Bike, Run and Walkshops

Bike, run and Walk shops are a 3,5 hours exploration of Brussels combined with a debate or workshop on the topic of the visit. 

We want to share with participants some local projects and urban policies in action by taking you through Brussels' fields and discussing urban agro-agricultural projects, along the canal to grasp the reality of urban productive activities, talk about housing and creating new neighbourhoods… So, put on some comfortable shoes and come walk, cycle and even run with us to discover more about what a healthy city means for Brussels!

For the bike-shop, a good physical condition is required as well as the ability to bicycle in an urban environment (Brussels is not hilly but not flat either and the dense automobile traffic can be impressive if you are not used to it). Bikes do not have electrical assistance. 

To register, you must LOG IN to your account first and reserve your slots here. Please select up to one of the parallel bike, rund and walkshops only.

Walkshop 1 - number of places: 30
Contemporary social infrastructure in Brussels (North)

14:00 – 15:30 Visit. Guide: Geoffrey Grulois, Professor of Urbanism, Université libre de Bruxelles

This visit around the neighbourhoods located between the canal and the railway line 28 is intended to understand the incremental process of urban revitalization and social infrastructure development over the last 20 years. These neighbourhoods at the border of Molenbeek and Laeken have suffered desindustrialization since the 1960s. They are also a site for newcomers and migration in Brussels. These neighbourhoods are among the most fragile of Brussels in terms of employment rate, income, and health. The visit will start in quartier Maritime with L28 park, Parkfarm, Mado Bruxelles Nord, Drootbeek school, Be-Here and the temporary occupation of Allée du Kaai.   


Social infrastructures for resilient cities (T&T)   
16:00 – 17:30 Panel. Moderator: Geoffrey Grulois, Professor of Urbanism, Université libre de Bruxelles (urbanist)

Recent research has highlighted the importance of social infrastructure and community life for the resilience of neighbourhoods facing environmental and health crises. This panel is to highlight the role of social infrastructure for healthy and resilient cities. It will address the challenges of coproducing inclusive social infrastructure in contemporary cities. The panel will gather academics from Metrolab with local stakeholder and international experts working on this thematic. The panel will follow a visit exploring contemporary social infrastructure produced in the North of Brussels. 

Geoffrey Grulois is Professor of Urbanism and coordinator of LoUIsE – Laboratory on Landscape, Urbanism, Infrastructure and Ecologies at the Faculty of Architecture of Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). 
He graduated as a Master from the University of Tokyo and as a PhD in urbanism from the Université libre de Bruxelles. His teaching and research explore urbanism and urban production at the intersection of environmental and social stakes. He is currently a co-coordinator of Metrolab.Brussels transdisciplinary laboratory for critical urban research (ERDF) and the academic coordinator of the Advanced Master in transition urbanism of ULB.

Geoffrey Grulois

Mathieu Berger, Professor of Sociology, Université Catholique de Louvain 
Mathieu Berger is a researcher and professor of sociology at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). He teaches urban sociology, theories of power, and qualitative research methods, among other subjects. His research focuses both on theories of democratic public spaces and political participation, and on social aspects of city planning and urban policies in Europe and the US. 

Mathieu Berger

Louise Carlier, Postdoc Researcher in Sociology, Université Catholique de Louvain 
Louise Carlier is a researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). Her  research focuses on the relations of coexistence in the city, and on the urban inclusion of  newcomers. She also teaches urban sociology at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

Louise Carlier

Maria Chiara Tosi, Full Professor in Urban Design,  Università Iuav di Venezia
Maria Chiara Tosi, PhD in Urbanism, is Full Professor in Urban Design at Iuav University of Venice where she is also the Director of the School of Doctorate Studies.
She has been part of numerous national and international research projects on the study of the evolution of urban settlements. She has been the scientific coordinator of the Interreg Project CREW (Coordinated Wetland management in Italy-Croatia cross border region), and partner in the Interreg project DIVA (Development of ecosystems and value chains of innovation: support cross-border innovation through Creative Industries), and in the H2020 project CITIES 2030 Co-creating resIlient and susTaInable food systEms towardS FOOD2030 also funded by the European Commission. She is Iuav representative in Venice International University Academic Council, has been Expert for the Panel "Science and Technology of Constructions and the Built Environment" at the Research Foundation Flanders FWO-Belgium, and currently responsible for the Double Degree in Architecture with the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University.

Maria Chiara Tosi

Bie Vancraeynest is coordinator of Vzw Toestand, an organisation that reactivates vacant or forgotten buildings into temporary and autonomous sociocultural centres. Previously, she was coordinator of arts festival Enter Brussels 2018.

