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W7:   2013-2014 | Urban Culture Workshop | “Play Without Barriers”

The main goal of the PWB Project is to provoke urban awareness and to transform this program into an “urban culture school” in the long term. PWB aims to equip its participants with the necessary know-how needed to participate into urban design processes consciously. Arousing the participatory culture is important for both creating qualified urban spaces and contributing to the sustainability of these spaces. PWB is not only a built environment education project, but also a collective production platform for the children and youngsters where they can participate in local governing processes, find an opportunity to get involved with the decisions about the design of urban spaces in which they live. Another goal of the project is to obtain a preliminary design of a playground where disabled and nondisabled children can play altogether as a product of the participants’ group-work. It was possible to realize this long-term Project due to the variety of shareholders and the support of the local municipality.

PWB is a project developed with the support and contribution of several educational institutions and NGO’s. It is coordinated by Nilüfer City  Council  which  is  a  civic  initiative  that  aims  to  promote each citizen without any discrimination to get involved in local government mechanisms and encourage them to take an active role; bringing various working groups formed on voluntary basis together under the same roof. Amongst the other shareholders there are academicians from various universities and faculties, Professional chambers, local government and NGO’s.

In the scope of PWB, 30 children 6 of whom have different physical disabilities took built environment and design education (theoretical and practical) from professionals and academicians for 28 weeks. Each week there was a meeting on Saturday that lasted for 4 hours. At the end of the educational phase, the participant children designed a playground project.  The educational process became a fun and creative experience for both children and educators through which the re-examined / re-explored the concepts of play and design. The design-project of children was worked on and transformed into an application project by the experts from shareholder institutions; and later on it was built by Nilüfer Municipality. The playground is being used since June 2016 and improved occasionally by children workshops. By this way it becomes a sustainable model which serves also as a medium for children to get involved with the concepts of architecture, design and urban participation.

PWB is also the case study of Sebla Arın’s (PWB Educational Coordinator) PhD dissertation tittled “Children-Oriented Built Environment Education: A Participatory Model For Bursa” conducted under Istanbul Techninal University Doctoral Program of Architectural Design. This dissertation was awarded with “Yılmaz Akkılıç Bursa Researches Award 2016” in the Doctoral Category and was published as a book in the scope of this award. Detailed information about PWB Project might be reached from this book and other academic publications you may find in the web-page.

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