Prof. Alain Thierstein

Technical University of Munich / Architecture - Urban Development

Alain Thierstein studied economic sciences at St. Gallen University from 1978 to 1984. From 1985 to 1987 he was awarded a young academics’ grant by the Swiss National Research Fund to carry out research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe. After completing his doctorate in 1987, Thierstein worked as a research associate at St. Gallen University. From 1993 onwards he was a permanent lecturer on regional economics and in 1998 became head of the Regional Economy Centre of Excellence at the Institute for Public Services and Tourism. In 2000, he was appointed assistant professor for regional planning at the Institute for Town, Area and Regional Planning (ORL Institute) at ETH Zurich. Alan Thierstein has been a full professor of spatial development at TUM since the beginning of 2005.


Professor Thierstein’s work focuses on regional and town planning, with the main emphasis on knowledge-based corporate strategies, spatial development policies and the evaluation of policy measures.

Prof. Ali Türel

Çankaya University / City and Regional Planning

Ali Türel is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University. He has his undergraduate bachelor's and master degree from Middle East Technical University and Ph.D. from London School of Economics. He has many international publications such as: “The Evaluation of Different Processes of Spatial Development from a Resilience Perspective in Istanbul” (Journal of Real Estate Literature, Vol 21, 2013), “The Evaluation of Different Processes of Spatial Development from a Resilience Perspective in Istanbul” (Resilience Thinking in Urban Planning, Springer, 2013) and “Turkey’s Housing Cooperative Sector”, (Habitat Debate UN-HABITAT, Vol. 9, 2003.).


His research interest focuses on housing economics and policy, urban transport, urban development and planning issues.

Assoc. Dr. Allan Watson

Loughborough University / Human Geography

Allan Watson worked as a lecturer of Human Geography at Staffordshire University between the years of 2008-2016. Since 2016, he has been a lecturer at Loughborough University.  Since 2014, Watson has been working as Associate Director of Globalization and World Cities Network (GaWC) in the field of cultural and creative industries.


He is a cultural-economic geographer with research interests that focus predominantly on the geographies of music and the musical economy, as well as film and media. He deals with geographical relations on cultural production, labor and consumption with sociological perspectives.

Assoc. Dr. Aslı Ceylan Öner

İzmir Economy University / Architecture

Aslı Ceylan Öner graduated from the Middle East Technical University Department of Architecture in Turkey. Öner has pursued her education and career in England and the USA. She has a master's degree in City Space and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she developed her core research interest of globalization and global urban networks. Öner also has a Master's degree in Architecture from the Ball State University in Indiana, USA. She completed her doctoral degree in Virginia Tech in Environmental Design and Planning.


Öner's core research interests are globalization, global urban networks, planning and governance of global cities, urban theory, metropolitan form and built environment, and comparative urbanization specifically between the US and European contexts.

Prof. Asuman Türkün

Yıldız Technical University / City and Regional Planning

Asuman Türkün is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at Yıldız Technical University. Türkün graduated from City and Regional Planning Department of Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She took her master’s degree from Yıldız Technical University and PhD from Middle East Technical University on City and Regional Planning. Türkün has specialized in city and region planning, social structure and change, regional planning and sociology.


Her research areas are industry geography, urban transformation, methodology in social sciences, space planning.

Prof. Dr. Ben Derudder

Ghent University (UGhent) / Social and Economic Geography

Ben Derudder is a Professor of Human Geography at the Department of Geography. He works as Associate Director of the Globalization and World Cities Network (GaWC). Ben’s researches focus on the conceptualization and empirical analysis of global urban networks in general, and its production and the role of transport and information technology infrastructures in world city network-formation in particular. He also has a keen interest in the prospect and pitfalls of using network analysis in urban contexts, as well as in the narratives and realities of putatively international geographic scholarship.


His most recent research focuses on the potential of alternative network specifications of the world city network, and modelling change and co-evolution in the world city network.