Bie Vancraeynest

Walkshop 2 - number of places: 40

Producing affordable housing

Part 1: Discussion
As an introduction to the visit, a discussion will be organised around the issue of affordable housing production in Brussels. 
This discussion will bring together public and private actors and will allow them to discuss this topic and in particular to explain the way they intend to approach this type of housing. 

Benoit Moritz is an architect and urban planner.
Through his activities at MSA, Benoit Moritz participated in the development of numerous urban planning projects in Brussels and Wallonia (Charleroi, Seraing, Liège, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, reconstruction of the Vesdre valley). He has developed teaching and research activities at the Faculty of Architecture (ULB), where he coordinates the Master of Specialisation in territorial management and urban development Auguste Cador (ULB/UMons, Charleroi). He is also co-coordinator of the interdisciplinary research centre Metrolab.Brussels. Benoit Moritz is the author of numerous articles on urban planning and public space. Since 2017, he is a member of the "Classe des Arts" of the Royal Academy of Belgium.
Benoit Moritz
Antoine de Borman, CEO of
CEO of, a multidisciplinary centre of expertise that provides the Brussels Region with the necessary knowledge to prepare its future and evidence based policies. Through its rigorous and relevant analyses, nourishes public authorities' reflections as well as public debate. Antoine de Borman has a degree in economics and political science. He has been involved in Brussels policy since 2010 trough different functions, notably as a Chairman of the Board of Bruxelles Formation and of
Antoine de Borman

Benjamin Cadranel  is the CEO of

Benjamin Cadranel was born in Brussels on 12 September 1974, where he resides today. He obtained his law degree from ULB in 1998 and was a constitutional law teaching assistant from 2002 to 2015. He joined Brussels Minister-President Charles Picqué's office in 2004, and became chef de cabinet in 2007. Since 2013, he has been the CEO of, which specializes in developing mixed-use, sustainable urban projects, integrating production activities into the urban fabric, and producing affordable housing.

Benjamin Cadranel
Emilie Rousseaux is the CEO of Belgian Land

Emilie Rousseaux is the CEO of Belgian Land. Emilie has started the activities of the development fund Belgian Land in 2013, pursuant to the capital investment of almost 55 million euro through private placement. Belgian land focuses on the development of affordable housing in Belgium. Projects of interest are those targeting a population with average purchasing power in the large cities. She is involved in the management of the real estate development processes as from the acquisition of pieces of land, the design and the planning permission process to the construction and the completion. In her role of CEO and President of the management committee, Emilie developed a large network in the development sector including public authorities. 

Prior to joining Belgian Land, Emilie worked for 2 years at Home Invest (Belgian REIT developing for its own purpose and previously for 7 years at Knight Frank (consultancy to developers). 

Emilie Rousseaux
Nicolas Dassonville is the COO of Vicinity.
Nicolas was born in Brussels in 1982. He obtained a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in political science at the ULB. He worked for 7 years as spokesman for the Mayor of the City of Brussels and then for 9 years at the Université libre de Bruxelles, first as deputy director of the communication service and then as chief of staff of the Rector. In 2022, he became COO of Vicinity, an impact fund focused on affordable housing and which currently owns and manages 250 housing units. 
Nicolas Dassonville

Part 2: Visit: 

Discovering the CityGate programme: 130,000m² of functional and social diversity at the entrance of the city

Guide: Benjamin Cadranel, CEO
CityGate is a vast and complex programme over a total area of more than 130,000m² in the Cureghem district of Anderlecht. It is divided into three projects, CityGate I, CityGate II and CityGate III, each with its own identity. In a few years' time, housing, childcare facilities, schools, workshops, commercial spaces, green spaces, a social and health centre and multi-purpose spaces will be combined to offer its future residents an exemplary quality of life.
During this visit, you will discover the completed projects of the programme, those under construction and finally those under development which, while awaiting their reconversion, house an activity that is just as important for the city: temporary use.
Welcome to the proximity city of tomorrow!

Benjamin Cadranel is the CEO of

Benjamin Cadranel

Walkshop 3 - number of places: 25

Part 1: Visit "Mobility in central neighbourhoods: how to make public space accessible to all"

Guides: Gordana Micic, Head of Art & Architecture office at Brussels Mobility & STIB, Belgium.
Mathias de Meyer, Brussels Mobility
Livia de Bethune, architecte- urban planner, MULTIPLE architecture & urbanism, Brussels

The visit will start at Tour & Taxis and leading to the multimodal hub of Brussels North Station, to the "Boulevards" and the " Pietonnier" pedestrian area. The guides will explain the strategy of the urban project and discussion the advantages and challenges of a pedestrian city with participants (e.g. access to multimodality, culture, urban activities, shops, economy and other important elements for health & well-being for all).

