Mersin City-Lab: Co-creative and participatory design approach for a circular neighbourhood


  • Nida Naycı image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Prof. Dr. Nida Naycı graduated from Department of Architecture in Middle East Technical University (METU) in 2001. She completed her M.Arch and Phd degrees in Restoration and Conservation Program of METU. Her field of interests are cultural heritage site management practices, participatory planning approaches, involvement of local communities and history of architecture. She has been involved in a number of national and international projects regarding conservation and management plans of heritage sites. She teaches in Architectural Department and Graduate Program in Conservation of Cultural assets in Mersin University.

  • Ekim Tan Play the City

    Architect, Urbanist and Ph.D. Game Designer Ekim Tan received her PhD from Delft University of Technology with her thesis titled “Negotiation and Design for the Self-Organizing City: Gaming as a Method for Urban Design”. In 2008, she founded Play the City, a city consulting firm based in Amsterdam and Istanbul. She teaches about cities and games at Technical University of  Delf, Aleppo University for Arts and Sciences, Rotterdam Architecture Academy, Amsterdam Architecture Academy, Copenhagen Business School and Middle East Technical University. She published the book “Play the City: Games Informing Urban Development” in 2017.

  • Hayriye Oya Saf image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Hayriye Oya Saf received her B.Arch in Architecture from Dokuz Eylül University and MSc. in Architecture (2001-2004) and PhD in Architecture (2011) from Izmir Institute of Technology, Faculty of Architecture. Currently works as an Assistant Professor at Mersin University Department of Architecture. Major research interests include Urban Morphology Studies, Sustainable Urban Planning, Sustainable Architecture and Ecological Design Approaches, Sustainable Tourism Buildings, Ottoman Cities, Ottoman House, Surveying-Restoration and Conservation Works.

  • Mehmet Ali Mazmancı image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Dr. M. Ali Mazmancı is a Professor of Department of Environmental Engineering at Mersin University. He is an expert environmental microbiology, biotechnology and biological quality of drinking water. He participated in studies as a visiting researcher in University of Ulster and Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health.

  • Hüdaverdi Arslan image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Dr. Hüdaverdi ARSLAN is an Assistant Professor at Mersin University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering. His research interests are water recovery, alternative use of industrial wastes, vermicompost/compost applications and environmental legislation applications. He participated in studies as a visiting researcher in Engler-Bunte-Institut, Wasserchemie und Wassertechnologie Germany.

  • Mutlu Yalvaç image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Dr. Mutlu Yalvaç is an Associate Professor at Mersin University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering. Her interests are in water and solid waste recycling, industrial symbiosis, solid waste and zero waste management. She is expert on drinking water resources and treatment.

  • Mehmet Ali Kurt image/svg+xml Mersin University

    Dr. Mehmet Ali Kurt, an Associate Professor of Department of Environmental Engineering at Mersin University. His research interests are Geographic Information Systems, effects of land use on natural systems, soil and groundwater pollution. He is working on Sustainable Coastal Groundwater Management.



citylab, Mersin, city-gaming, neighbourhood


While environmental, economical and social challenges that the world has been facing recently are increasing dramatically; cities have played critical role in generation many of these problems like negative impacts on environment and overconsumption of resources. Most of the cities today face severe sustainability challenges including sanitation, air pollution, environmental degradation, over population and lack of livability. However, cities may also raise answers to find solutions against many of such complex urban problems, since they are assumed as creative and innovative platforms for social ecosystem of ideas. In this sense, there is increasing interest in ‘City Laboratories’ or ‘Urban Living Labs’, which are established to provide creative experimental platforms with participation of city actors to discuss urban sustainability issues before implementation of deep and structural urban changes for citizens. They provide participatory, co-creative and experimental platforms for self-organizing cities. The aim of this paper is to discuss a collaborative City Laboratory approach -Mersin City Lab- to achieve sustainability principles during urban regeneration process for the selected case-study area located in Mersin. Mersin City Lab focuses on two aspects: Firstly, ‘City Lab’ approach, involves citizens and stakeholders into decision-making process. Secondly, it  focuses on urban transformation process with circularity principles including water, mobility, energy, waste management, food and circular economy to achieve sustainable neighborhood development. The paper starts with introduction of ‘city-gaming’ methodology which has been adopted as the main structure of participation of multi-stakeholders. It continues with discussions on stages of the case-study project through implementation of workshops and game sessions by participation of multi stake-holders. Following, the results gathered from overall evaluations of participants’ proposals regarding land-use, mobility and urban water management, local economy, urban development, urban agriculture and food strategies in neighborhood level are discussed. Finally, the paper concludes with impacts of City Labs approach and city-gaming methodology on decision-making process for real urban problems and urban settings.


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How to Cite

Naycı, N., Tan, E. ., Saf, H. O., Mazmancı, M. A. ., Arslan, H. ., Yalvaç, M., & Kurt, M. A. . (2022). Mersin City-Lab: Co-creative and participatory design approach for a circular neighbourhood. Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, 3(1), 01–23.



Research Articles