Özyeğin University, which was founded with the mission of being an entrepreneurial research university, and the Sustainable Mobility Initiative (SIM), which was launched to contribute to better integration of transport systems to the new order and develop innovative solutions, have signed a cooperative protocol in order to design the future of Turkey’s urban transport systems. The launch event brought together the business world, entrepreneurship ecosystem, civil society, and academicians, with a rich program featuring presentations on traffic density in mega cities, energy consumption, air quality and its sociocultural effects, and digital solutions.

The program kicked off with the opening address and presentation by Hakan Doğu, founder and spokesperson of SMI, and CEO of Renault Group Turkey, followed by a speech by our Rector Prof. Dr. Esra Gençtürk. Invited speakers also included Dr. Göktuğ Kaya, Transport Sector Manager at the European Union Turkish Delegation, and Sotiris Tsoulos, one of the world’s leading architects in the field of smart urban planning.

In her address, our Rector Prof. Dr. Esra Gençtürk remarked: “I believe that our urban mobility-specific cooperation with SMI towards a “sustainable future” will strengthen our endeavors on urbanization, smart cities, and mobility, which are well-placed vertically in depth in our different faculties at our universities and horizontally at the intersection of different disciplines.  As a still very young foundation university that admitted its first students in 2008, Özyeğin University takes pride in standing out as a leading university that contributes to a sustainable and humane life through our students, faculty, undergraduate and graduate programs, collaborations, and the social impact of all our undertakings. Therefore, it is no coincidence that our paths crossed with the SMI. We ranked first among universities from Turkey in the Greenmetric ranking that ranks the world’s greenest campuses for three consecutive years. We also placed first in Turkey and in the top 100 in the overall ranking in the Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings.  Furthermore, our Sustainability Platform, which was founded in 2018, is a comprehensive and multi-layer projection of our belief that the SDG 17 calls for a supra disciplinary, and even transdisciplinary, dynamic, and collective effort. It is an exemplary and unique initiative that brings together all our internal and external stakeholders. We see our cooperation with the SMI as a further expansion in which our priority is to develop a data warehouse that will provide inputs for scientific research towards the needs of the transportation constituents, and propel new initiatives and solution-oriented undertakings in the field of urban mobility. Our goal is to ensure the widespread use of this data warehouse in all stages of the end-to-end solution process, from education to research, knowledge transfer to application. We look forward to the collective efforts we will undertake towards developing meaningful and permanent solutions for a sustainable future in transportation, which is one of the complicated problems brought by urbanization. 

Özyeğin University aims to create and share knowledge and raise awareness about sustainability and contribute to this multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary environment. To that end, Özyeğin University has forged collaborations with over 500 institutions for 690 projects since the day it was founded. While addressing sustainable development academically, Özyeğin University also fosters a sustainable life style among all its participants and stakeholders. Bringing together the academia with the business world, the protocol is intended to provide an environment to unlock investor funding for the start-up ecosystem that develops innovative transportation solutions, and to support university students in preparing for their future careers from this perspective.