Gordana Micic is the Head of the Art & Architecture office at Brussels Mobility & STIB, Belgium. Specialised in the design of urban public space and holder of several Awards, she is the Vice-Chair of the committee Design & Culture of UITP and university lecturer at UCLouvain. She is also active with EUPHA and ACUUS, as well as in different public Art commissions.

Her professional activity & postdoctoral research contributes to this general challenge by studying the role of Brussels infrastructure in relation to the structuring, shaping, and animation of the city's public spaces. She approaches this challenge from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining the points of view of the architect, the artist, the urban planner and the engineer, in order to examine the urban design project in its multidimensionality and multiscalarity. She raises the question of the involvement of users in the construction of a wide range of public services for plural mobility in a city undergoing ecological and socio-cultural change for well-being of all.

Gordana Micic

Mathieu Nicaise, Strategy & Innovation Senior Officer, STIB-MIVB

Mathieu Nicaise is a passionate transport engineer, keen to explore new trends and striving for a more sustainable mobility for people and goods. He's been working for more than 15 years on the whole spectrum of transport planning projects. He currently has the opportunity to combine 2 jobs: on one hand he is working at STIB-MIVB (Brussels' public transport operator) as a strategy and innovation officer, and on the other hand he is a freelancer consultant in freight transport. In both positions he seeks to combine a global vision with excellent tactical skills and in-depth technical understanding. Commitment, mobilization, innovation and collaborative approach are also part of his guidelines.

Mathieu Nicaise
Livia de Bethune, architect, urban planner, partner at MULTIPLE Livia de Bethune, architect, urban-planner, MSc in conservation, has a practice in architecture and urban design, MULTIPLE architecture & urbanism in Brussels and is lecturer at the faculty of architecture, Sint Lucas, KU Leuven, since 1994. She developed an expertise on architecture with a special focus on urban design and infrastructure during her architectural career at SumProject and MULTIPLE. She was responsible for several urban design projects at SumProject; for instance two new tramlines in Brussels, the central boulevards of Brussels, the surroundings of the Leie and College bridge in Kortrijk, the design of the surroundings of Chaude Rivière at Euralille,… At MULTIPLE, she coordinates projects such as the Park Browning at Herstal, an art and care park in the north of Antwerp, the neighborhood of Nekkernova in Mechelen, the requalification of the banks of the Somme in Amiens, the masterplan for the yacht harbor of Brussels, the requalification of the public space of the Atheneum quarter in Ixelles, ...
Livia de Bethune
Mathias De Meyer is the principal Manager of the Organizing Authority for Mobility (universal accessibility) at Brussels Regional Public Service - Brussels Mobility.   
Mathias De Meyer

Part 2: round table "Inclusive Public Transport and Public Space" 

The roundtable will be organised in two different times. We will first have two short presentations from Yo Kaminagai of the RATP and Gordana Micic from Brussels-Mobility. Then, the three other intervenants will join the conversation and have the opportunity to present in 5' what challenges around inclusiveness they are facing and the solutions implemented or envisioned, before the more general discussion. I propose you illustrate your pitch with one picture that will be projected. 

The general discussion will concentrate on two questions:

  • What are the current issues in the articulation between public transport and public space ?
  • What would be the twist to implement in urban design and urban planning for more inclusive public space and public transport ?

1. Short presentations

  • Yo Kaminagai, RATP Département maîtrise d'ouvrage, 15': How French tramification and the Grand Paris infrastructural project contribute to qualitative public space
  • Gordana Micic, Bruxelles Mobility, 15': Public transport infrastructure as public space

