Speakers - INTI - International New Town Institute

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During the morning sessions on June 30, representatives of the cities of Havana, Curitiba, Nakuru and Shenzhen will elaborate on what they believe are contemporary New Town’s most urgent challenges and relevant opportunities, after which a panel of European city representatives explains the ambitions and struggles each particular city encountered in the process.

The following speakers have confirmed their presence:

Havana (Cuba): Jorge Peña Díaz
Jorge Peña Díaz is the Head of the Research Group for Urban Research and Action at the Faculty of Architecture, CUJAE and Professor and teacher on Urban Design at the Architectural and Urban Design Department in Havana. Next to this, he is also a member of the Expert technical committee for research on urbanism and housing policy of the Ministry of Construction and the experts advisory group for Havana´s city planning. Over the past few years, Jorge Peña Díaz has been part of numerous international scientific publications and cooperations. His research interests and fields of expertise lie with urban development analysis and planning, the integration of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture into planning and urban design strategies and urban sustainability.

Nairobi Metropolitan Region (Kenya): Lawrence Esho
Lawrence Esho has a long and illustrious career as a built environment professional, which he started as a Physical Planner for the government of Kenya. He is a Registered Physical Planner; active member of Kenya Institute of Planners; and partner the Centre for Urban and Regional Planning, undoubtedly Kenya’s leading planning consultancy.
Currently, Lawrence Esho combines his professional pursuits with academic activities concerning the link between informality, urban space and urban planning. Next to this, he is the project planner of both Konza Technology City and the new Lamu Port, and is current senior lecturer and chair of the Department of Spatial Planning and Urban Design at the Technical University of Kenya. Furthermore, he is vice president for the Network of Architectural Schools in Africa.

Shenzhen & Guangming (China): Songming Xu
Songming Xu, PhD, Deputy Director of the Administrative committee of Guangming New District, Shenzhen. Dr. Xu has been engaged in urban planning, new town development management for over 20 years. Under his leadership, Shenzhen International Low Carbon City and Guangming Phoenix City have been international pioneers regarding green cities, smart cities, and sponge city experimental zone’s. Next to his activities in Guangming, he also is a frequent speaker on various international fora.

Curitiba (Brazil): Luisiana Paganelli Silva (IPPUC)
Luisiana Paganelli Silva is an Architect and Urbanist from Curitiba, Brazil, currently working as the External Affairs Advisor in the Institute for Rersearch and Urban Planning of Curitiba - IPPUC, where she has been working since 2007. Luisiana has a Master in Urban Planning from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná - PUC-PR, in which she started her current research about car sharing and its integration with urban policies, she is a specialist in Urbanism from the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau, in Germany, and also a specialist in Business Administration from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation / ISAE-FGV, in Curitiba.

Milton-Keynes (The United Kingdom): Shane Downer
Shane Downer has been Milton-Keynes’ Heritage Development Officer in 2003, managing the heritage programme in Milton Keynes. He devises and co-ordinates strategy and activities set out in the city’s Cultural Delivery Plan. Through this Plan he works with colleagues and local, regional and national public, private and third sector partners to implement major heritage provision change for a current population of 260,000 and heritage visitation of over 200,000 people a year to the major heritage venues. As Milton Keynes is set to almost double in population over the next thirty years, he coordinates the major building projects around new archive and museum provision and a city centre cultural showcase, which are to be realised in 2017, when Milton Keynes fully celebrates its 50th birthday as a New Town.

Almere (The Netherlands): Tjeerd Herrema
Tjeerd Herrema is a politician from the PvdA (the ’Labour Party’) and Elderman of Spatial Affairs, Housing & Neighborhoods in Almere. After a long and fruitful carreer in policy making at various Dutch Provinces and institutions, he became Elderman in Amsterdam for three years in 2006.
Now, since October 2015, he takes on the position of Elderman, watching over matters of housing policy, spatial planning and development, Urban planning and expansion, Accessability in the Region, the Floriade and Growing green cities

Vinge (Denmark): Søren Smidt-Jensen
Søren Smidt-Jensen is currently the Head of Urban Development & Landscape, at the Frederikssund Municipality in Denmark. Søren has been Head of the CITIES programme at the Danish Architecture Centre and he has been responsible for the Strategic Urban Governance Leadership Programme, a triple-continent programme for executives from Danish municipalities and Realdania By. He also led the DK2050 scenario project which involved 10 cities, 3 regions and 4 ministries. He is an advisor to the International Federation for Housing & Planning (IFHP) and to the Nordic City Network (NCN). In 2014 Søren was selected as a World Cities Summit Young Leader by the Ministry of National Development in Singapore. Søren holds a PhD in strategic urban development from the University of Copenhagen.

