CEO of the Institute for Technical and Scientific Hydrology Ltd. | Hannover | Germany
Where others simply see rain as water falling from the sky, Lothar Fuchs sees numerous possibilities. In his position as CEO of the Institute for Technical and Scientific Hydrology, he develops sustainable solutions for rainwater and receiving waters, as well as integrated solutions for the urban water cycle.
Currently, Lothar focuses on the topic of flooding in cities and works on a plan for a swamp city in China. One of the main goals of this project is to improve the quality of inner-city waters and to ultimately create a more liveable place for the people living in the city.
As the vice mayor or Porto and the chair of the Eurocities Environment Forum, Filipe Araujo has a strong ambition to have his city lead by example when it comes to sustainability. He is very focused on renewable energy production, green roofs and green infrastructure, an increase of the green areas, mobility decarbonization, incentives to public transportation, organic waste collection and circular economy as a whole.
Filipe uses his passion to contribute to the very best quality of life in his city.
Jaime Ruiz Huescar is passionate about urban innovation and the future of urban mobility. Luckily, his work allows him to actively contribute to making our cities more sustainable, liveable and equitable by collaborating with many different key actors and decision makers, and connecting cities to foster joint progress.
His experience has taught him that many of the challenges cities face could be overcome by changing our habits, learning from other cities and leading by example – that also summarises where Cities Forum’s work is aiming at.
As Project Manager at the Department for Urban Green Spaces and Flood Control at the City of Graz, Daniela Bischof is currently working on the project “Living space Mur”. The ultimate aim of this project is to give the river Mur, that was considered the backyard of the city just a few years ago, a totally new appearance and usability. After the transformation, it will be well integrated into city-life, visible and available for new recreation purposes. The project is still running, but sewer and hydropower station are nearly finished.
Daniela is convinced that because society and its demands are changing constantly, the city has to change as well, sustainably and sensitively. She loves to be part of this process!
Senior Sustainability Consultant at Sweco UK | Maidenhead | UK
Maria Gabriela is dedicated to sustainable design and building solutions both in her private and professional life. While using her free time to participate in forums and community events to discuss the most appropriate solutions for her neighbourhood, her position at Sweco UK of course allows for a wider range of influence: As Senior Sustainability Consultant, Maria Gabriela is currently focusing on setting out the net zero carbon approach to local and international projects.
It is Maria Gabriela’s main priority to impact as many people around her as possible in a way that they rethink their choices and consumption patterns in order to have a lower environmental footprint.
Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra | Portugal
Giovanni Allegretti believes in the extended participation of citizens in the planning and construction of public policies. His enormous dedication for the topic of participatory systems becomes more than obvious, considering that Giovanni has been working on the setting, training and evaluation of participatory budgets in cities of more than 50 different countries.
It is his passion to bring together lay and expert knowledge in order to create a shared decision-making process and finally take advantage of this new kind of language.
Co-Founder of VibeLab Consultancy | Berlin | Germany
Lutz Leichsenring is the co-founder of VibeLab, and one of the world’s leading authorities on protecting nighttime-economy, -community and -culture. Since 2009, Lutz has been the spokesman and executive board member for the Berlin Clubcommission, where has fought tirelessly for the rights of Berlin’s vast underground club scene by organizing demonstrations, conferences, workshops and by speaking at round tables and parliamentary committees.
His role has lead Lutz into the city's Berlin Musicboard and Chamber of Commerce, where he frequently votes on development issues that protect creative space affected by gentrification. In 2017, alongside former Night Mayor of Amsterdam, Mirik Milan, Lutz launched the Creative Footprint, a project to measure, compare, and advocate for creative spaces in cities like Berlin, New York and Tokyo.
Matt Stewart is one of these Young Leaders. As Co-Founder at Yarra Pools, Melbourne (Australia), he has led the conversation around bringing Melbourne’s river back to health and making it swimmable. He has engaged over 100 local organisations and thousands of Melbournians and they are optimistic to being able to make the river swimmable in the near future. Now he lives in Berlin and is engaged in a wide range of creative urban projects.
So Matt, why are you joining the URBAN FUTURE global conference? “One can never know enough awesome people, especially those on the cutting edge of city innovation.”
Chair of the "Community of Interest Zero Emission Urban Freight” of the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance | Rotterdam | The Netherlands
Sita Holtslag chairs the “Community of Interest Zero Emission Urban Freight” of the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance (TDA). The alliance brings ambitious countries, cities and companies together to work on decarbonizing transport.
Sita connects players that have bold ambitions to get to zero emission city logistics as fast as possible. By working for the Government of The Netherlands and supporting the Dutch presidency of the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, she aims to create more traction and action to move the world toward decarbonized transport before 2050.
Gil Friend is a systems ecologist, serial social entrepreneur, and widely considered one of the grandfathers of the sustainable business movement. For five years, Gil served as Chief Sustainability Officer of the city of Palo Alto, California, where he led the development of one of the most aggressive climate action plans of any North American city.
Gil is currently focusing on the linked challenges of how to rapidly expand the reach and scale of his work, how to finance the future we want, and how to eliminate or transcend the market-distorting subsidies and externalities that stand in our way.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Simply Rational Ltd. | Berlin | Germany
Niklas Keller helps people to make better decision. How? Through augmented intelligence, smart design of decision environments and training in core decision competences. As cognitive scientist and organisational psychologist, his research focuses on the development of simple and robust decision aids for use in situations characterized by time pressure, stress and high stake (military, police, emergency medical services).
Niklas is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Simply Rational, a consulting and training company specialised in predictive analytics, behavioural science, and organizational change, as well as guest researcher at the Charité University Hospital Berlin of the Charité Working Group on Data Science in Peri-Operative Care.
Climate Programme Manager at the City of Fort Collins | USA
Lindsay Ex is a professional planner and public administrator, leading the City of Fort Collins in the implementation of their Climate Action Plan goals. These goals aim at achieving an 80% reduction in carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and increasing the city’s resilience, all while leading equity-centred engagement processes.
For Lindsay, understanding the community’s values and developing public policies and programmes that align with those values is fundamental to her work. This is why she is particularly excited about the city’s Shift Campaign, where they are helping residents and businesses to take action on climate, because it saves them money, time and improves their health, while some extra fun is added to the campaign by promoting hashtags such as #giveashift, #makeashift and #betheshift.
Fernando Medina has been Mayor of Lisbon since 2015. Amongst his core topics are urban mobility and citizen engagement: He advocates investments in the city’s public transportation and aims to reduce cars in Lisbon’s city center. This goes hand in hand with intensifying Lisbon’s bus network and creating an extensive bike infrastructure.
Apart from that, Lisbon increased its green spaces by 20% in little more than a decade and has a biodiversity strategy as part of its climate strategy. In the center of attention are the citizens themselves: Medina wants to engage every citizen and work together personally and professionally to tackle climate change successfully.
Secretary General at EUROCITIES | Brussels | Belgium
Anna Lisa Boni has been secretary general of EUROCITIES since June 2014. She has 25 years of professional experience in EU public affairs in the field of local and regional government and has successfully worked for a stronger recognition of cities' challenges within the European agenda.
Her aim is to act in a way that best serves European cities as key players in the European project and centres for generating renewal and growth. Anna Lisa has a Masters degree from the University of Bologna in political science, and from the University of Leuven in European studies.
Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at ISGlobal | Barcelona | Spain
Cities are the future; but in order for cities to become healthier places for people to live in, it is necessary to recognize the link between urban and transport planning, and health. As Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at ISGlobal, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen does not only recognize, but provide scientific evidence for this link. He was further able to develop different models that help cities to actually quantify the health impacts urban and transport policies have on their residents.
Mark truly believes that a healthy city is also a sustainable and liveable city, which is why changes in land use and transportation patterns, as well as the greening of cities is so urgently needed.
Technical Officer at the Citizen Services and Participation Department of the City of Bilbao | Spain
As technical officer at the Citizen Services and Participation Department of the City of Bilbao and assistant professor at the National Distance Education University, Beatriz Acha combines the best of the academic world and the practical experience of participatory contexts at the grassroots level.
She is convinced that citizens are the motor for real urban change and therefore devotes her work to finding more successful ways of connecting citizens’ preferences in the realm of public participation and municipal public policies.
Planning, Community Culture and New Projects Officer at the City of Zaragoza | Spain
Diego Garulo has achieved what so many people strive for: he has turned his passion into his profession.
Diego has started his career by founding El Gobo Teatro, a self-managed space dedicated to the performing arts, worked as lighting technician, and finally became member of the team that drafted the Zaragoza European Capital of Culture 2016 candidacy.
In his current position as cultural manager of the City of Zaragoza, Diego is passionately working on devising and managing projects related to cultural planning, shared management, cultural rights and territory, including Harinera ZGZ – an old factory that was recovered as a space for community culture.
Michael Shank is passionate about cities because of their close proximity to its people. In his position as communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Michael helps cities to communicate and campaign effectively across their constituencies and inspire behaviour change and sustainable consumption. As chairman of the Brandon Planning Commission and Energy Committee he has further been able to ground his international work locally and prioritize sustainability in his hometown.
