Ananda Weliwita

Human Settlements Officer, UN-HABITAT, Kenya

Ananda Weliwita is an economist in the Urban Economy Branch of UN-Habitat. He contributes to promoting local economic development strategies in developing countries’ cities and revenue-generating mechanisms for urban local authorities. He holds a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.

Claudio Acioly

Head, Capacity Development Unit, Housing & Urban Management Expert, UN-HABITAT

Claudio is an architect and urban planner, a development practitioner with 33 years of experience in more than 30 countries. From 2008-2012 he was UN-Habitat’s Chief of Housing Policy and coordinator of the UN Housing Rights Programme. He has worked as programme manager, practitioner, technical advisor, development consultant and training and capacity building expert in the field of housing, slum upgrading and urban management, working with governments, academic institutions, CSOs and CBOs and published widely on these themes. He is the author of UN-Habitat’s Practical Guide for Conducting Housing Profile and UN-Habitat’s strategy Street-led Citywide Slum Upgrading. He has worked as consultant to the World Bank and several UN agencies including UNDP, UNECE and bilateral organizations in countries including Moldova, Bulgaria, Armenia, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Mozambique. From 1993-2008 he was senior housing and land policy expert with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies and since 2004 he has been a fellow with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, USA coordinating programmes on informal land markets and informal settlement regularisation in Latin America.

Claudio Torres

Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. UN-Habitat

Claudio Torres is an architect and urban planner working for the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) at UN-Habitat. His prior work has taken him from the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to settlements in Somaliland and South Sudan where he has worked as an architect, planner and project manager.

David Bravo

Secretary of the Jury of the European Prize for Urban Public Space, Barcelona

David Bravo is an architect and secretary of the Jury of the European Prize for Urban Public Space with the Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture (CCCB). David directed the documentary Europe City" (2012) for Spanish public television (RTVE) on the validity of the European city model and curated "Piso Piloto" (2015), an exhibition on the right to housing and the right to the city, presented simultaneously at the CCCB and the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin (Colombia). He also collaborated on the publication of the book Europe City: Lessons from the European Prize for Urban Public Space (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015). He has taught for the Masters of City and Urban Planning at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), graduate studies of Art and Public Space at ELISAVA School of Design and the Masters of Architecture and Urban Culture Metropolis. He lectures and writes about cities and public space and is a regular contributor to the Revista Diagonal architecture magazine.

David Martineau

Associate Policy Officer, Multilateral Processes Division, International Organization for Migration (IOM).

David acts as a focal point on migration in the Sustainable Development Goals and works on issues related to migration and development more generally. David follows a number of multilateral processes dealing with migration including the follow-up to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Global Forum for Migration and Development and the 19th September Summit on large scale movements of refugees and migrants. In recent years, he studied and conducted research on migration and inclusion policies in Canada, Germany, Moldova, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Dennis Mumo Mwamati

Habitat III Secretariat

Dennis is an Urban development professional currently supporting the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in New York. Previously, Dennis worked as an Urban Planner and Architectural professional in various African countries and East Asia. He has a master degree in Human Settlements from KU Leuven, Belgium. He is well versed with urban development issues in Africa, Europe, Asia, as well as Latin and North America.

Dr. Ruud Kempener

IRENA’s technology roadmap analyst for renewable energy grid integration and energy storage.

Ruud Kempener is IRENA’s technology roadmap analyst for renewable energy grid integration and energy storage. Before joining IRENA, Ruud was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a postdoctoral fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, UK. Ruud received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney, Australia and holds an MSc in Technology and Society from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.

Dr. Vincent Kitio

Chief, UN-Habitat's Urban Energy Unit

Vincent Kitio is chief of UN-Habitat's Urban Energy Unit, and is mainstreaming Energy into UN-Habitat’s programmes and activities. An architect with a PhD in Appropriate Energy Technologies for Developing Countries from the University of Rome la "Sapienza", Dr. Kitio founded the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (ACREST) and was a lecturer in the Environmental Science of Building at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Edmundo Werna

Head of Unit at Sectoral Policies Dept. ILO

Eugenia García

Director of Urban Planning, SEDATU, Mexico

Eugenia is a landscape architect with a PhD in urban and environmental studies. Currently Director of Urban Planning at the Federal Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU) in Mexico City, she has taught for the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Masters in Development of Urban Projects at the Universidad Iberoamericana (IBERO). Eugenia graduated from El Colegio de Mexico (COLMEX) and holds a Masters in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Fabienne Perucca

Programme officer, Urban Legislation land and Governance Branch - UN-Habitat

Fabienne Perucca is currently developing normative work on urban governance in UN-Habitat headquarters. She previously worked for INGOs and bilateral cooperation on municipal management and service delivery field projects. She holds a Master in Political sciences and Urban studies from Sciences Po.

