Meet the Speakers

Meet the Speakers

Dr. Sahar Attia
Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo Universit

Dr. Sahar Attia, is an Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University where she served as chair of the Department of Architecture 2013-2017. She has more than 40 years of extensive experience in academia, research, and practice.
She is a member in the Board of Directors of Ecocity Builders, a member of the Stakeholders Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE)- UN-Habitat, and she also chairs the steering committee for the Universities Network Initiative UN-Habitat (UNI); She contributes as a member of the board of editors in several International Journals.
She is the Co-Editor of “Dynamics and Resilience of Informal Areas: International Perspectives”, 2016, New Cities and Community Extensions in Egypt and the Middle East, 2018, and “Cultural Sustainable Tourism”, 2019, all three published by Springer.

Dr. Sahar Attia
Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo Universit
André Confiado
Associate Programme Officer, Cities Unit of the Economy Division of the UN Environment Programme

André Confiado is an Associate Programme Officer for the Cities Unit of the Economy Division of the UN Environment Programme. He supports the Unit’s work on operationalizing urban metabolism and circular economy at the city-level. He also supports the coordination of partnerships and joint resource mobilization on sustainable urbanization for UNEP.
He has previously worked in operational logistics and project management in the fields of post-disaster recovery, human rights, and open data for development.
André holds a Master of Public Affairs from Sciences Po Paris (the Paris Institute for Political Studies). In his spare time, André enjoys playing basketball, cooking, and loves discovering new places.

André Confiado
Associate Programme Officer, Cities Unit of the Economy Division of the UN Environment Programme
Prof. Dr. ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen
Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability TU Delft, Chairperson SASBE2021

I work in the field of sustainable buildings and sustainable energy systems, as well as climate adaptation: anticipating predicted changes in the climate. We conduct research and translate solutions into actions and new concepts. We also look for and find new relationships where none existed before.
The Climate Design & Sustainability chair has close links with the technical aspect of Architecture. Our research focuses on sustainable energy systems and climate adaptation, but we also design and create new and specific products.

Prof. Dr. ir. Andy van den Dobbelsteen
Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability TU Delft, Chairperson SASBE2021
Russel Galt
Head, IUCN’s Urban Alliance

Russell Galt is an ecologist and Head of IUCN’s Urban Alliance – a broad coalition of IUCN constituents working towards greener cities. He considers access to a clean, safe and wildlife-rich environment to be a human right that requires special attention in urban areas. From Brussels, Cape Town, Nairobi and Edinburgh, he has spent the past decade working internationally for IUCN, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme. He holds an LLM in Natural Resources Law from the University of Dundee and a BSc (Hons) in Ecological Science from the University of Edinburgh.

Russel Galt
Head, IUCN’s Urban Alliance
Sharon Gil
Programme Officer, UNEP’s Paris Office

Sharon Gil is a programme officer in UNEP’s Paris Office and leads the work on circular economy in cities. She is a strong advocate for a just transition to a circular economy. She also coordinates partnerships and joint resource mobilization on sustainable urbanization for UNEP.
An urban planner by profession, Sharon started her career in sustainable urban development in the late 90s, as a technical expert on the award-winning UNDP Private Sector Participation in Managing the Environment (PRIME) Project which has the distinction of being one of the first eco-industrial initiatives in Asia. She continued to develop her expertise in sustainable urbanization by rehabilitating old urban areas in Hong Kong with a private architecture and planning firm. Moving back to the development sector, she was instrumental in conceptualizing and implementing the first multi-hazard mapping project focused in coastal cities in the Philippines, bringing together scientists in different fields and linking them with local government actors. She also worked for over a year as Planning Advisor in Zambia where she focused on capacity building on land distribution and gender equality. Sharon joined UNEP in 2012 to manage a project on mainstreaming environment issues in city planning and management.
Sharon has a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University New York’s School of International and Public Affairs. She studied urban planning at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture as a Japan/ADB fellow.

Sharon Gil
Programme Officer, UNEP’s Paris Office
Dr. Katharina Hölscher
Senior Researcher on Climate Governance, Cities and Sustainability Transitions, Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT) with Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. Katharina Hölscher is a Senior Researcher on climate governance, cities and sustainability transitions at the Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT) with Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She is involved in research projects with research institutes across Europe and India with a focus on climate governance and resilience in cities, citizen science, infrastructure innovation and transition management. Katharina has published on climate governance, transformation research and urban transitions and edited a book on transition management in cities.

