “Creating Sustainable Cities”, we bring together member municipalities by organizing trainings, workshops, symposiums, conferences, international congresses, researches, competitions, award ceremonies and awareness activities on all urban and environmental issues concerning urban health. In the strategic plan, we worked on the situation analysis of the Association. We have defined strategic goals and objectives. We have determined the mission and vision of our Association.”

Mayor Aktaş mentioned that the city and municipality themes are covered in all publications, such as Kentli magazine, which is prepared by the Association and said: “We have published that 2017 Healthy Cities Best Practice competition and we will be announcing our Healthy Cities Best Practice competition which will be held for the 11th time in the coming months. We have the opportunity to see the best practices of our member municipalities in this competition in the categories of social responsibility, healthy living, healthy environment and healthy urban planning” and added that they are also considering organizing a nation-wide competition.

The opening ceremony ended with the speech of the Eflatun Can Tortop, Governor of Sandıklı.

Following the opening speeches, the 2020 budget and the 2020 performance program were approved by the members at the 32nd Ordinary Assembly Meeting. Kütahya Emet Municipality’s decision to become a member was approved. The council also approved the working status of the contracted personnel and the new charter of the Association. The 33rd ordinary assembly meeting will be hold in Edirne.

Following the Assembly meeting, cities of Kahramanmaraş, Bilecik, Osmaniye, Adalar, Bandırma, Dinar, Merkezefendi, Süleymanpaşa and Ürgüp, that supported “Kids! Let’s go to school with a bike” event on 23-27 September 2019 in order to emphasize the importance of bicycle use in urban transportation and to raise awareness that bicycle is an effective means of transport, were given certificates by the Mayor Alinur Aktaş.

After the certificate ceremony, Adnan Menderes University, Head of Environmental Health Department, Faculty of Medicine Department of Public Health, and Healthy Cities Association Member of the Advisory Board, Professor. Dr. Emine Didem Evci Kiraz chaired the session titled “Introduction to Sustainable Development”. The first speaker was Didem Sezer from Turkey Statistics Institution with a speech entitled “Monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals”. Then UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals Commissioner Dr. Ing. Ebru Alarslan gave a speech on “Turkey under the light of Sustainable Cities and Communities (Target 11) Principles”. The last speaker Sustainability Consultant Zafer Yalçınpınar made a presentation entitled “Placement of Sustainable Development Goals”, which ended the first session.

The conference continued with the second session chaired by Uludağ University Faculty of Engineering Department of Environmental Engineering, Advisory Board Member Assoc. Dr. Feza Karaer with the title “Community Based Sustainability”. Osmangazi University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Advisory Board Member Assoc. Dr. İnci Parlaktuna made her presentation on “Goal 5-Gender Equality”. After Parlaktuna, Eskişehir Technical University Faculty of Science Department of Biology and Ecology, Member of the Advisory Board Prof. Dr. Cengiz Türe shared his presentation with the participants on “Targets 14 and 15-Life on Water and Land”. After Türe, Ada Group Construction Company Manager Dr. Aysun Akgün made a presentation on “Sustainability Through Urban Management and Strategic Approach”, which ended the second session.

The last session of the conference was entitled “Local Sustainable Development Practices” and was chaired by Dr. Koray Gürpınar, Director of Vocational High School of Sandıklı. The first speaker was Nalan Fidan, Coordinator from Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, made a presentation on “Bursa’s Sustainable Development Vision”. Following Fidan, Meral Aydın from the Department of Climate Change and Clean Energy of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality shared her presentation entitled “A Framework for Resistant Cities: Green Focused Adaptation Project”. After Aydın, the last speaker Pınar Öksüz, from Sandıklı Municipality’s BSOM Directorate took the stage and shared her presentation entitled “One-Stop Distribution Project”.

Finally, the Conference Organizing Committee Chairperson Prof. Dr. Emine Didem Evci Kiraz shared the conference final declaration with the participants.

On the second day of the Sandıklı Conference, Akdag Nature Park, July 15 Democracy Square, Covered Bazaar, Toy Museum and Historical Mansion were visited with the participants within the scope of the technical trip.

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