INTI: Michelle Provoost
Dr. Michelle Provoost is an architectural historian specialised in urban planning history, postwar architecture and contemporary urban development.
She co-founded the office of Crimson Architectural Historians in 1994, and has been the Director of the International New Town Institute (INTI) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, since 2008. Under her direction, INTI has grown into an internationally known center for education and research relating to New Towns.
Dr. Provoost is the head editor of the INTI publications. She teaches at various universities in the Netherlands and abroad and continues to be in great demand as a public speaker. She lectures regularly throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, and has been involved in many municipal, national and private committees and juries.

Aspern-Seestadt (Austria): Philipp Fleischmann
As a trained architect with specialisation in urbanism (TU Vienna and Universitá degli Studi di Genova), Philipp Fleischmann worked for several years in an architectural office, mainly concentrating on projects in the fields of housing and open space design. Subsequently, he joined the Department for Urban District Planning and Land Use of the City of Vienna. After dealing with other areas, he started to work intensively on the “Seestadt Aspern” development project in Viennas’ 22nd district in 2010. Today he is head of the section North 2 (22nd District) of the department as well as Target Area Coordinator for the “U2 Donaustadt” urban enlargement area.

Tatu City (Kenya): Preston Mendenhall
Preston Mendenhall is the Head of Corporate Affairs for Rendeavour, Africa’s largest urban developer building satellite cities on over 30,000 acres of urban growth land in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.
Prior to Rendeavour, Preston worked for six years as Vice President for Strategy and Director of Communications at Russian Standard Corporation, owner of the second largest vodka producer in the world and one of Russia’s leading private consumer banks. From 1993-2006, Preston worked for NBC News and MSNBC.com as a producer and correspondent, covering major news events during this period in Russia and the CIS, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the former Yugoslavia, Israel and Palestine, among other geographies.

Tema City (Ghana): Joseph A. Abbey
Joseph A. Abbey, Managing Director of Tema Development Corporation (TDC), has over 27 years experience in the real estate industry. He previously served as Operations Manager of Kmark Corporation, Illinois, USA, having served as a Research Analyst with Wheeler Realtors Incorporated, Wisconsin, USA. He holds a Masters Degree in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago, USA, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, USA, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Land Economy from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. He also took a Comonwealth Executive Programme in Public Management at the Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada. He is an Associate Member of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute, UK.

Ningo Prampram (Ghana): Markus Appenzeller
Markus Appenzeller is an urban planner and architect educated in Germany and in the US. With his practice MLA+ with offices in London, Rotterdam, Rio de Janeiro, St. Petersburg and Shanghai, he is involved in large scale planning projects as well as architecture commissions in Europe, Asia and South America. His particular interest lies in the design of development frameworks that capable of offering both – certainty where necessary and openness and adaptability where desired. Markus is a team member of one of the consultant teams of UN Habitat Labs, set up and supported by the UN organisation and the creative industries fund. In this capacity he works on the planned city extension for the Greater Accra Region of Ghana located in Ningo Prampram.

Kribi (Cameroon): Bart Brorens
Bart Brorens is an experienced project manager and senior consultant with Royal HaskoningDHV, a world wide active consultancy and engineering company. Bart is specialized in creating comprehensive sustainable master plans and management strategies for the development of regions, large urban and industrial cities/zones with related infrastructure. He worked on master plans for large scale developments, among which Kribi (Cameroon), Kanpur Modern City (India), Musandam Governorate (Oman), as well as on smaller scale developments in i.e. Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Mozambique and the Netherlands. He has a background in engineering as well as business strategy and organisation.
Strategic concept development is his passion: he tries to create master plans based on an analytical approach, leading to a clear vision and a realistic development strategy. Developing integrated solutions requires connecting experts and stakeholders in the field of urban planning, economy, environment, technical and legal issues, costs and financing.

Almere (the Netherlands): Franc Weerwind
Franciscus Max Weerwind was born in Amsterdam on September 22, 1964 and grew up in Nieuw-Vennep. He would study Management at the University of Leiden, where he also became a member of Minerva, the Netherlands’ largest student society. In 2000, he became warrant-manager of the city of Leiderdorp, to become the municipal secretary of the municipality of Wormerland one year after. In 2004, he was declared the new Mayor of Niedorp and in 2009 Franc Weerwind became Mayor of Velsen. On September 9, Weerwind became the Mayor of Almere.

DEBAAN/ROAM: Christine de Baan (Moderator)
Christine de Baan works as strategic advisor, curator, editor, and moderator at DEBAAN and is artistic director of ROAM, a foundation aiming to connect people and networks internationally to support the contribution of art and culture to society. ROAM has curated and organized exhibitions and conferences on sustainable urbanism in Beijing in 2015 and Cape Town in 2014. From 2008-2013, De Baan was executive director of the strategic internationalization programme ‘Dutch Design Fashion Architecture’, in China, India, and Turkey, funded by the Dutch ministries for Culture, Economy and Foreign Affairs. She was Head of Programme for the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (2004-2008), curator for the China Contemporary | Visual Culture exhibition in Rotterdam (2006), chair of the main advisory board of the National Dutch Arts Fund (2000-2004), and (is) a member or chair of various juries and boards.