Prof. Celal Abdi Güzer

Middle East Technical University (METU) / Architecture

Celal Abdi Güzer completed his undergraduate education and PhD at Middle East Technical University Department of Architecture in Turkey. He is a Professor of Architecture at Middle East Technical University. He has worked as the Vice Chair of the Department of Architecture, Director of the Program on Architecture, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at Middle East Technical University and the Secretary General of Architects’ Association 1927. Güzer has been a jury member in several architectural competitions and received many awards and mentions in national and international competitions. He is the founder of CAG Architectural Workshop which is a medium of discussion, research and production on architecture and design.


Among his research interests are architectural criticism, concepts and applications in contemporary architecture, housing and mass-housing design, urban design and transformation projects, environmental design and sustainability.

Prof. Çağlar Keyder

Koç University / Boğaziçi University

Çağlar Keyder is the Professor of Sociology at the Koç University and Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, State University of New York in Binghamton and Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center Senior Fellow. He completed his PhD at Berkeley University, California. He taught at Middle East Technical University until 1982. He was a founding editor of the journal New Perspectives on Turkey, and has served on several editorial boards, including the International Journal of Middle East Studies and Contemporary Sociology. He is a member of the Science Academy in Turkey. He has several publications including “Studies in Social History” (1982), “State and Class in Turkey” (1987), “Istanbul: Between the Global and the Local” (1999), “From the Ottoman Empire to the European Union” (2003), and “The End of Agriculture as We Knew It” (2013).


Among his research areas are political economy, sociology of law, historical sociology of Ottoman Empire/Turkey, agrarian transformations, and urban studies.

Prof. Kathy Pain

University of Reading – Henley Business School / Director of Research Real Estate & Planning

Kathy Pain took her PhD diploma in Town Planning from the University of Reading.


Kathy’s research focuses on sustainable global city development, governance and planning in the contemporary networked world economy. She is the Co-Director of the Globalization and World Cities Network (GaWC) heading up Global City Planning, a Fellow of the Young Foundation, London, and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 'Vision for Cities' Global Sustainability Task Group.


Her research covers four interrelated theoretical-empirical strands: urbanization, agglomeration and city integration in the networked world economy; emergent functional and global urban location strategies of specialized international financial and linked business services networks; intersections between the global geographies of international financial services firms and real estate investment flows; and global “mega-city region” economic and spatial development, sustainability, governance and policy.

Prof. Oğuz Işık

Middle East Technical University (METU) / City and Regional Planning

Oğuz Işık is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University. His bachelor's and master’s degrees are from Middle East Technical University City and Regional Planning Department. He completed his PhD at the University College London. Işık has various publications such as “Geographies of a silent transition: A geographically weighted regression approach to regional fertility differences in Turkey” (with Pınarcığlu, European Journal of Population", 22, 2006), “Segregation in Istanbul: Patterns and processes” (with Pınarcığlu, Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 100, 2009), “Poverty in turn, Squatter Housing and Urban Poor: The Example of Sultanbeyli” (with Pınarcığlu, İletişim Yayınları, 2005).


Işık’s research focuses on urbanization, poverty and political geography.

Prof. Dr. Zeynep Enlil

Yıldız Technical University / City and Regional Planning

Zeynep Enlil is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at Yıldız Technical University. Enlil completed her bachelor's degree in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University. She took her PhD from the University of Washington, Urban Design and Planning Department. Among her publications are "The Neoliberal Agenda and the Changing Urban Form of Istanbul" (International Planning Studies, vol.16, pp.5-25, 2011), "Cultural Triangle and Beyond: A Spatial Analysis of Cultural Industries in Istanbul" (Planning Practice & Research, vol.26, pp.167-183, 2011) and "Urban Regeneration and Hegemonic Power Relationships" (International Planning Studies, vol.16, pp.61-72, 2011).


Her research interest focuses on cultural industries and creative cities, gentrification, urban renewal, urban poverty, history of urbanization and planning, urban transformation, and urban design theories.