Michael firmly believes that by effectively mobilizing the community and with the necessary political will, cities can undergo game-changing transformations.
For 15 years Marco Buemi has passionately worked with sustainable development and social inclusion issues for the Swedish and Italian governments and the EU.
In his current project for the City of Turin, he focuses on identifying urban and territorial requalification interventions and works towards achieving social inclusion of disadvantage groups. In his opinion, this challenging task will be becoming increasingly urgent in the upcoming years and deserves broader attention.
After having worked in the private sector for several years, Koen Kennis, an engineer in electronics, decided to engage himself in politics and actively change his hometown Antwerp for the better. Belgium’s second largest city faces a historical mobility challenge, which is why a number of immense projects, such as the completion of the whole Ringway - Oosterweel, were initiated with the aim of forcing traffic underground, providing more green spaces and improving the overall quality of life for the people of Antwerp.
As the city’s Deputy Mayor responsible for mobility, tourism, finances, retail and decentralisation, Koen considers it a true privilege to be part of this immense transformation.
At COWI, one of the leading consulting groups, Lisa Emilie Hoven focuses on the planning and design of stormwater systems in Oslo. Since the city is already seeing a significate increase in rain intensities due to climate change, innovative solutions to handle stormwater and to limit urban floods are urgently needed. Lisa’s expertise and passion lies within nature-based stormwater solutions and sustainable urban drainage systems.
What drives her is the thought of making Oslo a greener city and actually increasing the city‘s resilience to climate change.
During his 12 years as the mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, transformed the city into a participative, attractive and sustainable city, that serves as a great example for many other cities in Europe.
As a retired mayor and former president of Eurocities, he now focuses on helping other cities to become more sustainable. Daniël is sure that cities can learn a lot from each other, even though they all have a different DNA.
Valeria is a passionate urban innovator and the founder of All Things Urban, a unique career platform for urban professionals working on city challenges worldwide. Currently, Valeria is starting SFERA, an urban innovation center in Tel Aviv, operating on the intersection of urbanism, design, science and tech to facilitate and co-develop human-centered solutions enhancing urban wellbeing.
Throughout her career, Valeria has been bringing together like-minded experts from different disciplines, and creating a dialog between researchers, businesses and policy-makers on a local and global scale. She's excited about the future of cities and urban professions, and how we can adapt and keep adapting to this ever-changing field.
Gerald Babel-Sutter is a passionate ‘change-maker’. The founder and CEO of the UFGC is responsible for the entire programme as well as establishing a partner network which today consists of more than 100 organisations.
Through his long-standing domestic and international networking efforts with mayors, city planners and urban decision-makers, he possesses comprehensive insights into the development of international metropolises. But most importantly he simply loves to make change happen.
Landscape Architect & Assistant Professor at the University of Lisbon | Portugal
For some, public spaces are just public spaces, but when seen through the eyes of Maria Matos Silva, public space design has a huge potential when it comes to battling climate change and accommodating natural processes like floods. Maria is a Landscape Architect and works as Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), University of Lisbon, where she teaches courses of project and urbanism.
Currently, Maria is focusing on a research project that aims to contribute towards new pathways of public space design for uncertainty that methodologically integrates community involvement and green infrastructure.
Margaret writes and talks about unconventional, inspirational, inclusive methods of leadership. Her motto: "Let's not play the game, let's change it."
Her new book Beyond Measure is aimed at everyone who wants a better place to work. It looks at the accumulation of small, everyday thoughts and habits that generate and sustain culture: ways of speaking, listening, arguing, thinking, seeing. These aren't multimillion dollar, multi-year programs; these are small steps that anyone can take at any time, the small steps that mark the beginning of big change.
Creative Strategist & Co-Founder of Humankind | Rotterdam | Netherlands
Jorn Wemmenhove is creative strategist and co-founder of Humankind, where he advises cities on how to accelerate the transition to an inclusive, sustainable society by imagining the city of tomorrow and already showing it today. <br><br>
Jorn is passionately curious about urbanism, psychoanalysis, social work, and urban happiness. His passion lies in finding creative ways to tackle complex social problems. At the age of 20, he co-founded El Desafío Foundation, a non-profit that promotes youth development and local democracy in Rosario, Argentina.
Partner at Henning Larsen Architects | Copenhagen | Denmark
Over the past twenty years, Jacob Kurek’s work with Henning Larsen Architects has helped propel the firm to its present position on the global architecture scene. Jacob’s focus on site-specific and community-based urban solutions reveals a core commitment to transparent, democratic architecture. Through the years, he has worked with a wide range of typologies, including urban planning, industrial reclamation, workspaces and educational and cultural institutions.
<br> <br> Currently, Jacob is leading the process of revitalizing the Imperial Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, and transforming the waterfront in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as overseeing the completion of the new Queensland University of Technology facility in Brisbane, Australia.
CEO and founder of Leading Minds Worldwide | London | UK
Miriam Staley is the CEO and founder of Leading Minds Worldwide, a company centred on the impact that well-crafted and superbly delivered messages can have. As a professional public speaker, presenter and coach, she knows what it takes to get a message across.
At UFGC Miriam will assist speakers and Young Leaders to explore new ways to maximize the impact of formal and informal presentations, convey core messages with commitment and authenticity, and help to create a solid foundation to take speaking and verbal communication to the next level.
Will Wynn is not only Honorary Mayor of Austin but also an expert, advisor and consultant on matters related to urban revitalization, energy policy, economic development and sustainability, as well as a sought-after speaker on the national and international stage.
Under Will’s leadership, Austin took enormous steps towards a more sustainable future, including the creation of a city-wide climate protection plan which environmentalists considered one of the country’s most aggressive municipal initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. Apart from that, Will oversaw the construction of a 52,000-ton capacity Downtown District Cooling System, and further supported the city in expanding its green building programme and its renewable energy portfolio.
Project Officer at Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) | Lille | France
While others are just dreaming of a future without individual transport, Iraklis Stamos goes a step further and is actively working on turning this dream into reality. As Project Officer at Urban Innovative Actions (UIA), a European funded initiative that is bringing change to cities through innovation, he is focusing on urban mobility and climate change adaptation in various cities.
Being a business innovation and digitalization enthusiast, Iraklis is currently working on a project that deals with social innovation in transport.
Head of the Department for Urban District Planning and Land Use | Vienna | Austria
Vienna was chosen the most liveable city in the world for the second year running and as Head of the Department for Urban District Planning and Land Use, Bernhard Steger is more than proud that the work of his department has helped to lay the groundwork for this development. One important aspect when it comes to liveability is – among others – housing affordability. Since 2018, Vienna has therefore introduced a new zoning category (“area for subsidized housing”), which is limiting the prize for the land in order to build social housing.
Bernhard considers it a privilege to actively contribute to the development of a green, social and innovative city, which is also his motivation for always giving his best.
Global Business Development Lead at Fuckup | Palma | Spain
Yannick Kwik is a Digital Marketer that has helped brands like RedBull, Marriott, Disney World or PepsiCo improve their online presence through the use of Social Media and geo-fencing technology. As Enterprise Manager of Fuckup Nights, he is going to moderate the Cities´ Fuckup Night in Lisbon, where we will hear amazing stories of professional failure.
Karen Vancluysen and her team at Polis, support many cities and regions across Europe to make their urban mobility ecosystems more sustainable by helping them gain access to European research and innovation funding for new mobility solutions, and by being their voice in the European mobility arena.
Facilitating the dialogue between cities & regions and the industry, on how to let innovations thrive while still making sure they actually solve a problem or address a challenge in urban mobility, is incredibly exciting for Karen. In her opinion we need to work towards new forms of public-private cooperation - whether we talk about micromobility, MaaS, automation, urban freight transport, ridehailing or the next innovation we cannot yet think of. And she is convinced that cities should be in the driver’s seat!
Director of Planning & Sustainability at Copenhagen City & Port Development Co. | Denmark
The world changes and cities change too. As Director of Planning and Sustainability at the City of Copenhagen, Rita Justesen sees the necessity of being part of that huge transformation, which is why she focuses on the development of new urban districts that are sustainable both, in the short and long run. According to Rita, some of the most pressing challenges include the growing number of people looking for a place to live, the provision of a high class transport system, and of course the creation of dense, diverse, but most importantly liveable neighbourhoods.
The transformation of Copenhagen has been going on for more than 25 years and as Rita puts it, it is still a learning process – one that she is more than excited to be a part of.
Jaran Raymond Wood works tirelessly towards increasing city resilience by developing sustainable urban water management. He takes ideas and regulations and creates real-world solutions. Currently he focusses on the implementation of green, low-carbon solutions for cities and smart water cycle management.
He is passionate about protecting water, which is one of the world´s most precious resources, and sees it as a privilege to participate in projects that preserves water through sustainable management, reuse and treatment.
Chief Innovation Officer at Gehl | Copenhagen | Denmark
As Chief Innovation Officer at Gehl, Jeff Risom works at the intersection of all the things we share in cities – from parks and streets to food systems – and the way we experience them.
