The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy announces the keynote speaker for the organization’s annual MOBILIZE summit. Christian Benimana is an architect and visionary who believes that the built environment should serve the community, and catalyze positive systemic change.
A Rwandan native who studied in China, Benimana lives in Kigali and is the director of Rwanda Programs for MASS Design Group and the founding director of African Design Centre. Christian founded the Centre in 2015 with the goal of developing the talent and potential of the next generation of African designers with socially-focused design principles. “I want to see a shift in the perception of what Africa can achieve,” says Benimana, “We need to offer a chance for Africans to learn how design can improve people’s lives.”
“We’re thrilled to have such an innovative architect who understands how design and the built environment can create accessible, life-changing urban public spaces as our keynote speaker in this year’s MOBILIZE,” said Michael Kodransky, Director of US & Global Initiatives at ITDP and Head of MOBILIZE, “His vision for African cities is about inclusivity and empowering communities. We look forward to his insight in how to approach rapid urbanization that is sensitive to local conditions.”
Christian joined MASS in 2010, and was a 2011 Global Health Corps fellow with MASS and a 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival: Spotlight Health fellow. He was a TED speaker at the TED Global conference in Arusha in July 2017. He has been involved with design/build and consultancy projects across many countries in Africa, development initiatives, operational and administration leadership, as well as with teaching at the then architecture department of the former Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). He has served as the chairman of both the Education Board of the Rwanda Institute of Architecture and the East African Institute of Architects.
Christian holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of Tongji University in Shanghai, China (2008), and worked with LongiLat Architecture and Research in Shanghai prior to joining MASS.
The theme for MOBILIZE Dar es Salaam is “Making Space for Mobility in Booming Cities”, and the summit will feature a series of discussions and workshops with leading policy makers and innovative urban development planners, NGOs, and researchers on topics such as, “Radical Solutions for Urban Growth”, “The Informality and Governance Dilemma”, and “Mainstreaming Inclusivity in City Design.”
The theme is particularly relevant to Dar es Salaam, one of the world’s fastest growing cities, in the world’s most rapidly urbanizing region. In addition to the summit sessions, the invitation-only select group of 200 MOBILIZE participants will experience Dar as a learning lab with lessons on getting world-class projects implemented, with site visits to experience walking, cycling, and transit on the city’s streets, as well as visits to key places such as the Port of Dar es Salaam.
For more details on MOBILIZE, visit mobilizesummit.org
For additional media information, or if you would like a media pass to attend the summit, contact Jemilah Magnusson at Jemilah.email@example.com
For information on sponsorship, contact Christina Jang at Christina.Jang@itdp.org