While pandemics have always shaped our urban environments, COVID-19 has spurred discussions around the ‘end of city life’ and the role of density in healthy living. Although density enables an agglomeration of people, ideas, activities and services critical to urban life, many cities also suffer from overcrowding and poor living conditions. During this webinar, panelists will highlight key learnings about density during COVID-19, and share how to use this information to improve our communities and future well-being.
Jane Weru is currently the Executive Director and founder member of Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), a non-profit organization working on developing innovative community led solutions to housing and land tenure problems for the urban poor in Kenya. AMT is the financing facility of the Kenya Federation of Slum Dwellers (Muungano wa Wanavijiji). Since August 2018, she has also been the project leader of the Mukuru Special Planning Area, a Nairobi County Government project, aimed at developing an integrated development plan to improve the lives of the 100,000 households that presently occupy over 600 acres of land within the city. A lawyer by profession, she has vast experiences and awards across arenas, such as the Ashoka Fellowship, and serving as a member of the National Task Force for the Community Land Bill and the Evictions and Resettlement Bill. She is also a member of the Provincial Commissioners Informal Settlements Committee, a former Board member of Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) and former Team Leader for the Kenya Railway Relocation Action Plan.
Pedro Torres has a background in urban planning and environmental issues. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Social Science, serving as a Research Fellow at the University of São Paulo (USP) in the Institute of Energy and Environment (IEE). Previously, he was a Visiting Researcher at Princeton University and University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). His past experiences focused in the public sector, civil society and academics, with a specialization in urban planning, environmental issues, and understanding inequality.
Luc Nadal is a sustainable urban development expert, and formerly the Technical Director for Urban Development at ITDP. From 2005 to 2019, he founded and grew the ITDP’s Sustainable Urban Development program promoting pedestrian-transit malls in Dakar and Dar es Salaam, historic center revitalization in Sao Paulo, public space upgrades along BRT corridors in Guangzhou and Harbin, and transit-oriented planning in Pune, Lanzhou, Yichang, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. Luc is the lead author of ITDP’s TOD Standard- a tool for planning guidance, assessment, and recognition of good practice in integrating building, public space, and sustainable urban transport. He was previously an exchange scholar at Kyoto University, Principal of LMJN Architect, and he has taught at Columbia University, The New School University, and Parsons School of Design. He has written extensively about urban public space planning, design, history and meaning. Luc received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning with distinction from Columbia University and his Architect Diploma (DPLG) from Ecole d’Architecture de Paris at La Villette.
Since early 2009, Manying Hu has worked as an urban development consultant at ITDP. Her past experience focuses on working with nonprofit organizations to promote sustainable urban development and design concepts for mobility oriented and people oriented developments.
She has worked on TOD mixed-use projects since 2013, including “The Grand City” project and IFC transport hub mixed use project in Guangzhou. She has also been involved in the bike sharing project, VELIB, in Paris, and worked as chief architect at GDI for urban village redevelopment projects in Guangzhou.
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