František Kubeš

Head, Urban Policy Unit, Czech Ministry of Regional Development

František Kubeš graduated from the University of Ostrava with a degree in Social Geography and Regional Development. He worked for the Brno City municipality for 8 years. We was involved in strategic planning process, several international projects incl. OP Central Europe or OP Urbact II. For the past two years he has been the Head of Urban Policy Unit at the Czech Ministry of Regional Development, which provides methodological guidance for ITI, Smart Cities and other relevant urban matters.

Hermida Carla

Teacher and researcher at the School of Architecture of the Universidad del Azuay

Ecuadorian. Architect from the University of Cuenca. Master in Architecture by the University of Kansas. PhD candidate in Architecture and Urban Studies of the Catholic University of Chile. The theme of her doctoral dissertation links mobility with urban planning, focusing on medium-sized cities. She is a teacher and researcher at the School of Architecture of the Universidad del Azuay in Cuenca since 2009. Throughout her professional life, she has had the opportunity to hold different public office positions such as Director of the Planning Department and Mobility Secretary in the municipality of Cuenca. She has lectured at international events and published on urban issues mainly related to mobility.

Joseph D’Cruz

Global Task Team Lead, Urbanization; Asia-Pacific Team Leader, Inclusive Growth, UNDP

Joseph (JD) D'Cruz leads a Global Task Team defining UNDP's support to sustainable urbanization under SDG Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda. In his spare time he leads UNDP's Asia-Pacific Regional Team on Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.

Juana Sotomayor

OHCHR, Geneva

Juana Sotomayor is a lawyer, working as Human Rights Officer at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR- Geneva). She has worked on economic, social and cultural rights for over 16 years. Currently she works with the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, having been supporting the housing mandate since 2014. She has also worked on the right to health and to water and sanitation in the past.

Kodjo Mensah

Policy Adviser for Local Governance Urbanization UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programming Support (BPPS) - UNDP

Policy Adviser for Local Governance Urbanization UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programming Support (BPPS) Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa is Policy Adviser for Local Governance and Urbanization UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programming Support (BPPS) in New York. He joined BDP in March 2012 from his former position as the Deputy Head of Southern and Eastern Africa and the Senior Regional Technical Adviser for Local Development for UNCDF, a position he had held since 2007. Prior to joining UNCDF, Kodjo was a Senior Adviser for the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in charge of Responsible & Accountable Local Governance in Accra, leading a team of experts on the development of the “Local Governance Barometer for Africa” from 2005 to 2007. Between 2001 and 2005, he took up the challenging assignment of providing technical leadership for the Ghana Poverty Reduction Project as the Deputy Executive Director and later as the Acting Executive Director. He among others led the process for the development, implementation and reporting on the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy under the National Development Planning Commission. Kodjo also spent a number of years of his professional life in the academia, where from 1994 to 1999 he lectured and carried out research activities in Finance, Planning and Budgeting and Local Governance at the University of Dortmund and also coordinated programme activities under the Spatial Planning for Growing Regions (SPRING) Programme. Prior to the position in Dortmund he was a faculty member of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana lecturing and researching in Development Governance and Spatial Planning. In the early part of his career, 1988 to 1990, he had a sting with the National Catholic Secretariat in Ghana as national project coordination for Youth Development and continued in 1991 until 1993 as the Project Coordinator for the Integrated District Development Project which piloted the Decentralization Programme in Ghana, funded by UNDP, WB and SNV. Kodjo thus has very practical field experience, academic and research experience as well as policy advisory and programme management experience in Development Planning and Local Governance. He holds a BSc. in Development Planning and Master in Public Administration from University of Ghana, Legon, and Masters District Development planning and a PhD in Development Management from Faculty of Spatial Planning University of Dortmund, Germany in 1999. He is an ardent writer with 13 refereed and ISBN registered publications and several papers on Decentralization, Urban Planning and Public Financial Management.