It is his mission to transform the way cities are shaped by making public life an intentional driver for design, policy, and governance. The current focus lies on the launch of a CoLab: an ecosystem of private businesses, local government, and community members collaboratively prototyping solutions for today’s toughest challenges that no single organization can tackle alone.
Senior Researcher at University of Lisbon | Portugal
Gil Penha-Lopes supports and participates in many action-research projects, facilitating synergies between academia and politics to generate tools and guidelines that can assist local communities in assessing their sustainability goals, to then design and implement their regenerative local solutions. He recently founded ECOLISE, an European platform of community-led initiatives towards a sustainable Europe and is working on creating a sustainable village in Abrigada, Portugal, where more than 70 families will co-live as a regenerative sustainable community.
Housing Councillor at the City of Barcelona | Spain
Through her work with the Barcelona City council, Lucía Martín González is working to make a shift away from a housing system based on homeownership to one in which housing is seen as a right and not as a commodity. Barcelona´s 10-year Right to Housing Plan includes not only the construction of public rental units and the development of affordable housing units through public-private partnerships, but also the subsidy of more than 10.000 families.
It is an impressive feat and Lucía is sure that the problems of the housing sector can only be solved by applying a whole set of different solutions, which combine direct housing provision, collaboration with the private sector, land and tax policy, and regulation.
Paul Depla has been Mayor of Breda – ninth largest city of the Netherlands – since May 2015. Breda was recently awarded with the Access City Award and has togetherness and diversity in its DNA.
Together with more than 2000 citizens of Breda, Depla initiated the co-creation of the city’s vision: giving an identity to the city that the citizens can identify with and defining bold ambitions for the future. Breda aims to be the first European city to be located in a park environment, a city where people can come together, and a city on axes: Breda plans to reach Paris, Berlin, London and Copenhagen within 45 minutes by 2030.
Building Physicist and Sustainability Engineer at ABT | Delft | The Netherlands
As a building physicist at ABT, Annebeth is dedicated to creating buildings that are not only comfortable, but also sustainable and further increase the liveability of a city. She is particularly excited about the numerous high-rise projects appearing in different Dutch city centres at the moment, as they bring both, challenges and opportunities for sustainability and urban resilience. Currently, Annebeth focuses on the new terminal for Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and a multinational headquarter in The Hague.
In order to create healthier, safer and more resilient cities, Annebeth certainly knows about the benefits of a multidisciplinary team: “The challenges we face are too big for a single engineer, but together we can change our way of living to one that is truly sustainable”.
In his work Pedro Garret bridges scientific state of the art knowledge with current technologies for real life situations. As an environmental engineer he is deeply passionate about the climate emergency and coordinates several national, regional and local projects about climate change impacts and adaptation, focusing also on the impacts of extreme weather events in the urban context.
With his team, he is developing a set of integrated approaches to climate risk management based on the convergence of three international agreements: the Sendai Framework, which establishes four priority areas for risk management; the Paris agreement, to ensure global warming below 2 ° C; and the Sustainable Development Goals, that address the needs of the present while safeguarding the Earth’s life-support system.
Mobility Planning for the City of Lisbon | Portugal
In the past 23 years, Sandra Somsen has greatly impacted the city of Lisbon by designing green parks, public spaces and new sustainable mobility solutions. She always focuses on making public space as multifunctional, fair and universal as possible. Her latest project - the Lisbon LEZ car restriction zone in the downtown - was probably the most complex and exciting project, she has ever dealt with.
Sandra loves her work, as it allows her to her to change her home city for the better and can raise awareness for its sustainability.
Vice Mayor for Sustainability, Clean Air and Energy Transition at the City of Rotterdam | Netherlands
As Vice Mayor for Sustainability, Clean Air and Energy Transition of the City of Rotterdam, Arno Bonte is committed to a sustainable and energy-efficient city. He is working towards an economy that runs on clean energy, arranging other ways of heating and cooking and creating more wind and solar energy.
With the energy transition, Rotterdam ‘s ambitions are high. Nationally, CO2 emissions need to be reduced by 49% by 2030, and in 2050 Rotterdam needs to be climate neutral. To reach this, far-reaching and radical measures are needed, as Rotterdam is still largely dependent on fossil fuels.
Associate Landscape Architect for Climate Adaptation at Ramboll Studiu Dreiseitl | Hamburg | Germany
Jeremy Anterola is a Hamburg based Landscape Architect with experience in projects around the world such as the Rochor Canal in Singapore or the Masdar’s landscape plan in Abu Dhabi.
A core question in his planning process is always how to incorporate nature-based solutions and blue-green infrastructure into the urban fabric. His current project is helping city planners to create future proof cities, which are build with a climate-first approach.
Head of the Participation Division at Lisbon Municipality | Portugal
Paulo Francisco is the city of Lisbon’s advocate when it comes to getting people involved in urban development. In 2015, he was appointed Head of the Organizational Innovation and Participation Division at Lisbon City Hall and since then, has been responsible for the organisation and annual management of the Participatory Budget cycles, the development and implementation of the Lisbon Participation Portal with a special module for citizen ideas, as well as thematic consultations.
Paulo is currently working on taking participation to the next level, including the development of an integrated digital voting system.
Managing Director Urban Innovation Vienna | Austria
As managing director, Eugen Antalovsky has been responsible for the content-based new direction of Urban Innovation Vienna GmbH. He has vast experience in the fields of urban and site development, integration and social inclusion, democracy and participation, and city tourism. <br><br>
Eugen works internationally as a senior expert and advisor, for example for the European Commission’s European Spatial Planning Observatory Network or the Regional Planning Association for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state region.
Architect & Partner at Kraaijvanger | Rotterdam | Netherlands
"As an architect and partner at Kraaijvanger, Vincent van der Meulen is passionate about designing good buildings and public interiors to facilitate a better future for the people of Rotterdam. He likes to create and inspire the right conditions to keep the city and its people vital.
Vincent is currently working on the Southern area of Rotterdam, where the focus lies on sustainable buildings, green promenades, smartgrids and sustainable mobility hubs. For him, designing buildings and cities is ultimately always about creating a culture of cohesive, circular communities. "
Technical and Financial Director at Lisboa E-Nova | Portugal
As Technical Director, Maria Rodrigues sets the strategic actions and coordinates the works of Lisboa E-Nova – a company that contributes to the sustainable development of the city of Lisbon and its metropolitan area by applying integrated approaches to adapt to climate change, implementing mitigation actions, and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. One example of an exciting city transformation project Maria is currently working on is Hub Criativo do Beato – an innovation centre for creative and technological companies which is emerging in a complex of decommissioned factories.
Personally, Maria is very passionate about the opportunity to idealise and concretise innovative projects in Lisbon with a truly transformative potential – making it happen!
Climate Action Manager at the City of Portland | USA
Alisa Kane is the Climate Action Manager at the City of Portland, Oregon USA. She and her team are taking a people-centred approach to climate action by creating equitable community benefits that reduce carbon emissions.
Alisa is known for being an experienced manager with a demonstrated history of advancing leading-edge sustainability policies and programmes, a fierce project wrangler, adept facilitator, compassionate listener and innovative problem solver.
President of the Portuguese National Association of Green Roofs (ANCV) | Porto | Portugal
Paulo Palha is an agricultural engineer with extensive expertise in the field of landscaping and nature-based solutions. As Founder and President of the Portuguese Association of Green Roofs (ANCV) – an organisation aiming to promote and enhance green infrastructure in cities and the enormous benefits associated with it, Paulo works on projects in Portugal and abroad. Apart from that, he is Vice President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) and a sought-after speaker at conferences, workshops and training courses.
One of Paulo’s recent achievements is the development and launch of the first technical guide for green roofs – a fundamental document for the creation of incentive measures for green roofs by municipalities or governments.
Nancy Shoiry is CEO of SHDM, a non-profit para-municipal corporation that serves as the city of Montréals real estate corporation. She has been and is a key player in the city’s efforts to sustain social and economic development through responsible real estate with a social impact - contributing to the future of the city.
Prior to this position, Nancy was director of land development for the city of Montreal. For more than 30 years now, Nancy’s main focus has been to cross some of the practicalities of the planning, designing, financing and bringing to fruition of innovative projects in such a competitive and complex environment.
Philipp Bouteiller sees the dynamics of urban transformation as one of the great challenges of our time. He is an evangelist for all things future and innovation and a strong promoter of Berlin as the capital of freedom, tolerance and innovation. Philipp has focused his work on sustainable urban innovation strategies in the areas of smart mobility, intelligent infrastructure, urban renewable energy and future city design.
In his role as CEO of Tegel Projekt GmbH – a municipal company of the State of Berlin – he is responsible for the largest redevelopment project around Urban Technologies in Europe: converting an entire former inner-city airport into Europe’s central hub for future industries.
Anna Huttunen is a carbon trade maker and enthusiastic about sustainable mobility in all its forms. She leads the strategic SUMP process of the City of Lahti - European Green Capital 2021, and the development work of the personal carbon trading model. Her overall goal is to improve the walking and cycling conditions, multimodality and the low carbon mobility options available in a medium sized city like Lahti. Apart from that, Anna currently focuses on the 2030 city centre circulation plan and the city bike system.
