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World Bank Representative Addresses IR Students

Stephen Karam, who is working as the sector leader for Sustainable Development at the World Bank Turkey Office, joined the IR 4123 class on November 2 to deliver a presentation on global urbanization trends and challenges facing Turkey within the context of the sustainable development agenda. There were also guests from the Australian Embassy and Çanakkale 18 Mart University. In his presentation, Mr. Karam, while elaborating on problems emanating from urbanization, also pointed to noteworthy facts regarding global urbanization trends. He seemed convinced of the irreversibility of urbanization and stressed the importance of being ready for the challenge in the face of population growth and the pressure that is accumulating on urban centers. Mr. Karam also highlighted the importance of planning for the future in a situation where it is obvious that while some Turkish cities are prospering and growing, others are struggling with low income and difficulty in accessing the global agenda. The quality of life in some Turkish cities may deteriorate due to increasing traffic congestion, air quality, land use, waste management and sanitation problems unless planning for the necessary measures begins immediately. The presentation was followed by an interesting discussion.