I visited Istanbul during the summer 2014 and found the city very interesting from an urban planning perspective in particular in reference to its booming real estate sector. During my holidaystay I got so curious about the city and could not resist to contact a few local economists to get answers on my questions. The booming Turkish economy and the rapid urbanization of Istanbul was the closest I could come to the patterns found East Asian context which I am used to study. I was lucky to meet with a team of economists from the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at Bahçeşehir University at the main campus in Beşiktaş. We found common interests in emerging markets and the geographical and financial expansions of large cities and agreed on trying to establish an academic relationship in order to analyze the rapid expansion of Istanbul using remote sensing data.
Upon my return to Malmö I got help from Åse Falk (US) to establish and exchange agreement between our departments and from Maria English at the International Office to apply for an Erasmus Exchange. I must say that I am impressed by the fast actions taken and support given by the administration to put the outome of my summer meeting in to action. I was awarded a 2 weeks stay with the support of Erasmus +. Such a great outcome from meeting a gang of researchers during the summer. So after spending a few lazy days at home for Christmas I arrived to Istanbul on the 26 December to give my first lecture on 29 December and meet & learn from my new colleagues at Bahçeşehir University. My first lecture gave an introduction to how to use remote sensing in a social science setting mainly focusing on how to measure economic change based on a recent article which I have co-authored with Ola Hall at Lund University and Souknilah Keola at IDE-Jetro in Tokyo, Japan (article and be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X14002551). The lecture was attended by staff members and graduate students and gave me excellent comments on how to proceed with my interest in measure and analyze the rapid urbanization of Istanbul.