Kulwant Singh

Regional Advisor - UN-Habitat

Working with the UBS Branch of UN-Habitat since 2004. Prior to that Director of a National Institute called Human Settlement Management Institute from 1992-2003. Has been a visiting faculty to IHS and IHE Institutes in the Netherlands for nearly a decade.

Laura Petrella

Leader, City Planning, Extension & Design Unit, UN-Habitat, Nairobi

Laura has led UN-Habitat's City Planning, Extension and Design Unit since 2012, where she supervises the Urban Planning LAB, the Public Space Programme and Capacity Development activities in Urban Planning in over 50 countries countries. An architect and urban planner trained at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia IUAV, Italy, she has a wide range of experience in urban development work, capacity development for local authorities and managing local planning processes. Before joining UN-Habitat's Slum Upgrading Programme in 1995, she worked in Colombia, Niger and the Venice Lagoon. At UN-Habitat she has worked on urban poverty and slum upgrading and was in charge of UN-Habitat’s Safer Cities Programme from 2001 to 2010. Since 2010 she has led city-level urban planning work, where she has been developing UN-Habitat's urban planning content and activities in partnership with stakeholders at global and country level.

Lilia M. Blades

Human Settlements Officer, UN Habitat, Nairobi

Lilia is a Bolivian architect and spatial planner with more than 10 years' experience in Asia, South America and Africa. She currently manages UN-Habitat training courses in Asia, Europe and Latin America and is the focal point for the partnership between UN-Habitat and universities worldwide. She was an advisor on territorial planning at the municipal government of La Paz and has also worked in NGOs and in the UN in spatial planning, housing, sustainable construction, climate change adaptation and sustainable urban mobility. She was a lecturer in spatial planning in her home country and currently trains urban practitioners in planning tools for climate change. Lilia holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture, with specialization in Urban Planning from the Bolivian Catholic University of San Pablo, and a Master's in Spatial Planning and Management for Growing Economies from Dortmund University, Germany and the University of the Philippines. She has additional training in Safe and Resilient Cities, Sustainable Design and Planning, Sustainable Transport and e-learning methodologies.

Lydia Gény

International Human Rights Specialist, UN OHCHR, Geneva

Lydia currently works at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva where she supports the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons. She previously worked in São Paulo and Cuiabá in Brazil on issues related to forced eviction and justice. She is a graduate from Sciences Po Paris and holds a LLM in Human Rights Law from the University of Nottingham (UK).

Marco Kamiya


Marco Kamiya, is Leader of the Urban Economy and Municipal Finance Unit at UN HABITAT headquarters in Kenya. He works globally on urban economy and finance. He was principal specialist at CAF, Development Bank for Latin America with the department of Public Policy and Competitiveness; Senior Japan Trust Fund Consultant on Innovation and Competitiveness at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC, and Director of International Projects with Development Banks at PADECO Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan. He studied Economics in Lima and Tokyo, and International Development at Harvard University. He is co-author of UN-HABITAT’s World Cities Report 2015/2016.

Marcus Mayr

Urban Planner, Climate Change Planning Unit, UN-Habitat

Marcus is an urban planner supporting UN-Habitat's Climate Change Planning Unit. Previously, Marcus supported urban development in various position in Africa and Latin America.

Melissa Permezel

UN Habitat, Nairobi

Melissa Permezel is an urban geographer and is currently working as a policy and tool advisor in the slum upgrading Unit of UN-Habitat.

Minerva Novero-Belec

Policy Specialist for Local Governance and Urbanization at UNDP's Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), New York

Prior to this post, she was Policy Specialist for e-Governance, Access to Information and ICT for Development at UNDP’s policy headquarters. She manages and coordinates UNDP’s role as permanent vice-chair of the UN Group on Information Society (UNGIS, which co-convenes the annual forum of the World Summit on the Information Society); and UNDP’s engagement in various multilateral efforts such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP; serving as UNDP focal point for the OGP Working Group on Access to Information) and Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. She is member of the UNDP Task Team that is part of the United Nations Task Team for Habitat III.