2. Discussion

Yo Kaminagai and Gordana Micic will be joined for the general discussion by

  • Robert Fontaine, STIB Manager Corporate Planning, Reporting and Sustainability: Accessibility and Inclusivity Strategies at STIB 
  • Arne Robbe, The Challenges of Inclusivity in public space from the pedestrian perspective
Claire Pelgrims (PhD) is a researcher in Architecture and Urbanism, MSCA-IF Research Fellow at the Université Gustave Eiffel, France. Her PhD thesis (ULB, 2020) focused on imaginaries of fast and slow mobilities in the evolution of Brussels mobility infrastructure since the middle of the 20th century. Her postdoctoral research focuses on expanded understanding of mobility infrastructure in relation to gender, aestheticism and functionality. She is working on a European research project about gender and bicycling aesthetics, looking at gender construction processes across cycling practices, equipment and infrastructure (H2020, SENCyclo 2022-2023).
Claire Pelgrims
Arne Robbe works for walk brussels, a non profit that aims at making Brussels a walkable city. Beforehand, he worked on participatory city planning in the municipality of Schaerbeek and in an environmental NGO. He studied political science at the ULB and history at the university of Namur.
Arne Robbe
Yo Kaminagai is born in 1958. He has been working in the RATP since his graduation as civil engineer (Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées) in 1980. He began in the Marketing team and was in charge of innovative projects, focusing in passenger information subjects. He became the first manager of this domain in 1989.
He was then invited to build the design management function in the company. A dedicated team was created in 1990, which progressively included all the creative disciplines participating to the transport environments design (product design, information design, architecture, cultural and art management), in particular in the Environments and Heritage Department in charge of the projects management in these domains, until 2011. Since this moment he is Head of design, today beside the Projects ownership Department director, to enhance the corporate strategy by design and to supervise the inclusion of the creative disciplines in the projects initialisation. He is also Research & Innovation delegate and digital correspondent: as such he coordinates the innovation process of this department and takes part to the governance of the RATP Urbanopolis innovation labs network.
Since 2009 he belongs to the Design & Culture platform of the UITP (International association of Public transport) – he was the chairperson of this platform between 2009 and 2015 – and serves in the boards of several important organizations in charge of promoting design in France (APCI, St Etienne Cité du Design). He was curator of 2 design exhibitions in « Le Lieu du Design en Ile-de-France » in 2012 (Sous les paves, le design) and in 2014 (Tramway: une école française).
Yo Kaminagai
Robert Fontaine joined the strategy department of STIB-MIVB in 2015, where he is in charge of the management contract with the public authorities.  His responsibilities encompass development of STIB-MIVB strategic positioning & plans, balanced scorecard, strategic studies and projects, and coordination of corporate social responsibility activities.  
Robert started his career at IBM, was then strategic consultant for Bain & Company, and at last worked more than 10 years in telecommunications at Orange Belgium in customer relationship marketing and business transformation. Robert holds an Engineering degree, complemented by a post-master in business economics.
Robert Fontaine

Walkshop 4 - number of places: 15

OPEN SPACE PLAN : how the Brussels canal can have an impact on well-being of its residents

The OPEN SPACE PLAN has several ambitions, such as improving public spaces in the Brussels canal territory, greening the canal banks but also strengthening relations between neighbourhoods and residents. During this session you will be provided with an introductory presentation (indoors) of this plan and then be guided on a cycling tour of the central part of the canal territory, aiming to give you an insight on how the implementation of the OPEN SPACE PLAN of the Canal Territory can contribute to the wellbeing of the local people and the natural environment.

Download presentation HERE

As project officer Sven Vercammen works on various projects for the Department of Territorial Strategy of, the Urban Planning Agency of the Brussels-Capital Region. He's in charge of the Open Space Plan for the Brussels Canal Territory. Previously Sven worked on a variety of urban, landscape and public space projects in various parts of world. Sven obtained a Master's Degree in Urbanism and Spatial Planning at the Henry van de Velde Institute in Antwerp, Belgium and a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University, U.K. 
Sven Vercammen

Walkshop 5 - number of places: 15

The Neerpede region between town and country: a semi-rural territory in Brussels, at the crossroads of ecosystem issues

The Neerpede region is a semi-rural landscape that links the urbanised areas of the capital to its hinterland of mostly open spaces. This historic landscape, less than half an hour by bicycle from the city centre, is characterised by a contrast between vast cultivated areas (called "kouters") dominating the upper parts of the hills, and the valley bottoms, where the plots are more compartmentalised and where the habitat is found, surrounded by orchards, meadows and vegetable gardens. The visit will be an opportunity to appreciate the landscape and ecosystem issues and to discover recent or future projects.

Catherine Fierens trained as an architectural engineer and practiced architecture, landscape architecture, public space and policy advice before joining Brussels Environment. For the past 6 years, she has been coordinating the European Regional Development Fund project BoerenBruxselPaysans and is currently coordinator for the Neerpede region. She is interested in the construction of the city and its ecological transition, on which food systems have a major impact.

Catherine Fierens

Walkshop 6 - number of places: 15

Cycle along the Brussels canal and discover European funded urban regeneration projects! 

The European Union proves financial support for urban development, social, ecological, and recreational projects which improve quality of life and sustainable development. Concentrated in the canal area, these projects help towards the economic regeneration and territorial cohesion of the canal! Yes Europe supports local, tangible and visible projects in the Brussels-Capital Region which is beneficial for all residents! So let's go and see them, and hear their tales... as we make our way along the canal!