Dr. Katharina Hölscher
Senior Researcher on Climate Governance, Cities and Sustainability Transitions, Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT) with Erasmus University Rotterdam
Prof. Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia & Nature - Based Solutions Institute

Cecil's research, teaching, and advisory work focus on the role of trees and other vegetation in urban areas. His key interests include implementing the concept of urban forestry, governance and planning aspects, and in the social and cultural importance of urban nature. After having lived and worked in his native the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, Hong Kong, and Canada, Cecil recently moved to Barcelona to co-lead the new Nature-Based Solutions Institute. Cecil has (co-)authored books such as 'The Forest and the City: the cultural landscape of urban woodland' and the Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry'. He was founding editor of the journal 'Urban Forestry & Urban Greening' and is Editor for the Springer Future City book series.

Prof. Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia & Nature - Based Solutions Institute
Jip Louwe Kooijmans
Team Leader, BirdLife in the Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland)

Jip Louwe Kooijmans works at BirdLife in the Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland). He is team leader for the national program on urban bird conservation. Published several books and reports on birds, including:
- Stadsvogels (handbook on urban bird conservation), 2009
- State of the urban birds, 2009 & 2013
- Stadsvogels in hun domein (urban bird benchmark) 2014

Jip Louwe Kooijmans
Team Leader, BirdLife in the Netherlands (Vogelbescherming Nederland)
Kirstin Miller
Executive Director, Ecocity Builders

Kirstin Miller is Executive Director for Ecocity Builders, where she leads their program development, global initiatives and activities. Kirstin works locally and internationally to help cities access ecocity knowledge. She coordinates the development of the organization’s “toolbox” of strategies, such as car-free by contract housing, environmental restoration transfer of development rights, centers oriented development, ecological demonstration projects and ecological zoning overlay mapping. Kirstin specializes in integrating city-based experiences from a diverse range of perspectives. She is an international speaker and presenter on ecocity design, technology, development and citizen participation.

Kirstin Miller
Executive Director, Ecocity Builders
Dr. Steffen Nijhuis
Head of Landscape Architecture, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Dr. Steffen Nijhuis is Head of Landscape Architecture Research and Associate Professor Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). As an awarded academic he has expertise in landscape-based regional design strategies for sustainable urban development, adaptive design and resilient coastal landscapes, designed heritage landscapes and gardens, GIS-applications in landscape planning and design, and visual landscape assessment. Next to being Advisor to international NGO’s, governmental and regional authorities he is Board member of the Department of Urbanism, TU Delft and Dutch School of Landscape Architecture (DSL), he is also member of several scientific committees and review boards. He is Editor in Chief of the Research in Urbanism Series (RiUS), Editor of Urban Design and Planning, Editor of Bulletin KNOB (Royal Netherlands Society for Architecture, Urban and Landscape Heritage). He coordinates methodology courses and is supervisor of PhD, post-MSc and MSc graduation projects. Furthermore he is Visiting Professor and Guest Lecturer at Universities in Europe, Asia and North-America.

Dr. Steffen Nijhuis
Head of Landscape Architecture, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Maarten Nypels
PHD Researcher, DRIFT

Maarten Nypels
PHD Researcher, DRIFT
Dr. ir. Rob Roggema
Landscape Architect and Professor of Spatial Transformations, ‘NoorderRuimte’, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, the Netherlands

Dr. ir. Rob Roggema is Landscape Architect and Professor of Spatial Transformations at ‘NoorderRuimte’, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, the Netherlands, and distinguished visiting professor at Western Sydney University. Between 2010 and 2013 he resided in Melbourne as the inaugural visiting research fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, University of Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne University. From 2014 to 2016 he was appointed as Professor of Design for Urban Agriculture at VHL University and between 2016 and 2018 he was Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments at the University of Technology Sydney. Before 2010 he worked for the province of Groningen and municipalities such as Almere, Breda and Rotterdam. Rob is currently series editor of ‘Contemporary Urban Design Thinking’ (Springer).

Dr. ir. Rob Roggema
Landscape Architect and Professor of Spatial Transformations, ‘NoorderRuimte’, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen, the Netherlands
Bertram de Rooij
Landscape Architect and Senior Researcher, Wageningen Environmental Research