Her overall goal is to make people from colleagues to citizens more aware and enthusiastic about creating a more sustainable city – knowing that the result is rewarding for everyone.
Project Manager at the Municipality of Szeged | Hungary
Réka Erdélyi is positive that with the right attitude from urban authorities and governments paired with cooperation and engagement from citizens the transition towards a sustainable Europe is closer than we might think. As a project manager for an Urban Innovative Actions project, she is working on making Szeged’s mobility greener through innovative solutions, with the help of 3 main fields: data collection and use for fluidification of traffic, education of citizens and analysing the social and psychological factors of behaviour change.
She is eager to see the Green Deal unfolding within the EU and all projects and endeavours towards a carbon-neutral future. The passion for her work comes from the strong commitment towards environmental protection and her belief that reason and humanity will prevail.
Head of Strategic Planning and Sustainable Mobility | City of Stuttgart | Germany
Michael Münter is head of strategic planning and sustainable mobility for the City of Stuttgart, responsible for coordinating all city-wide strategies related to mobility and air pollution. <br><br>
Making sustainable urban mobility happen is one of his main priorities, for which he has been actively promoting and highlighting innovative urban infrastructure projects. Michael has thus played an important role in getting more bicycles, walkers, sharing modes, cargo-bikes, electric cars, and other ‘new urban mobility movers’ to the streets of Stuttgart.
Programme Manager Rotterdam Climate Adaptation Plan at the City of Rotterdam | The Netherlands
Johan Verlinde works for the City of Rotterdam as the program manager of the Rotterdam Climate Adaptation Plan. The goal of the plan is to take the next step in preparing the city for climate hazards like heavy rainfall, heat and drought. This is done in close collaboration with citizens, private sector, social housing corporations, water boards and more.
Besides climate adaptive measures in the public space, where space is scarce, climate proofing the private space will become more and more important. He also works with various different international cooperation’s to share and gain knowledge on climate adaptation.
Commercial Transport at Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection | Berlin | Germany
Julius Menge is responsible for urban freight transport in Berlin. His focus lies in understanding the needs of companies and bringing those needs in line with Berlin´s idea of a safe, healthy and environmentally sound city. He has initialized various projects, including new approaches to micro-depots and cargo bikes.
The variety of urban freight in Berlin absolutely fascinates Julius, from small parcels up to the world’s largest gas turbines with a weight of 500 t. There is no simple nor one solution – it needs time and constant efforts to make real progress.
Partner & Managing Director at nonconform | Vienna | Austria
Caren Ohrhallinger’s passion is to facilitate spatial change processes. As Partner and Managing Director at nonconform, an architecture and participatory planning bureau, she focuses on developing fine spaces for people to enable a good life – from buildings and public spaces to larger scale infrastructures, both in the country and in the city. Together with her partners, Caren developed several projects, including the “ideenwerkstatt” – a three-day participatory workshop to define visions for new interventions, as well as the “Leerstandkonferenz”, which addresses the problem of the many unused spaces and buildings in cities and villages.
In her work, Caren focusses on the processes behind the actual design and planning - “I open up spaces of opportunity in which good solutions are created even in difficult situations”.
Head of Office for Cycle Superhighways of the Capital Region | Copenhagen | Denmark
Sidsel Birk Hjuler firmly believes that cycling will revolutionize 21t century urban planning and tirelessly works on her mission to get it taken seriously in all sectors of traffic planning. As the Head of Office for Cycle Superhighways in Copenhagen´s Capital Region, she and her team have already achieved an impressive increase of cycling commuters, who are now choosing the 167 km of high-quality cycle paths over their cars.
The Cycle Superhighways are an extraordinary example of comprehensive collaboration between 28 municipalities and more than a dozen external key partners. By 2045 they will offer more than 750+ kilometres cycle superhighways spreading out over approximately 45 routes.
Councilor for Public Works and Urban Planning for the City of Bilbao | Spain
Asier Abaunza is contributing to the urban transformation of Bilbao in many ways: when he was in charge of the sustainable mobility planning of the city, the public transport offer was increased dramatically and attractive car-free areas have transformed the streets of Bilbao into safer and more livable places for pedestrians. Today, he is in charge of urban planning issues and is defining how his city will be transformed within the next 20 years.
Graz is a fast-growing city with limited building land. As a civil servant, Simone Reis and her colleagues are dealing with smart, integrated and sustainable strategies for urban development. She is especially excited about urban labs, since they provide a low-threshold framework for citizen participation and facilitate the creation of new solutions for complex urban challenges.
It is Simone’s passion to inspire the citizens of Graz to co-create their city and thereby contribute to a bright and sustainable urban future.
Consultant for Urban Planning and Mobility at APPM & Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences | The Netherlands
Though Erik Tetteroo is a passionate cyclist, for him it is not so much about cycling itself but the effect active transport has on the liveability of a city. That is why he developed the HOD concept: Hybrid (bike train) Oriented Development – a Dutch concept where the scope of the bicycle determines development opportunities. As an urban planning and mobility consultant, he is now focusing on implementing HOD in Dutch cities and on integrating HUB’s in spatial planning.
It is Erik’s passion to create places and cities where people enjoy life, and to eventually transform transport from an annoying to a pleasant experience.
Funding Partner of Æra Strategic Innovation | Oslo | Norway
Mads Bruun Høy is a founding a founding partner and Business Director in the innovation company ÆRA, and the initiator of Floke. He has an extensive experience as a trusted innovation advisor and is a serial entrepreneur within the creative industries, being part of more than 5 start-ups ranging from festivals to consultancies.
But above all, Mads is a passionate change maker, who takes wicked societal problems and turns them into innovation opportunities. Food waste, sustainable fashion, ocean plastics, circularity in the built environment and sustainable urban mobility - in all those fields Mads works tirelessly to create a better future.
Jason Roberts is the founder of the Better Block, which began as a guerilla arts project taking blighted city streets and rapidly painting bicycle lanes, installing landscaping, cafe seating, and pop-up businesses. He now works in cities around the world applying Better Blocks to help bring rapid bottom-up revitalization to neighborhoods.
It is Jason´s passion to take blighted and disinvested city infrastructure and find ways to incorporate beauty and vitality. He has already helped install hundreds of miles of bicycle infrastructure in cities across the United States and is creating an open sourced library of digitally fabricated public furniture designs called Wikiblock.
Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning and Public Participation at the City of Lisbon | Portugal
Ricardo Veludo is a Territory Engineer with immense experience in real estate, urban planning and housing policies. Alongside his academic work, as a professor and researcher, he has coordinated public projects in the municipalities of Lisbon, Almada, Setúbal, Loulé and Sines.
As the Deputy Mayor of Lisbon he concentrates on using innovative models of participation and citizen governance, in order to promote the sustainable development of cities, strategically combining the disciplines of Engineering and Planning with the Social Sciences.
Department Coordinator at EPAL | Lisbon | Portugal
With his team, Andrew Donnelly has significantly reduced water consumption in the city of Lisbon by controlling leakage in the distribution system. As an environmental science graduate, he is very happy to be contributing to reducing the city’s environmental impact, especially because both Lisbon´s residents and authorities have bought-in to achieving the same objectives.
His priority is to keep the inertia going - maintaining an excellent record and becoming even more efficient by using new tools and technologies as they become available.
Vice President at The Keesmaat Group | Toronto | Canada
For more than 15 years, Alex Mather has played a central role in the development of strategies and the implementation of projects that focus on integrating 21st century city building with the evolving economic landscape. Experienced in delivering impactful, tailored communications strategies, he is passionate about helping organizations, political parties, and movements create progressive change.
Alex has been working closely with Jennifer Keesmaat towards a more sustainable Toronto; first, as Communications Director on her mayoral campaign and since June 2019 as Vice President of The Keesmaat Group, a team of senior-level urbanists who support future-oriented cities, regions, companies and organizations in meeting some of the most pressing challenges of our time.
Sustainability Coordinator for Innsbrucker Immobilien (IIG) | Innsbruck | Austria
As sustainability coordinator for the real estate company of the City of Innsbruck, Elisabeth Meze is responsible for initiating and developing ideas and measures to make the city more resilient. <br><br>
Her focus lies on citizen participation in various contexts, including urban gardening and neighbourhood projects, as well as on the intergenerational and intercultural development of parks and common rooms. Elisabeth also leads the EU project SINFONIA, which concentrates on high energy efficient refurbishment of schools and tenant homes.
Senior Scientist at Vienna University of Technology | Austria
As a practitioner of active science, Harald Frey believes that the huge gap between the goals of sustainable development in the transport sector and the path we are currently on can only be closed by initiating and forcing radical interventions. He is a Senior Scientist at Vienna University of Technology and currently focusses on a project called “Change”, which aims to show how the mobility system has to be integrated into a comprehensive transition management.
With all his expertise, Harald is convinced that a shift away from the (still) existing automobile-centred planning system is crucial in order to overcome existing path dependencies and create a low carbon-future.