Walkshop 7 - number of places: 20 
A Brussels flagship project: Wielemans Brewery, a 19th century industrial site in reconversion. (at Wiels)
This walkshop focuses on the reconversion of an old brewery located in the district of "Forest", a diverse area mixing residential and economic functions, just South of the Brussels City Center. The site gained much public attention in recent years after an "accident" prompted the formation of a pond, where a rich biodiversity came to develop (the so-called "Marais Wiels"). The Brussels Capital Region, owner of the site since 2020, is currently in the process of defining a global program for its rehabilitation. This large-scale project, involving multiple public operators, includes the creation of a park integrating the "Marais", a large public facility - function yet to be defined - in the abandoned Metropole building, as well as 70 to 80 middle-income housing. 
  • Part 1: Visit of the site ("Marais Wiels", Metropole building)
  • Part 2: Workshop at the Wiels Art Center – Presentation and discussion of different possible scenarios for the reconversion of the site.

Sarah Roland
Thomas Van Den Boogaerde 
Bruxelles Environnement
Ben Dirickx
VELD. architecture & urbanism

Walkshop 8 - number of places: 30

Walking on the wild side. Contemporary challenges for a healthier Brussels: productivity, mixity and circularity.

This walk on both sides of the Beco and Vergote docks offers a vision of this central area in deep mutation and rich in precursory projects. How to make Brussels more productive, mixed and circular? Come and discover this through completed and future projects such as the sports tower, le village des matériaux, La brasserie de la Senne, le parc maximilien and the ZIN.   

Julie Collet is a graduate architect from La Cambre, Brussels and holds an executive Master's degree in real estate. After six years with the architecture and urban planning office MS-A, she joined the team of Kristiaan Borret, Brussels bouwmeester maître architecte (BMA), in 2016. Within this team she works in the research by design cell. Starting from the observation that we do not create the city only through notes, financial calculations and P/S, the research by design team works to feed the debate around a project through maps, images and drawings.  This team, which responds to the desire for greater internal professionalism of the public authorities, also ensures that the project benefits from support for an optimal level of quality as soon as possible.
Julie Collet
Frederik Seroen works as Project Lead at the team of the Brussels bouwmeester maître architecte (BMA). His main task is to supervise design competitions with a strong focus on adaptive re-use and the circular economy. Over the past two years he also participated in the European research project Urban Maestro. This partnership with UN-Habitat, University College London (Bartlett School of Planning) and BMA looked into innovative ways to foster quality in the build environment through new governance approaches. Before joining BMA in 2016 he worked for the Flemish cities research centre, the City of Antwerp and the grassroots organisation City Mine(d). He holds a master's degree in History, Urban Studies and Urban Planning. Frederik's experiences in both the public and non-profit sector lead to his particular interest in connecting top-down and bottom-up urbanism for socially just and climate resilient cities.
Frederik Seroen

Walkshop 9 - number of places: 20 

Towards more sustainable neighbourhoods in Europe and in Brussels - European Quarter – 

Part 1: Visit of the European Quarter & explanation of the new master plan and vision(14h-15h30)

Guide:  Pierre Lemaire, Project manager, (Brussels Planning Agency)

Pierre Lemaire is an architect, graduated from Saint-Luc Tournai and with a Master in Architecture from the Architectural Association. He very soon developed an interest at the crossroads of urban design, urban planning and architecture while pursuing a Master in urban Sciences at the Bauhaus Kolleg and practicing as a masterplanner at KPF, Zaha Hadid Architects and Studio Libeskind. He works since 2010 for the Brussels Capital Region within the Agency for Territorial Development, then within the Territorial Strategy Department at Perspective. He graduated from Solvay Business School (Executive Master in Real Estate) where he teaches urbanism and territorial development. He is regularly invited to take part in academic programs amongst others at ULB, VUB and ISURU.
Pierre Lemaire

Content: A new shared urban vision has been developed for the European Quarter in May 2022 through participative workshops. It aims at transforming in a more sustainable neighbourhood by tackling the main challenges: 

  1. turn it into a mixed-use quarter (from 3% to 50% housing) with local amenities, taking advantage of the rise of teleworking ; 
  2. transform the local street network into vibrant places for residents and workers (new balance between cars and people and tactical interventions, greening..);
  3. radically reduce the carbon footprint of the real estate sector by incentivizing renovation & transformation instead of demolition & reconstruction (circular economy); 
  4. dedensify & demineralize the core of urban blocks to offer resident friendly and climate resilient environments; 
  5. break the isolation by reinforcing the connections with neighbouring quarters and by revalorizing strong landscape figures such as the Maelbeek valley and the east-west green corridor. 

