Vol. 2, Issue 2 (2017)
Learning through activism: Design of Alsancak national freedom park in Cyprus
Author(s): Senem Zeybekoğlu Sadri, Hossein Sadri
Abstract: This article focuses on the development and design process of a public park project, namely Alsancak National Freedom Park project in Alsancak town in Northern part of Cyprus. The project was valued as a learning opportunity both for students and town community. For this reason it was designed and developed through activism, and with active participation of inhabitants and different stakeholders, such as Alsancak Municipality, Girne American University, non-governmental organizations and professional chambers. Such a process helped to generate an environmentally and socially responsive project vision; to raise awareness amongst the inhabitants of Alsancak about environmental and social issues; to empower connections between the university and the local community; and to serve as a model for other projects with its participatory approach. Last but not least, the whole process, from initial idea development to the implementation of the project has served as an educational tool both for the university and for the community. In which it could introduce a direct democratic decision making and active collaboration experiences to the people. Parallel to that, it presented an important example for a high societal impact of educational activities in a university.