Founder of Creative Climate Cities | Berlin | Germany
As the founder of “Creative Climate Cities”, Nadine Kuhla von Bergmann’s mission is to achieve climate-friendly cities through people-driven design processes. The production of visual language and digital tools are key in her projects at district and city levels. One of these projects, the “Smart Sustainable District – Green Moabit” delivered innovative models for district data platforms and helped overcome sector-based street design. Nadine passes on her passion by lecturing “Smart Urbanism and Digital Strategies” at the University of Applied Science in Stuttgart.
What is next? Nadine is working on a project to increase urban nature services throughout European cities by matching those services with cultural actives and blockchain-based business models.
Vice Mayor for Urban Development | City of Oslo | Norway
Hanna E. Marcussen who represents the Norwegian Green Party is Vice Mayor for Urban Development of the City of Oslo.
She is in charge of urban development, city planning, building regulations and development projects, including architectural and historical heritage, urban regeneration as well as City’s real estate holdings. Hanna is one of the city's main drivers of change towards a greener Oslo. She's the one in charge of Oslo's car-free city-centre initiative.
From 2014 to 2015, she was the manager of Bergfald Environmental Advisors. Hanna is a qualified archaeologist from the University of Oslo.
Urban Designer at AM Real Estate | Utrecht | The Netherlands
As Urban Designer at AM Real Estate, Johan Snel is dealing with complex urban mix use projects in the Netherlands, especially focusing on the integration of mix use programmes, sustainability, mobility and spatial quality. He is constantly searching for ways to co-work between public and private parties in city development.
In one of his current projects – Bajes Kwartier, Johan is working on the redevelopment of a former prison in Amsterdam, which will also be the topic of his presentation at UFGC20.
After being the bouwmeester of Antwerp between 2006 and 2014, Kristiaan Borret is now in charge to stimulate and supervise the design quality of urban development projects as the bouwmeester of Brussels Captial Region.
His main project right now is the urban development site of the Canal Area. The goal is to transform a line of separation into an urban figure of centrality while meeting the needs of a modern city.
Urban Freight Coordinator at Polis Network | Brussels | Belgium
Through his work at Polis, Giacomo Lozzi aims to establish a permanent dialogue between cities and industry to accelerate deployment of sustainable city logistics solutions. He firmly believes that expanding cooperation and sharing and disclosing information, rather than working in silos and under competition, is the only winning strategy to achieve a bold impact.
Giacomo considers cities to be incredible spaces for accelerating social, economic and human innovation. At the same time, he believes that for this to be possible for everyone, the accessibility of citizens to spaces and services must be made as simple and democratic as possible. By supporting public authorities to develop a democratic and inclusive vision of transport, he aims to have a direct impact on the liveability of cities.
Co-Founder of El Desafío Foundation | Rosario | Argentina
Mario Raimondi is co-founder of El Desafío Foundation, situated in Rosario, Argentina. El Desafío focuses on youth development and citizen participation through art, urban planning, social innovation, sports and creativity. Mario has been changing cities for the better for more than 15 years now.
A highlight of his work is the Ciudades Felices festival, taking place annually in El Rosario: It connects citizens, organizations, students, professionals and governments to create Happy Cities for everyone. 2019, the Jóvenes Líderes Programme (a partner programme of the Urban Future Young Leaders Programme) took place during Ciudades Felices for the first time.
Cayce James leads a coalition to build an innovative and equitable public space network across Seattle that can address the city´s complex challenges of rapid growth, climate change, and environmental injustice. With her team, Cayce identifies key strategies and priorities at the city scale but also tests them at the neighbourhood scale. Through her work, new investments in green infrastructure and public space are directed at the areas of the city most in need, supporting existing residents, rather than exacerbating gentrification and displacement.
Cayce is passionate about eliminating the disproportionate environmental burdens that low-income communities of colour currently face, and building future cities in which everyone has access to healthy air and water and the opportunity to be inspired by nature.
Advisor for Innovation and Foresight at the OECD | Paris | France
As an Advisor for Innovation and Foresight for the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD, Philippe Crist focuses on disruptive urban mobility scenarios, and examines their implications for car-based and active mobility, public transport and urban space and vitality. He leads ITF work on data science and investigates how policy and regulation might adapt to an increasingly algorithmically driven world.
Through his work he helps public authorities to rethink public space allocation, considering new travel practices and business models. His main priority is to make sure that mobility contributes to humanizing us and ensuring that cities remain catalysts for serendipitous creation. “When we get cities right, we get humanity right.” – he says.
CEO and Founder of Water Cities | Grenoble | France
For a considerable part of her professional life, Corinne Trommsdorff has dealt with the topic of water in cities. She is the manager of the Cities of the Future Programme at the International Water Association (IWA) and recently founded Water Cities, a non-profit business whose prior mission it is to support decision makers and urban stakeholders in the transition of their cities towards a water management that enables them to adapt to an uncertain future and contribute to protecting our planet.
Corinne truly believes that it is about time cities took responsibility for building water-wise communities and aiming towards a more sustainable future.
Climate justice activist at 2degree artivism | Lisbon | Portugal
As part of the climate justice movement, Diogo Silva, is tackling the defining issue of our time not just to change our cities’ future, but humanities fate. He is changing Lisbon as part of Climáximo and founder of 2 degrees artivism, where he is doing strategic work, meeting public officials and preparing non-violent direct actions.
Diogo is excited to further the artistic community involvement in climate justice activism, and his upcoming project Culture Declares Emergency is a great opportunity for that. He is passionate about being part of real systemic change and finding new unchartered ways to combine economic, social and environmental sustainability in a fair mix.
Partner at ClareHopkinsClarke | Melbourne | Australia
Dean Landy is actively shaping cities by making them more walkable, connected and sustainable through his design. Combating the struggles of Sydney and Melbourne with population growth and urban sprawl, he worked on one of the biggest projects in Australia to rebalance the population.
Currently he is advocating for more self-sustaining satellite cities and designing places, communities and cities, that incorporate high density, connected, walkable villages guided by the principle of 20-minute neighbourhoods. Doing this allows him to follow his passion, positively contributing and shaping the built environment through his design.
Director of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance | San Francisco | USA
Johanna Partin is Director of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance — a collaboration of global cities committed to reducing greenhouse gases by at least 80% by 2050 or sooner — at the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). Previously, Johanna served as North America Regional Director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and Senior Policy Advisor on Environment to San Francisco Mayors Gavin Newsom and Edwin Lee.
Johanna has 25 years’ experience in the fields of climate change, renewable energy, microfinance, sustainable development and gender equity, and has worked in 15 different countries around the world.
Deputy Director of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance | Oslo | Norway
As Deputy Director of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA), Trude Rauken concentrates on the transformation of urban systems in order to reach carbon neutrality, as well as on the necessity to rethink urban leadership to eventually achieve this goal. Prior to that, she worked as a special adviser for the City of Oslo, where she mainly focused on the implementation of the city’s climate action plan.
Trude is convinced that “in the end, the world is local”, which is why she is so passionate about supporting public administrations in reaching the 1.5-degree target. Her prior aim is to help climate vanguard cities in their fight to cut emissions while at the same time ensuring an improved quality of life for all people.
Urban Freight Strategist at the City of Stockholm | Sweden
Robin Billsjö promotes and facilitates the development towards sustainable urban freight. At the Transport Department of the City of Stockholm, he is mainly responsible for implementing silent night deliveries and also works on “Älskade stad” (“Beloved City”), a unique collaboration contributing to less traffic in Stockholm. Robin particularly focusses on scaling up night deliveries and on introducing geofencing as a way to improve compliance for safe, silent and non-polluting transport.
He is eager to make a difference and strongly believes that as a city, Stockholm can make a change by being a neutral part and by providing a platform for collaboration for various stakeholders that play a role in urban freight transport.
With his team at Upstream Mobility, a municipal IT service provider, Reinhard Birke is helping to shape cities with future-oriented mobility solutions. It is his vision to ensure equal access to mobility for everyone – regardless of their age, place of residence or income.
The basis of their work is a mobility-as-a-service platform, that is open to all mobility providers and uses public transport as the backbone. For cities and municipalities this means that they have the central point of control for mobility in their city.
Senior Project Manager at Gate 21 | Albertslund | Denmark
Kennenth Jørgensen works as a change agent who helps cities to become more sustainable by focusing on mobility planning. More precisely, Kenneth is senior project manager at Gate 21 - a partnership organization that brings together regions, municipalities, companies and knowledge institutions in Greater Copenhagen to foster fundamental green transitions of our community. In a current project (LINC), he focusses on how autonomous collective mobility can transform urban planning and enhance the liveability of cities.
Kenneth is convinced that cars have determined the design and shape of our cities for too long, so now “we need to develop our cities in accordance with people and nature."
As a social entrepreneur, Katharina Serafimova aims to re-connect urban and rural realities. She believes in food as a collaborative common and a powerful opportunity to re-connect nature and community.