Orli Ronen

Head, Urban Innovation and Sustainability Lab, Porter School for Environmental and Social Studies, Tel Aviv University

The Lab is a cooperation between the Porter school and Tel Aviv Municipality, enabling graduate students to work directly with policy actors in local authorities, helping them use environmental data to devise new sustainability programs and policies for their local area. Previously, she headed the Heschel Center for Sustainability, one of Israel's leading environmental and social NGO's. She founded the Heschel Center's Local Sustainability Center, a joint project with the Porter School, the Ministry of the Environment and ICLEI. . Orli research and policy interests included sustainable and smart urban communities, climate resiliency and expansion of local democratic mechanisms. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from Tel Aviv University and a Master's Degree in Public Administration as well as a Master's in Business Administration. She is the 2009 recipient of the Green Globe for Local Sustainability.

Philippe Rivet

Research Consultant, Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC)

Philippe Rivet joined the team of CMM’s Policy and development interventions unit in 2006. He is in charge of the Greater Montreal Observatory, which broadcasts various data and publications on the development of Greater Montreal. Research specialist related to metropolization and development of metropolitan areas, he is involved in the monitoring activities of the CMM and he is in charge of monitoring the implementation of the PMAD, the Metropolitan Land Use and Development Plan of the Greater Montréal.

Pireh Otieno

Human Settlements Officer, Urban Basic Services Branch - UN-Habitat

Pireh currently works on governance and citizen engagement in the provision of urban basic services. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Studies from the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, The University of Nairobi.

Sebastian Lange

Urban Planner, City Planning, Extension and Design Unit - UN-Habitat

Sebastian was trained in Environmental and Resource Management (B.Sc., BTU Cottbus, Germany) and in Town and Regional Planning (M.Sc. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa). He has worked in both, the public and the private sector in the field of urban environmental management and planning, urban basic service provision and urban energy in Europe, Africa and South-East Asia. In 2009 he joint UN-Habitat as an Urban Energy Specialist. Since 2014, he is with the agency’s Urban Planning and Design Branch as the task manager for the project "Rapid Planning - Sustainable Infrastructure, Environmental and Resource Management for Highly Dynamic Metropolises".

Seongho Kim


In 2014, Seongho Kim, from South Korea, joined UN-Habitat and is working with Urban Planning and Design Branch as a senior advisor. He previously worked for Korean government in the various fields of large-scale housing and new town development, environment-friendly urban management and urban infrastructure development. He earned a Master in urban planning from the University of Illinois.

Slaven Razmilic

Researcher, Centro de Estudios Publicos, Chile

Researcher at Centro de Estudios Publicos (Center of Public Studies), a Chilean think tank where he specializes in housing policy, urban regulations, decentralization and local public finance, Slaven is an economist from Universidad Catolica de Chile and Master in Urban Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge US. He has held research positions in the Chilean Ministry of Finance, as well as in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and in the Chilean Chamber of Construction. This experience has allowed him to participate in the design, implementation and execution of a wide variety of housing and urban policies, contributing at different stages from diverse and complementary perspectives.

Stefan Köhler

Head, Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience Programme, UNOPS, Copenhagen

Stefan is responsible for the Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience Program in UNOPS, the UN’s central resource in civil works and physical infrastructure. A Principal Engineer with an educational background in Geotechnical Engineering, Law and Business Economics, throughout his career with the private and public sector he worked across multiple continents. His work included the role of CEO of a Development Trust delivering education infrastructure to remote and rural communities in South Africa, as well as managing installation of power, water, ICT and waste water infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific and Europe.

Steven Crosskey

Head of Infrastructure & Project Management Strategic Positioning, UNOPS, Copenhagen

Steve is a Civil Engineer with over 23 years of experience in the Civil Engineering industry, within both the private and development sectors. Steve has worked primarily in East Africa, engaged in the planning and management of projects involving housing development in urban settings, roads, bridges, airstrips, water retention and drainage structures, de-mining, and more. Steve works with UNOPS, the UN’s central resource in civil works and physical infrastructure.