Part 2: Panel - European actions supporting sustainable urban development (15h 45 – 17h)

Location: Delegation of Brussels-Capital Region to the European Union
Content: At a time when over three quarters of the European population lives in urban areas, what are the priorities and European strategies for cities and their inhabitants? What are the European laws, programmes and financing impacting urban development? How does Europe support the cities to consolidate their territorial strategies? And how is Brussels Capital Region benefiting from this support for its sustainable urban transition?
Moderator: Pietro Elisei, President ISOCARP

Pietro Elisei is a Town and regional planner, senior researcher and policymaker. 
He collaborated, as consultant, with ministries, regions, cities and towns all over Europe, holding important positions in international organizations dedicated to urban planning, currently ISOCARP President. Founder and MD of URBASOFIA. International expert in urban regeneration policies, integrated planning for small-medium sized cities and topics related to smart cities and strategic planning. 
A collaborator with EU universities and research centers, he works/ed with international institutions (EU: URBACT and UIA programmes, UN-Habitat, UNECE) for important urban and territorial planning research/planning tasks. 
Dr. Elisei also routinely holds keynote speeches in international conferences and publishes a number of scientific articles on topics related to urban planning.
Pietro Elisei


1. Manöelle Wasseige, Representative of the Brussels Capital Region to the European Union

After studying art history (1982 -1986 - Université Libre de Bruxelles), supplemented by a master's degree in management and communication (1991- 1993 - New York University), Manoëlle Wasseige worked as a freelance lecturer, art journalist and exhibition organiser. In 1996, she joined the Brussels-Capital Region where she developed European projects, coordinated European territorial cooperation programmes and followed European affairs in several departments. Since 2012, she has been the Brussels-Capital Region's Representative to the European Union, within the Permanent Representation of Belgium. With her team, she defends regional interests in areas such as cohesion policy, research, the economy, employment and the environment.
Manöelle Wasseige

2. Thomas de Bethune, Directorate General for Urban and Regional Policy, European Commission

Thomas de Béthune is team leader for urban policy at the European Commission (Directorate General for Urban and Regional Policy). His daily professional life focusses on sustainable urban development and territorial cohesion with the European Funds. He works to improve the quality of life in European cities and to amplify the voice of cities at the EU level. Thomas is an urban planner who has experience in policymaking, implementation, investment, and financial instruments for sustainable urban development. 

He worked for city mayors, regions, member States and outside the European Union. 

He worked as well in the private sector as a management consultant. Developed a Belgian large city policy within the federal State administration. Advised the Minister-President of the Region of Brussels on regional development and European programmes. He worked as well on the development of the innovative financial mechanisms with Financial Institutions (World Bank, EIB, EBRD and CEB) in the EU and in the Western Balkans. He is a Belgian polytechnical engineer (UCLouvain) specialised in regional development and urban planning (Sciences Po Paris).

Thomas de Bethune
3. Malgorzata Wrobel, Joint Research Center, New European Bauhaus Unit, European Commission 
Malgorzata (Gosia) Wrobel is Architect/Policy Officer. Graduate of master architecture and engineering studies at the Technical University of Bialystok, Poland. Gosia has decades-long practical international experience as an architect (Poland, United States, Germany, Hungary, Belgium and Italy). 
Since 2009, Gosia has worked as an EU official for the European Commission where she introduced a holistic approach to building design and became a BREEAM Assessor. She was leading or co-leading many major innovative urban and infrastructure projects of the Commission, including Commission sites development plans, office buildings, a nuclear laboratory, a conference centre and the EU pavilion in the World Expo 2015 in Milan. 
Moreover, Gosia was Vice-President of the "Polish semester" at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy: during Poland's EU Presidency in 2011 she developed the cultural concept and organised popular cultural events, which connected Commission colleagues with the local community while popularising Polish culture. In May 2022, she joined the NEB team where she is responsible for initiatives and projects related to the built environment. In this function, among others, she coordinates the New European Bauhaus' contribution to the Biennale of Architecture 2023.
Malgorzata Wrobel

4. Laura Petrella, UN-Habitat

Laura Petrella is the Chief of the Planning, Finance and Economy Section at UN-Habitat and has been leading UN-Habitat work on Urban Planning and Design since 2012. Since 2018 she is also the focal point for Professionals and for the Habitat Professionals Forum. She is an architect and urban planner trained in Italy. She is also supporting Inter-Agency work and the implementation of the UN System-wide Strategy on Sustainable Urban Development. 
She was in charge of UN-Habitat's Safer Cities Programme from 2002 to 2010. Earlier she worked on slum upgrading, land security and environmental planning and management. She now follows inter-agencies processes and contributes to UN policy and strategies from the urban perspective, focusing on SDG 11 and the New Urban Agenda implementation. 
Laura Petrella
5. Pietro Reviglio, Eurocities
Pietro Reviglio
 is policy advisor at Eurocities, the network of more than 200 larger European cities. As advisor he coordinates work related to EU regional and urban policy, governance, urban planning, and participatory democracy, among others. Before joining Eurocities he worked at the European Commission and UNESCO where he focused on innovation and local development.  He holds a master's degree in public policy from Sciences Po with a specialisation in social policy and social innovation.
Pietro Reviglio

Walkshop 10 - number of places: 20 

be running: how to make Brussels a runner friendly city?