After graduating from environmental natural sciences at ETH Zürich in 2004, Katharina entered the corporate world and worked as a consultant and later for an NGO in the area of sustainable resources, agriculture and finance. Over the past years, she further co-created several initiatives such as the Swiss-based organization Foodnetworks.ch and the regeneration initiative Terra Sintrópica in Portugal because “change will not come from organizations, business standards or political agreements but from us, from people that live and work in alignment with our values.”
Director Advancing Net Zero at World Green Building Council | London | UK
As the director of the Advancing Net Zero project, Victoria Kate Burrows, coordinates Green Building Councils from across almost 70 countries, that are all advocating for a more sustainable built environment, by supporting corporate and city level action towards decarbonisation of the building and construction sector.
Victoria is passionate about fulfilling the potential of the building and construction industry to shift from a major contributor of carbon emissions to a critical solution in the fight against climate change. In her opinion, this requires a radical shift in the way buildings are designed, built, operated and deconstructed and cities and the GBC network are crucial actors in enabling this transition.
Head of Accelerating Urban Transition Office at Cascais Ambiente | Portugal
João Dinis leads the implementation of the climate and sustainability strategies for Cascais, Portugal. In the last decade, he has ensured a systemic, inclusive and innovative approach to redefine the role of municipalities in the global movement for a sustainable future. He believes in strengthening European based partnerships to enhance the reach of emerging technologies and methods to promote resilience.
João is passionate about the simplicity of life changing ideas that support a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle while, simultaneously, respecting local cultures and resources.
Secretary General of BCSD Portugal | Lisbon | Portugal
When João Meneses was working for Lisbon´s city hall, he very successfully led the rehabilitation of Lisbon´s central neighborhoods Mouraria and Intendente. Now, as the Secretary General of BCSD Portugal, he is focused on helping the corporate world become more sustainable. João is very excited about the European Green New Deal, which will change the face of the EU in the upcoming decade.
Project Manager Sustainable Development at SPL Lyon Confluence | France
Etienne Vignali has worked in the fields of urban projects and sustainable development for 10 years. He has strongly contributed to the increase of renewable energy production and the energy retrofitting of buildings in his city and has implemented data-based tools to monitor and keep improving the environmental performance of the Lyon-Confluence area. Currently, he is coordinating the European smart city project „Smarter Together“ (Horizon 2020 – SCC01).
Erling Fossen has been CEO of Oslo Metropolitan Area, an association owned by some of Norway’s largest real estate developers, since the beginning in 2012.
As a postmodern urbanist, he engages deeply in public participation, moving away from the modern planning regime where planners knew it all, and participation meant that citizens should vote in elections every four years. In his position at Oslo Metropolitan Area, he has contributed to the recent development of cafe dialogue, a participation tool where developers directly meet with the inhabitants – which shows just one aspect of how Erling and his colleagues have changed the way Oslo is doing public planning.
Architect & Project Manager at FutureBuilt | Oslo | Norway
As an architect and project manager at FutureBuilt, Ulla Hahn is changing Oslo and the surrounding area for the better by creating ambitious climate friendly buildings and districts. In her work, Ulla concentrates on sustainable districts and circular buildings, which is why she is already looking forward to her upcoming projects, including the construction of a new nursery home and an office building – the letter being a pilot project for circularity.
Ulla is especially keen on facilitating good processes and on working together with creative, motivated people in order to achieve her goals.
Deputy Mayor for Economy, Innovation, Mobility and Safety at the City of Lisbon | Portugal
As Deputy Mayor of Lisbon, Miguel Gaspar is responsible for Lisbon´s Municipal police, the Municipal Direction of Mobility, Lisbon’s Municipal Mobility and Parking Company (EMEL) and its Public Transport Company (Carris). Previously, he was the assistant of the Deputy Secretary of State for Environment, where he worked on innovative transport solutions and provided technical support for the Portuguese Ministry of Environment on transport-related matters.
An expert in urban mobility and public transport, he has been involved in regulatory, contractual and procurement issues, including the development of innovative on-demand transport initiatives and, more recently, the development of Intelligent Transport Systems.
Nicolai Riise constantly works towards sustainability – economically, socially and environmentally. As CEO of Mad arkitekter, he designs full scale re-use projects – thereby challenging established truths and pushing towards a green shift, which will completely change the way, we think about building and developing cities.
At UFGC Nicolai will be talking about his Recipe for Future Living in Oslo, which won him the C40 International Reinventing Cities competition. The project takes the construction industry’s enormous waste problem and turns it into an invaluable and unique resource, with the project basing itself entirely on circular economy, the use of sustainable resources and reuse. Furthermore, it will incorporate social entrepreneurship initiatives to give less fortunate people a new chance. When it comes to proving that full-scale urban development projects can be functional and sustainable, for Nicolai the sky´s the limit.
Sergio T Coelho, who has a PhD in Engineering Systems, has been a researcher in water in the city for the most part of his professional life. He co-founded and leads Baseform, a company making forward-thinking software for water system management, which is used by over 40 cities and communities around the world, with over 80,000 km of infrastructure monitored in systems serving more than 15 million people.
Currently, Sergio is focusing on democratizing access to better water data, enabling cities and communities to manage themselves more sustainably.
Environmental Technician at Sant Cugat del Valles City Council | Spain
Marta Oliver Tizón promotes changes in habits of everyday life in order to find a balance between real needs and the world of finite resources that we live in. As environmental technician at Sant Cugat del Valles City Council, Marta tries to introduce the environmental variable in all areas, for instance by fostering the construction of self-sufficient public and private buildings. She advocates for a rethinking of the water cycle use and a renewable energy production that goes beyond what state regulations require and currently works on the city’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
Marta firmly believes that “thinking global, acting local has an incalculable power but constancy is vital”.
Professor at Porto University and International Water Consultant | Portugal
Over the past years, Joaquim Poças Martins has gathered extensive expertise in the field of water. As an engineer, professor, international water consultant and after having held several other important positions in the past, such as Secretary of State for the Environment of Portugal, Joaquim is currently leading water-in-the-city projects in Africa and a worldwide working group on the contribution of engineering to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Joaquim also works on the development of a recirculation shower that saves water and energy, which shows his special interest in circular economy and sustainability in the vast water sector.
Urban Policy Advisor at Urban Finland | Helsinki | Finland
Timo Hämäläinen is a geographer who is part independent consultant in urban policy, part guerrilla planner and thought leader in contemporary urbanism. In his work, Timo engages in research & analysis, strategic policy development and advocacy projects to help cities and the public sector to tackle urban themes ranging from public participation to smart mobility and urban planning.
Timo's blog 'From Rurban to Urban' has been chosen among the 'best city blogs around the world' by the Guardian and his DIY planning & architecture collective created an alternative city-wide masterplan to promote smarter planning in Helsinki. Today, Timo also works with the development of floating swimming pool complexes which are aimed to rejuvenate urban waterfronts.
CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club | Boston | USA
John Judge is CEO of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), the oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization in the U.S. providing high quality outdoor recreation programs and leadership training. <br><br>
With more than 20 years of civic leadership experience, John leads AMC in enacting its community of 325,000 people in outdoor recreation and conservation stewardship. He also created the OutdoorCity framework as a next-generation strategy to engage urban citizens and embolden cities in nature.
Chetana Andary has been an artist, policy maker and masterplanner for over 25 years. At UAP, the world’s largest public art company, she brings theory to practice connecting art and place. She has worked in Australia and the Middle East for both government and private development. As CEO of artisan, the premier arts organisation in Brisbane, Australia, and Place Manager at South Bank Parklands, she developed holistic curatorial and creative place strategies.
CEO of Wien 3420 aspern Development AG | Vienna | Austria
Gerhard Schuster has worked in real estate for more than 30 years. His ambition in aspern Seestadt – the urban lab of Smart City Wien - is to use his expertise to help build a city that changes the way we plan cities in the future. He invites and supports gamechangers from different realms, brings them together with those who already live, work or invest in aspern, thus creating new, prolific networks and initiatives.
Director of the International Building Exhibition 2027 in the Stuttgart Region (IBA’27) | Germany
How do we want to live together in the coming decades? How can we build futureproof homes and buildings? How can cities, villages and settlements meet the challenges posed by social, technological and ecological change?
These are the questions Andreas Hofer, Director of the International Building Exhibition in the Stuttgart Region (IBA’27) asks himself every day. Drawing on his rich experience in cooperative and new forms of housing, the Swiss architect is responsible for the programmatic management of the IBA’27. In this position, he does his utmost best to make the transformation of Stuttgart, a highly industrialised metropolitan region with a population of 2.8 million, towards a sustainable future visible and tangible.
Project Manager Traffic Management as a Service at the City of Ghent | Belgium
Sophie Gillaerts is an experienced project coordinator, who is mainly involved in mobility related projects in Belgium and abroad. For the past 10 years she could show how important safe and liveable cities are to her, by coordinating European funded projects and creating clean mobility solutions for vital cities, ensuring health and access for all people.
Currently she is focusing on the TMaaS (Traffic Management as a Service) project, informing citizens about their mobility choices and making them smarter about managing their traffic.
