Bengi received her BA degree in Sociology from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey and her MSc degree in
Urban Studies from University College London, with her master’s dissertation entitled “Geographies of Children’s Play in the Context of Neoliberal Restructuring in Istanbul”, in which she analyzed the transformation of geographies and content of play in line with neoliberal urban policy by looking at two private play spaces and a public playground and at the way adults’ discourses frame play. This study was a reflection of her interdisciplinary research interest in built environment, reproduction of space and social transformation in the neoliberal era and the way they showcase and reconstruct the conceptions and practices of childhood. Her current research in the PhD program centers on understanding the facilitators of and the barriers against free play in urban children’s lives from an ecological perspective, mainly interrogating parents’ relationship and access to public services and the ideas parents hold about how free time should be spent. She has a growing interest in the concept of and initiatives around child-friendly cities. She is also a part of an international research project studying immigration and integration experiences based on the narratives of the immigrant students. local students and policy documents.
Prior to becoming a PhD student in Environmental Psychology at The Graduate Center in August 2017, she was a project coordinator at TED University Center for Social Innovation in Ankara and research fellow at Political and Social Research Institute of Europe.
Research interests: children’s environments, critical urban theory, sociocultural approach to development, narrative inquiry