Guides: Frederic Raynaud, Akara Chy and Antoine Crahay. Location: Tour & Taxis

Sport and health: Be running an answer!

Facilitate, through a good layout, the routes of the runners, in a logic of cohabitation between all pedestrian speeds (the "walkable" city & the "runnable" city). This is the credo of this new moving strategy in Brussels, which combines mobility, sport, environment, health, well-being, etc. A network, which runs through Brussels from east to west, from north to south, is gradually being put in place thanks to a good layout of streets, green and public spaces.

For more info: 

Note: Bring your running outfit and shoes with you. Changing rooms and a safe place to store your belongings during the run will be provided. 

Frédéric Raynaud: Lab & Events Manager at, passionate about running and initiator of the be running project.
Frédéric Raynaud
Antoine Crahay: Experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated history of working in the urban development & planning industry. Strong urban planning professional skilled in Sustainable Development, Process Management and Strategic Thinking. Partner of the Citytools urban planning office, in charge of the development of the be running guide to good planning.
Antoine Crahay
Akara Chy: Akara holds a Master's Degree in Business Engineering. Before joining, he worked for Décathlon, ICI Paris XL and Federal Public Service BOSA (Policy and Support).
Akara Chy

Walkshop 11 - number of places: 30

Tour &Taxis: redevelopment of a former freight station to a new lively neighbourhood

As the congress takes place on the Tour & Taxis site, we would like to take you around this historical site and discuss some strategic urban development issues that have been raised over the years, while renovating a rich industrial heritage and the neighbourhoods around:       

  • Which urbanistic challenges to take in account, turning a large abandoned site in a new urban district?
  • What is the socio economic context and how to respond to the needs of the inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhoods?
  • How to turn unique heritage in a sustainable urban center, focusing on circularity of materials, energy and water?

Jens Aerts is an engineer and urban planner with 20 years of experience, working with international development agencies, city governments, developers and non-for-profit organizations on the intersection of urban practice, policy and research. He is Team Manager Spatial Research at BUUR Part of Sweco, a leading consultancy firm on urban and territorial development, based in Belgium. His team specializes in evidence-based planning, participatory processes and prospective research related to urbanization challenges such as climate adaptation, circular economy, energy transition and inclusive societies. Recently he also has been working for UN-Habitat, UNICEF, UNESCAP, the World Bank and foundations. He is member of the Board of the Flemish Spatial Planning Organisation (VRP) and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) where he leads a Community of Practice on Urban Health. He is also thought leader at the PlacemakingX global network.

Jens Aerts
Veronica Pezzuti works for the Brussels Planning Agency, named, at the department of territorial knowledge. She works on territorial diagnosis of different strategic zones in the brussels capital region. She worked more specifically on the diagnosis for Thurn &Taxis. She is also responsible for different thematic analyses or studies on public amenities such as for example on cultural practices and infrastructures.
Veronica Pezzuti

Walkshop 12 - Number of places: 25 

How do we make a city for and by girls? A girl friendly Walk through Brussels

Every child has the right to play. That includes the possibility to play in their own neighborhood: playing on the streets and on squares, on sport fields and playgrounds. Children are not allowed to go anywhere or are depending on others to reach playgrounds. These concerns apply even more for girls than boys. In our 2019 outdoor play research in Flanders (Belgium) showed that girls play outside a lot less than boys.

Out of 100 children we saw playing in public space, 63 were boys and 37 girls. How do we ensure that girls can play outside, that they are allowed to do so, and that they want to themselves? Why not ask the girls themselves? In 2019 Kind & Samenleving worked together with girls between 10 and 12 years old. Together with girls, we explored how play space and public space can better accommodate the way girls play outside, and how space can better support girls' play.. In 4 trajectory we met the girls from 4 different cities in Belgium and used different methodologies to discuss and design their neighborhood. We worked out tips and 10 design principles to make (play) space more accessible for girls. But what about teenage girls? Do they experience the same thresholds as girls from a lower age group? In 2022 we worked together with a group of girls between 15 and 20 years old in Brussels. Instead of staying in their own neighborhood they are more likely to meet their friends around the school, in shopping areas and crowded places where there is enough social control. Together with this group of teenage girls we explored areas that were common or less common for them. This resulted in a map with a route along different good and bad examples of places where girls feel welcomed or unsafe in Brussels.