Katja Diehl is an advocate for human centric mobility and aims to raise awareness of urban places as places for human beings – not cars. As Owner of She Drives Mobility, she focuses on fostering diversity, making females and other “free radicals” visible, who are responsible for positive transformations in urban mobility.
According to her motto “I drive mobility”, Katja is changing cities for the better through minimizing the space, cars are actually having in urban areas. The more people who share her vision, the better!
Managing Director at AustriaTech GmbH | Vienna | Austria
Martin Russ is a city planner by profession and an innovation enthusiastic at heart. Working in the field of mobility solutions for more than 25 years, he is excited to see many of the crazy concepts of the past become a reality today – sharing, micro mobility, data led governance, experimental frameworks and mobility labs up to e-mobility and automated vehicles. As director of AustriaTech, he supports cities in incorporating those transformational possibilities.
Martin is also a member of the EU Mission Board on Climate Neutral Cities, where he focuses on tackling this challenge in reality and supporting cities to be the synergetic core of the needed transformation. Besides that he´s dealing with a new supportive legal frame for experiments as well as on new business opportunities through a new and more life-style oriented sector coupling in the mobility eco-system.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation at the University of Bergen | Norway
Siddharth Sareen is convinced that by getting our cities right we can accelerate the energy transformation that is so urgently needed. As a human geographer and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Bergen, his research tries to explain how cities govern energy infrastructure and focuses on questions of social and environmental equity and justice.
Over the past years, Siddharth has worked in several countries and established an international, interdisciplinary research profile. He currently leads a project on solar uptake in Portugal and supports a project on smart grid development in Norway.
Johanna Schäfer is founder and CEO of BonnLAB which is a city lab for the citizens of Bonn, Germany. BonnLAB is multifunctional - it is a public living room, an office for urban development & participation, a coworking space, a social innovation point, an event location and the headquarter of the NGO PROJECTSbonn. The organizations and initiatives which have been founded by PROJECTSbonn or meet at BonnLAB make grassroots projects and #SDGs2030 actions with and for sustainable and smart citizens.
Johanna is a social entrepreneur, a local activist, a convener and she studied architecture at the anthroposophically Alanus university for arts and society.
Mariana Sanchez Salvador is an architect who works on the timeless relationship between food and space, from the house to the city, from ancient times to today. In her PhD thesis, she currently focuses on the historic development of the foodscape of Lisbon and organizes several academic and public events on the subject, aiming to bring the existing knowledge about cities and food to society.
Mariana is passionate about understanding the impact of food culture on the shape of space, the influence of beliefs, memories and traditions on who we are and what we build, and how through food we can envision a better architecture and future for our societies.
Jacob’s current mission is building beneficial relationships between sustainable businesses, social- and cultural entrepreneurs and the City of Copenhagen.
With a broad environmental background Jacob specialises in unorthodox partnerships and development across professional boundaries in order to involve art and culture in setting the environmental and social agenda of tomorrow.
As the Mayor of Tirana since 2015, Erion Veliaj has focused on the implementation of child-friendly policies aimed at transforming Tirana into a long-term sustainable city. <br><br>
As part of his vision of giving the city back to its citizens, his administration completely renovated the city’s central square, which was awarded the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2018, and created the Orbital Forest; a two-million tree belt that will serve as a pivotal element in addressing the environmental concerns of the city by 2030.
Senior Urbanist at L’Institut Paris Region | France
Paul Lecroart believes that transformative projects drive cities to rethink their development models. Converting urban highway barriers into well connected, multi-use and green boulevards is a strong driver to both change of mobility behaviour and sustainable urban intensification. As a Senior Urbanist at the Paris Metropolitan Region Planning Agency (L’Institut Paris Region), Paul’s strategic expertise has played a leading role in the successful Paris River Banks Expressway Pedestrianisation, as well as in other major regional projects.
An adviser for many cities worldwide, Paul shows that bringing international experience into local contexts can be a real game changer for the future of metropolitan regions.
Director Cities and Regeneration at Ramboll | London | UK
Elad Eisenstein is a cities expert, architect and urban designer with two decades of international experience, specialising in leading, designing and delivering complex and large scale urban projects. He is a senior director, advising public and private sector clients on issues of urban design, sustainability, large scale planning, city strategy and infrastructure.
As the leader of Ramboll’s Cities and Regeneration business and a member of the Mayor of London’s Infrastructure Advisory Panel, Elad is engaged with major infrastructure-led regeneration schemes across the UK and internationally. He works with cities on applying a regenerative apporach and circular thinking to deliver net-zero targets by combining design skills with strategic planning expertise and balancing global challenges with local places and the aspirations of communities.
Jennifer is what you would call an inspirational urban leader!
She is an urban planner named one of the “most powerful” and “most influential” people in Canada. Jennifer spent five years as Toronto’s Chief City Planner, where she was celebrated for her forward thinking and collaborative approach to city-building.
In 2018, she founded The Keesmaat Group, a senior-level urbanists crew who work with future-oriented cities, regions, companies, and organizations to advance solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time, including the urgent need for more efficient and less costly systems of movement and the global housing affordability crisis. Jennifer is convinced that tackling these issues does not always require big spending; however, “they do require a clear-eyed vision of the future we are seeking to create as a country”.
That vision is why we are true fans of her and you will be too, soon.
Global Head of Marketing and Communications at UAP | Brisbane | Australia
Gilbert is an idea peddler and an advocate of responsible and strategic marketing and communications with sustainability at its core. He firmly believes that marketing is one of the reasons why we are experiencing the climate crisis; therefore, it is a problem every marketer needs to fix. Currently, Gilbert is Global Head of Marketing and Communications at UAP and Founder/Chief Executive of Be Extraordinary!, where he’s helping SMEs with strategic and responsible marketing and communications and its connection with sustainability.
With over 20 years of experience, Gilbert has lived and worked in Manila, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai and now Brisbane partnering with influential creative industries and clients.
David Sim is Creative Director at Gehl. For more than ten years David has been focusing on Masterplanning Frameworks and urban design, collaborating with other professionals in the planning and building process, applying Jan Gehl’s theories to large-scale projects.
David is also renowned as an inspiring educator and lecturer, and has taught at architecture and design schools all over the world.
Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon | Portugal
As Assistant Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico at the University of Lisbon and researcher at CERIS (Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability), green infrastructures and rainwater harvesting systems are Cristina Matos Silva’s main focus of interest. This interest is also reflected in her position as founding member and current Vice President of the Portuguese Association for Green Roofs (ANCV).
Currently, Cristina serves as principal investigator of the R&D project GENESIS, where she is modelling uncertainty and investors/users preferences in all-inclusive cost-benefit analysis of green roofs and green walls.
Sustainability Strategist at Stockholm Royal Seaport | Sweden
Christina works as sustainability strategist for the city of Stockholm. She’s currently working at the Stockholm Royal Seaport, the largest urban development area in Sweden and one of Europe’s largest urban development projects with sustainability ambitions: a former brownfield area is converted into a vibrant and attractive city district with at least 25.000 residents and 35.000 workers by 2030.
The ambitious sustainability requirements include 100% low energy houses and local production of renewable energy, 100% green roofs, 100% connection to an automated waste system, reversed traffic hierarchy and an innovative green structure in public open space for stormwater management.
Professor of Sociology & Director of Research at Colorado State University | Fort Collins | USA
Jeni Cross is Professor of Sociology and Director of Research at the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University. As a scientist, she studies the processes of change and collaborates with schools and community agencies on a variety of community-based participatory research projects centred on sustainability and community development. While her current project focuses on regenerative development, Jeni is already excited about an upcoming project that deals with the role of social networks in accelerating the adoption of sustainable farming practices.
Jeni firmly believes that social science tools can help us solve complex problems, expand our capabilities as well as create and accelerate meaningful change.
Lior Steinberg is an urban planner and co-founder of Humankind, a multidisciplinary collective accelerating the transition towards urban happiness for all. He helps cities to look beyond functionality and to plan urban spaces that make people smile. <br><br>
All the projects Lior participates in have one thing in common: they create people-oriented cities. Being a Jane Jacobs’ enthusiast and a fan of great public spaces, he is keen on making cities better with an emphasis on local, innovative interventions and on including residents in urban planning.
Maria Vassilakou was the first green vice mayor of Vienna and city councillor for urban development, traffic, climate protection, energy planning and citizen participation.
She strongly advocates sustainable urban development and gentle mobility. Maria supports the expansion of public transportation in accordance with her motto: ""Residents of Vienna should no longer have to rely on their own cars”; Vienna has one of the most affordable pricing policies for public transportation amongst all European cities.
Director of Commercial Real Estate at Heart of South Rotterdam | The Netherlands
As Director of Commercial Real Estate at the Netherlands’ biggest urban development project ‘Heart of South Rotterdam‘, it is Wouter‘s mission to turn dark and concrete spaces into welcoming, safe and green places where people want to meet, raise their children, start their businesses and simply experience positive emotions. To reach this goal, Wouter does his utmost best to reconcile sustainability issues, economical aspects as well as the needs of future inhabitants, visitors and surrounding neighbourhoods.