Bertram de Rooij –MSc (1978) is a SBA registered landscape architect and senior researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen University and Research). He holds a master degree in Environmental Planning & Design with the specialisation in Landscape Architecture (Wageningen University, 2001) and subsidiaries in Urban Planning (Eindhoven University of Technology. He relies on 20 years of practical experience as landscape architect in consultancy and design agencies and almost 10 years as Head of Design at the Dutch Government Service for Land and Water management. In 2002 he was nominated for the Archiprix and in 2011 he won, together with OKRA landscape architects the Green Cube Russian National Award on Landscape architecture 2011 (cat. Public conceptual) for a plan on green circular solutions in Brateevo (Moscow).
Since 2014, he works at Wageningen Environmental Research on broad variety of assignments, in numerous areas and themes with a focus on climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and metropolitan solutions in a broader and integrative planning perspective. He is committed to tackle challenges together with partners and stakeholders at all levels, by exploring and discovering together the most suitable approaches, solutions and strategies to address and respond. Besides, he lectures in landscape architecture and climate change adaptation. Considering almost all societal challenges come together in the same spatial context, the landscape, his work focuses on creating enabling environments at different scales. Combining a thorough understanding and relevant in-depth knowledge, with a holistic and often highly interactive and creative approach, he brings in new integrated perspectives, but most of all clear guidelines and practical planning and design solutions. Working together on vibrant and resilient landscapes. The heart of his approach is to connect, to innovate and to inspire; creating common understanding, building bridges and visualizing envisioned futures; cross boundary and cross-disciplinary.
His recent work focuses on city region food systems, exploring potential green risks and risk reduction in and around cities and -last but not least- the long term perspective ‘A nature-based future for the Netherlands in 2120’. This perspective won broad support and fuelled discussions at all levels and communities. Of course, also in this envisioned future green cities play a vital role! Currently, he is also part of a team of Wageningen University and Research and the University of the District of Colombia that runs as semi-finalist for the Rockefeller Food System Vision Price with their integrated vision ‘Food Connects 2050’ , which integrate different aspects of green and inclusive cities and a regional perspective.
Wageningen Environmental Research is one of the leading applied research institutes for the green living environment and part of Wageningen University and Research. Wageningen University and Research has set the ambition to “explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Wageningen Environmental Research offers a combination of practical, innovative and interdisciplinary scientific research across many disciplines related to the green world around us and the sustainable use of our living environment. Within our institute two relevant programs focus on Green Cities, the Green Cities programme and Green Climate Solutions. Green Cities focuses on understanding and applying a nature-based approach in urban areas from different areas of interest: feeding cities, healthy cities, smart cities and climate adaptive, resilient and circular cities. This links to Green Climate Solutions in which we contribute to climate action by studying the impact of climate change and co-create evidence based solutions for mitigation and adaptation. Bertram is actively involved in both programs and related applied projects and fundamental research.

Bertram de Rooij
Landscape Architect and Senior Researcher, Wageningen Environmental Research
Marco Roos
Member of the Scientific Staff, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre

Marco Roos is member of the scientific staff of Naturalis Biodiversity Centre. Trained as a tropical botanist and pteridologist, his field of expertise is now Dutch flora and Urban biodiversity. He is also affiliated to Leiden University as examiner Biology and coordinator of the curriculum on Urban ecology. His main interests at the moment are urban ecological networks and floristics, and spontaneous vegetation processes in urban areas.

Marco Roos
Member of the Scientific Staff, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre
Dr. ir. Nico Tillie
Chairperson Ecocity 2021 Urban Ecology & Ecocities Lab at Landscape Architecture department of Urbanism, faculty of Architecture and the built environment TU Delft, The Netherlands

Dr. ir. Nico Tillie holds a PhD in synergetic urban landscape planning from Delft University of Technology (TUDelft) in the Netherlands where he is a research fellow Urban Ecology and a professor in the section of Landscape Architecture.
He leads the Urban Ecology & Ecocities joint graduation lab (UECL) between Landscape Architecture, Urbanism & Architecture.
In recent years, he has worked on a combination of issues ranging from energy transition, low carbon cities, climate change, urban agriculture to biodiversity. He has two master degrees from Wageningen University, in Landscape Architecture as well as in plant breeding & plant taxonomy which he finished in the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
He has worked for over 14 years for the city of Rotterdam where he was among other things responsible for the Museum Park planting design, the Rotterdam energy approach planning 2009 (REAP), public space & urban green plan, the EU projects (MUSIC) and two entries of the International Architecture Biennale – people make the inner city 2012 and the urban metabolism vision 2014.
Till recently he was in the advisory board of the sustainable development site of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and is currently in the scientific Board of NL Greenlabel. He is also vice president of the World Council on City Data and Senior Fellow of the Global Cities Institute of the University of Toronto in Canada.
He has written numerous scientific publications, book chapters and is author of several books. In the past years, he has lectured in over 30 countries and advised, local and national governments, the World Bank, African Development Bank and UN bodies.
He will be the conference chair of the 2021 Ecocities World Summit in Rotterdam on sustainable cities.

Dr. ir. Nico Tillie
Chairperson Ecocity 2021 Urban Ecology & Ecocities Lab at Landscape Architecture department of Urbanism, faculty of Architecture and the built environment TU Delft, The Netherlands