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 Gizem Parlak

Gizem Parlak

Research student, Welsh School of Architecture


Gizem Aydın is an Urban Planner who holds a B.Sc. degree in City and Regional Planning from Middle East Technical University, Turkey; an M.Sc. degree in City and Regional Planning from Mersin University, Turkey; and another M.Sc. degree in Urban Planning and Policy Design from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Since October 2017, she has been a full-time Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK.

She has worked both in academia as a research assistant and in the private sector as a city planner in Turkey. Her pursuit has been to contribute to the profession and thereby to society. By following this intention, she decided to continue in academia and went abroad to learn from different societies and écoles to improve her professional knowledge. She was awarded a scholarship by the Turkish Government to study abroad in return for working as an academic at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts and University, Turkey.

Her research interests lie primarily in urban design and community involvement. Her first M.Sc. thesis topic was on paths as an urban element to assess urban perception and the urban image of citizens. Her focus moved to public participation and community involvement in her second degree and her thesis title was "Public Participation in Urban Design Processes". For her Ph.D. she is searching for new ways of enhancing the community involvement in heritage management with an emphasis on the role of professionals.


Research interests

  • Community Involvement

  • Heritage Management

  • Urban Design


  • 18/19-CPT910 Spring Studio
  • 18/19-CPT910 Autumn Studio
  • 18/19-CPT867 Designing Cities: Graphics Workshop


Scrutinization of Community Involvement in Heritage Management via Audit Model proposed for World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites are universal heritage values of cultural and/or natural significance for all of the world population. Many of these sites host local communities where preservation of them depends on mostly their users and inhabitants. The main contribution of this study is a method proposal into the heritage management agenda, to scrutinise community involvement, which would be enhanced by citizen professionals, in other words, site managers of heritage sites.

In the context of community involvement, the principal aim of the study is to strain opportunities, problems, and gaps in participatory processes and to point out the need for a new actor as a recourse to inveterate dilemmas of heritage sites. It is intended to produce a series of conditional strategies to enhance and foment the relationships between communities and government through citizen professionals to act on management plans of World Heritage Sites in Turkey. To do so, the study produced a proposed audit model as a by-product to serve UNESCO in the assessment process of site management plans for world heritage sites or the ones in the nomination list.

The study is planned to be conducted on the process of management plan preparation for World Heritage Sites in Turkey. Selected case studies are examined within the frame of roles and interactions of agents involved and reflections on management plan strategies. Possible limitations of the study could be the cultural, economic, and political context of community involvement in a developing country. However, an emphasis on such limitations may express the need of citizen professional and contribute to find better practical solutions.

Qualitative Research Methods
• Epistemological cross-disciplinary literature research
• Inductive thematic analysis
• Framework Method
Knowledge Representation Methods
• Natural Language Processing
• Information Extraction
• Rule-based Systems
Semi-qualitative Proposed Method
• Audit Model*

*This research involves a method proposal to audit evaluations of participatory approach taken by the state party in world heritage sites by gauging the level of knowledge transfer from communities to site management plans.

Funding source

Ministry of Education, Turkey


Clarice Bleil de Souza

Professor Clarice Bleil De Souza

Chair in Design Decision-Making


Dr Federico Cerutti

Senior Lecturer