Statement maker: Ute Schneider, Director KCAP, Zurich (Switzerland)
Ute Schneider, born 1966 in Waldshut (Germany), studied architecture at Technical University in Konstanz and the University in Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Delft. During her studies she worked for various German and Dutch architectural offices and in 1998 she founded the multidisciplinary office zipherspaceworks working on architecture urbanism & design. Ute is partner at KCAP and Director of the KCAP office in Zurich. In this position she is responsible for the management of the office and in charge of the coordination of KCAP Zurich’s projects spanning from architecture and urban planning to the design and development of masterplans and transformation strategies in various scales and context’s. Among a broad variety of projects there is a focus on transport oriented developments like the masterplan for Europaallee/Stadtraum HB, the scale study for the Airport Region Zürich and recently the Masterplan for the Airport City of Dublin. Next to her projects related work, Ute Schneider was involved in various exhibitions and publications of KCAP. She is member of several Aesthetic Advisory Boards.

Statement maker:Friedemann Römhild, Senior Urban Planner & Team Leader Royal HaskoninngDHV, The Netherlands
Friedemann is the team leader of the urban planners of Royal HaskoningDHV. After graduating with distinction at the Technical University of Berlin in 2000, he started his career at the leading architecture and urban design firms of KCAP and Mecanoo, where he was responsible for a series of international design competition wins. He joined Royal HaskoningDHV in 2009 and has since worked on a series of strategic projects worldwide, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Germany and the Netherlands. He currently holds the positions of design advisor for the metro system for Al Dammam and he is the lead master planner for the framework of Industrial City designs for the Saudi Industrial Property Authority. He is lecturing frequently on international conferences for smart city development and related topics; e.g. in India, Denmark, China and the Netherlands.

Statement maker: Maren Striker, Arcadis
Maren Striker (M.Sc Urban Planning, Hong Kong University) is an urban planner at Arcadis in London and is a specialist on large scale planning, strategic urban thinking and developing sustainable and liveable cities. He has worked on projects in China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe and believes that integrated planning and design can improve the quality of life. In China he was responsible for the delivery of vision, strategy and plan for multiple regeneration and new town projects. In this capacity he was involved with the Zunyi Masterplan – creating a safe, liveable and walkable community in a natural setting. Maren has driven from China to Holland in 2014 during an epic three months road trip, and wrote a book ‘Observations along the Road’ about urban development along the Silk Road – documenting the great cities he passed through and lessons learnt for new city development.

Statement maker:Mirjam Salet, Mayor of Spijkenisse, The Netherlands
The Mayor of Spijkenisse started her career as administrative assistant and a teacher at a secondary school. In 1981, she became councilor of the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid) and party chairman in 1981. Several years later she became alderman of the municipality of Gorinchem, where she would later on become deputy mayor, taking care of her portfolio including urban renewal, public housing, traffic, transport, environment and tourism. Before becoming the Mayor of Nissewaard, she was the Mayor of ‘s-Gravendeel, Hoogezand-Sappemeer and Spijkenisse. Next to her activities as being a Mayor, she has alo chaired several boards, varying from the Zuid-Hollandse Gemeenten to the organization of dancing event ‘Conny Jansen Danst’.

Floriade 2022 (the Netherlands): Jannewietske de Vries (speaker at the dinner Talks on June29)
Jannewietske de Vries is the former vice governor of the province of Friesland and the initiator of Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018. She is currently the CEO of Floriade Amsterdam Almere 2022. By starting now the green world of tomorrow, Floriade will show a deeply committed city growing into its healthy feeding, greening, energizing mission. By offering an inspiring platform for all kinds of green initiatives, Floriade requires new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of making. Through an open mind, and with a diversity of cultures and backgrounds, it offers a playground for those who believe in creating a world where people and nature are connected, where city and countryside are connected. Almere is the place, Floriade the entertaining living lab.

Province of Flevoland (the Netherlands): Leen(dert) Verbeek (speaker at the dinner Talks on June 29)
Leen(dert) Verbeek is Vice-President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLRAE), President of the Deltametropolis Association and President of the Supervisory Board of the National Data Warehouse for Traffic Information (NDW). Since 2010 he is also full member of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and Member of Monitoring Committee. He is the King’s Commissioner in the Province of Flevoland. Appointed by the King in 2008, he is both chairperson of the governing body (regional parliament) of the province of Flevoland and chairperson of the executive of the province. Since his position is politically neutral, he offers a general perspective on the policies of this regional government. In his role he visits towns and cities in his province in order to keep himself informed concerning local issues. He is a public figure who represents the province on public and/or official occasions. He represents Flevoland’s interests on a local, regional, national and international level.

International New Town Day
Program conference 30 June
Program tours 28-29 June
Practical Information
City Profiles
Side event | Seminar on Sustainable planning of New Towns, July 1