His current projects include the transformation of a traffic intensive main street into an almost traffic-free, green city boulevard or the creation of a zero-emission bus station.
Chief City Architect at Vilnius Municipality | Lithuania
Mindaugas Pakalnis is a man with a clear urban vision. In his position as Chief City Architect at Vilnius Municipality, he is responsible for the general strategy of the city in terms of architectural, landscape and cultural heritage planning, with a great interest in sustainable mobility issues.
Over the past few years, Mindaugas has not only successfully developed the new Master Plan for Vilnius City, but he also realized a number of prestigious projects including the New City Centre on the right bank of river Neris, as well as the Park of Architecture as the city’s biggest brownfield project.
Global Advisor on Housing, Author, Scientist & Award-Winning Urban Strategist | Paris | France
Dr Orna Rosenfeld is known as a dynamic and effective advocate for affordable housing, particularly for the advancement of housing sector knowledge, investment and policy. In her position as an independent advisor, Orna has provided research and counsel to an extensive number of international organisations and banks, governments and selected cities, and thereby contributed to the provision of affordable housing in 56 countries in Europe, North America and Central Asia.
She is passionate about inclusive growth and believes in strengthening equality of opportunity, reducing territorial inequalities and promoting urban diversity and inclusion for all.
Reader in Sustainable Design at the University of Dundee | UK
As an urbanist with a background in architecture, urban planning and sustainability, Husam Al Waer focusses on the social impacts of place making and urban design practices.
Through his work at the University of Dundee and as an award-winning author, he passionately works on the the future of sustainable places and the development of new processes and methods to unlock sustainable urbanism.
Associate Professor at the University of Seville | Spain
Luis Pérez-Urrestarazu is a professor at the School of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Seville and Head of the Urban Greening and Biosystems Engineering research group. The main topic of his research is the use of nature-based solutions and their effect in our cities, mainly focusing on building integrated vegetation systems like green roofs and living walls.
Luis is convinced that local measures contribute to the global fight against climate change, and at the same time help to reduce the local effects that might be produced at a smaller scale such as one’s own city. So why not start there?
Water Expert, President of the Portuguese Water Resources Association | Lisbon | Portugal
Susana's life turns around the water issue. She has worked in research and policy for integrated water management and territorial planning for the last 25 years for universities in Portugal and Australia.
Susana is sharing her knowledge in various functions, currently she is President of the Portuguese Water Resources Association, President of the Portuguese Governing Member of IWA and she is an appointed member of the Water Governance Initiative Group (WGI) in OECD.
Recently she also started a project that includes visiting schools and kindergartens to raise awareness for the issue of saving water among the next generation.
Urban Designer at the Physical Planning Department of Amsterdam | The Netherlands
Inspired by the spot and the potentials of the environment, Ellen Monchen, Urban Designer at the Physical Planning Department of Amsterdam, likes to improve existing qualities with new interventions. Her biggest project is Overamstel – a former industrial area that she first encountered 20 years ago and that is since then being transformed into a densely populated area with working spaces and houses. With different designers working on different sub-areas, Ellen is currently focusing on the transformation of Bajeskwartier, a former prison and the area surrounding it.
It is her passion to not only design sustainable neighbourhoods with their own characteristics created by existing elements but also that all neighbourhoods together form one good whole.
Zeina Nazer has more than 20 years of global experience in strategy, consulting, research and platform development, and is the Co-Founder of Cities Forum, a global organisation consisting of a multidisciplinary group of experts in smart cities. Over the past years, she led advisory services for governments and major global players in topics such as intelligent mobility, road safety, sustainable transport and smart cities in the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia and the USA.
Among other projects, Zeina is currently pursuing her PhD in Smart Cities at the University of Southampton, which once more shows her determination and passion for this topic.
Assistant Professor & Research Director at Copenhagen Business School | Frederiksberg | Denmark
As a business economist, Dr. Luise Noring specializes in urban governance and finance, including socio-economic impact analyses, urban business models and finance mechanisms for implementation of both large-scale urban regeneration and smaller neighborhood interventions. She has several years of experience identifying and implementing models for self-governing and self-financing cities and teaches as an assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School.
Since 2016, Luise’s company, City Facilitators, has provided specialist advice and guidance on urban growth, business development and urban finance mechanisms.
Member of the Board of Directors at Flussbad Berlin | Germany
In everything he does, Jan Edler is driven by potential, not problems. Under the label realities:united he has been realizing projects between architecture and art for twenty years. One of those projects, the Flussbad Berlin, was once considered as a charming utopia – today it is being made reality as an official urban development project of the city of Berlin.
What´s up next? Jan is passionately working on an artistic project, which will accompany the energy transition in Germany and the shutdown of the large thermal power stations until 2038.
CEO & Co-founder of Mapita Oy | Helsinki | Finland
Maarit Kahila is CEO and co-founder of Maptionnaire. Maptionnaire is a tool that helps create map-based surveys to get ideas and insights from residents - and thus encourages public participation.
Maarit is passionate about making the interaction between residents and experts smoother and thereby supports the creation of more livable and lovable cities. Her tool is helping cities to change their way of interacting with residents in a more inclusive way by making the community engagement process easier and more efficient.
Andreas Trisko is head of the department for Urban Development and Planning of the City of Vienna, where he leads an innovative team of eighty. He is specialized in the field of large-scale urban development projects and steered urban change processes in Vienna’s largest district.
Next to being responsible for Vienna’s overall strategies for urban planning and mobility, his focus lies on transferring these policies into the day to day practice and implementing game-changing projects.
Project Manager & Head of Team Water at freiland Environmental Consulting Civil Engineers Ltd. | Graz | Austria
Through her work at freiland Environmental Consulting, together with her colleagues and in cooperation with the City of Graz, Christine Konradi has moved the people of Graz closer to the water again. This has been achieved by integrating the run-of-river power plant into the urban landscape and enhancing the morphology of the river, while at the same time creating green spaces, leisure and recreational areas at the water, and improving the urban microclimate, too.
Christine is particularly excited about the urban surf wave at the river Mur which is soon to come and that she is able to live her passion: linking technical, ecological and creative interests.
Urban Designer & TV Host, Colville-Andersen Studio | Copenhagen | Denmark
For more than a decade, Mikael Colville-Andersen has evangelized about urban change and worked with over 100 cities to help modernise their transport by designing their bicycle infrastructure, his own city being the model for his work.
In his TV series ‘The Life-Sized City,’ Mikael explores cities around the world and curates all the amazing things happening in this Age of Urbanism. He is also currently focusing on urban democracy and citizen engagement in international projects using Desire Lines and pop-up urban spaces to highlight the importance of urban change.
General Director of the Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport | Budapest | Hungary
Dávid Vitézy has been fascinated by public transportation since he was a little child and never really lost his interest. It has been a long way from his first steps as spokesman of an NGO in Budapest, where he fought against car-oriented city planning, to his position as General Director of the Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport, where he is currently turning a former railway yard into a busy cultural hub.
Dávid is convinced that the future museum will be an open, high-quality urban space that deals with the past, contributes to the understanding of present urban dilemmas and further delivers important messages on urban liveability and sustainability for the future.
SNFCC Grant Manager at Stavros Niarchos Foundation | Athens | Greece
Elly Andriopoulou firmly believes that public spaces define a city – not just architecturally but by the ways people interact with and within them. In her position at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation she was able to contribute to the development and operation of Athens´ new landmark, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), which has received LEED Platinum accreditation for its sustainability and managed to redefine public space in Athens as a place of respect, acceptance, and personal growth.
To see the landmark come to life has been one of the most fulfilling elements of her job: From construction and business plan preparation, it now receives over 15 million visits of locals and tourists who stroll in the park, attend an opera at the Greek National Opera, sail in the canal or learn how to use a PC at age 78.
Stakeholder Involvement Officer at JPI Urban Europe | Vienna | Austria
As a Stakeholder Involvement Officer, Johannes Riegler connects urban actors from local initiatives to European networks to jointly discuss concrete urban issues and translate the created knowledge into strategic orientations for European research and innovation funding. Currently, his work focuses on how urban experimentation and urban living labs can support urban transitions and how experimental methods can be become “the new normal” in urban governance.
Johannes’ passion lies in working with people to bring different knowledge, expertise and interests into discussions on urban transitions and facilitate the co-creation of ideas for how urban futures should look like.
Founder & President of Torino Stratosferica | Turin | Italy
Luca Ballarini runs Torino Stratosferica, an innovative collective project of city imaging that brings forward visually based narrative and powerful imagery to highlight the potential of the city and leverage its positioning. Luca’s current focus lies on building an international network of creatives, leaders and cultural industry professionals who are managing urban issues and spreading abroad the city-imaging methodology in public and business discussions. Moreover, Torino Stratosferica organizes the annual, international city-making festival Utopian Hours, which will take place from 23 to 25 October 2020.
As a trend-setter and passionate entrepreneur, Luca keeps redefining his role as a designer in our contemporary world and is now primarily concentrating on urban topics.