During this walkshop we will guide the group along the route Brussels girls outlined. This walk will bring you from the city center of Brussels to the dense neighborhood of Cureghem in Anderlecht. Via short stories and explanations of the girls we will try to experience the way girls perceive public space and how they think we as, researchers, designers, policy makers and citizens can create a public space that is saver and better designed to accommodate all groups, so that we have a more inclusive public space for Everyone.


Objectives of the session

• Experience public space in Brussels through the eyes of girls

• Learn about the thresholds for girls to play in public space

• Become more aware of the design principles that will make public space more girl friendly

Walkshop 13: Playful Walk-shop - Number of places: 20

Transforming Public Space through Play: Number of places: 20

This interactive hands-on walkshop will introduce you to an empirical analysis of the concept of play as a form of spatial practice in urban public spaces. The introduced City–Play–Framework (CPF) is a practical urban analysis tool that allows urban designers, landscape architects and researchers to develop a shared awareness when opening up this window of possibility for adventure. Together we will explore possibilities on what future design ought to be when openness and ambiguity are consciously integrated and test the framework through direct observation in the city centre.

Dr Gregor Mews is a multiple award-winning urban designer and academic who dedicates his energy to improve urban conditions through evidence-based and more-than- human design around the globe. In leadership roles Mews has led local, national and international projects in the nexus of urban design and health, been an Urban Thinker voice for UN-Habitat to strategically advocate for vulnerable population groups with impact transcending boundaries across the Global North and South and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Mews has published 3 books and 42 publications internationally. Over the course of two decades, he has been teaching, researching at universities in Europe (University of Kassel, Technical University of Berlin), North America (Yale University), Africa (University of Makeni), and Australia (Queensland University of Technology, University of Canberra, UNSW Canberra). For his teaching effort has been awarded internationally at the highest level with prestigious 'Oscars of Education" QS Wharton Reimagine Education Award in the category Presence Learning & Teaching as well as the 2021 overall Education Award. Mews is member of the ISOCARP Community of Practice on Urban Health.

Gregor Mews

Walkshop 14 - Number of places: 25

Urban95 Walk- Building empathy for babies, toddlers and caregivers

Have you ever imagined how young children and their caregivers experience the city? Try the following: 

For Urban95, everything starts with empathy and data. One of the first challenges is that urban planners and designers don't necessarily see or think about the particular needs of young children and their caregivers in their work. Public spaces and playgrounds are often set up for older kids or adults. Transportation tends to be planned for the needs of peak-hour commuters travelling straightforwardly from home to work to home, versus the needs of caregivers who might be going from home to childcare to grocery store to job and back at odd times. So developing empathy and data for this demographic group is an important first step. Over the course of our work, we've developed a number of what we think of as "empathy tools" to help do this: 

- Kneel down somewhere outside, for a 95cm-tall view of the world. 

- Try carrying a 10-kilogram bag of rice, or pushing it in a buggy, to give you a sense of how hard journeys can be for a caregiver with a baby. 

- Try breathing at four times your usual rate. This is the speed babies breathe. You'll take in four times as much air and all its pollution per gram of body weight. 

- Measure people moving count, stationary activity mapping, intercept surveys and sensory mapping are among the tools that can be used to gather data on young children and caregivers in cities. Cities can be wonderful places to grow up, but they can also pose serious challenges for the health and wellbeing of babies, toddlers and the people who care for them – from a lack of nature and safe spaces to play, to air pollution and traffic congestion, to social isolation. Urban95 is a global initiative created by the Bernard van Leer Foundation that works with leaders, planners, designers, advocates and communities to support the healthy development of young children and the wellbeing of caregivers in cities. Our goal is to encourage cities to create spaces where children can grow, learn, create, imagine and play across all neighbourhoods, reaching as many families as possible. Because a city that works for babies, toddlers and their caregivers is a city that works for everyone.

Victoria is the Urban95 Officer in the Foundation's Knowledge for Policy team. She is responsible for providing advice and technical assistance to partners implementing projects at scale in Urban95 cities, with a particular focus on sustainable mobility, public space, neighbourhood planning, air quality, climate change, social justice and monitoring and evaluation, through an early-years lens. She holds an MSc in socio-spatial planning from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and a Bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of Cuenca, Ecuador.

Victoria Chavez Barriga

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