Scientific Committee

Track 1: Spatial challenges of NBS implementation in practice

PhD in Urban, Regional and Environmental Planning, Politecnico di Milano. Associate Professor in Planning and Urban Design, at Dep. of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Polimi. Vice President of the National Institute of Urban Planning (INU); Member of theAcademic Board of the Ph.D. Programme UPDPPolimi; Director of the Lab_PPTE – Plans, Landscape, Territories and Ecosystem and scientific director of the National Land Take Research Centre (CRCS). He is member of the editorial board of the Journal “Urbanistica”. His research includes: urban planning and design; landscape planning; open spaces design; ecosystem assessment and green and blue infrastructures for spatial planning; policies for land take limitation. Project leader DAStU for the European project SOIL4LIFE, programme LIFE 2014-2020 ‘European Programme for the Environment and Climate Action’. Project leader DAStU for studies and research activities to support the design of the new Lombardy Regional Landscape Plan PPR (Piano Paesaggistico Regionale). Scientific director for the research activities funded through a regional competitive bid by Fondazione Cariplo 2018 “Natural Capital”. Title of the selected project: “RELambroSE – Metropolitan South East ecological network. He has been consultant of several Public Administrations and designer of urban and territorial plans. He is authored over 120 scientific publications.

Associate Professor of Spatial Planning at the University of Trento. Specialised in impact
assessment of projects, plans and policies; spatial and urban planning; ecosystem services;
multicriteria analysis. Formerly Research Fellow at Harvard University’s Sustainability Science
Program (2010-11), and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the
Environment (2014). He has consulted for private and public bodies internationally, including the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UN-HABITAT, and the European Commission.
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management and deputy
Editor of the open access journal One Ecosystem. He has been Principal Investigator/Work
Package leader in over 10 international research projects. PhD from Free University Amsterdam.

Fabiano is an Associate Professor in Urbanism at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at Politecnico di Milano. Prof. Lemes joined Politecnico di Milano in 2019 after over 10 years working at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. His research lies at the intersection of urban and environmental planning, with a focus on the relationships between city and nature, and the roles of green space systems and planning models in city and regional planning. Recent research areas include green urbanism, planning history, nature-based solutions, urban design theory and practice, urban sustainability, planning models aimed at balancing urbanisation with nature – in particular related to the green wedge idea and green infrastructure. He is the author of the book Green Wedge Urbanism: History, Theory and Contemporary Practice, published by Bloomsbury (London/ New York) and co-edited the book Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods, published by Springer (Amsterdam).

Architect by education, and PhD in Urban and Architectural Management and Valuations at Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Spain. Former research staff at the Virtual City Modelling Lab (LMVC-UPC) under the Centre of Land Policy and Valuations (CPSV), at UPC. His main achievements and research interests are regards to Urban Studies, Urban Climate Analysis, Planning and Design, GIScience, and Remote Sensing. From 2013 to 2016, self-Employed in the field of Technical Services of Engineering, and Specialist in Remote Sensing (RS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and spatial analysis. Currently (since 2017) Research Fellow with the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana at Politecnico di Milano, and adjunct Professor in Analysis of the City and Territory.

Track 2: Sharing governance and Capacity Building for NBS

Niki Frantzeskaki is Professor of Urban Sustainability Transitions at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. She researches contemporary sustainability transitions in cities and their governance across Europe, USA, Brazil and in developing countries like Vanuatu, and Ghana. Next to her research, she contributes to DRIFT as affiliate lecturer of DRIFT’s Transition Academy.
 From 2010 until 2019 Niki Frantzeskaki worked as researcher and Associate Professor in Sustainability Transitions’ Governance at DRIFT. At DRIFT Niki coordinated research on environmental governance and urban sustainability transitions through her leadership of and involvement in a portfolio of research projects including: CONNECTING NATUREIMPRESSIONSGUST, GATE, RESILIENT EUROPE, and ENABLE. Successfully finalized projects include: URBESARTSSUSTAINMUSIC, RESHARE, RWS funded project on Sustainability in Large Infrastructures and NGI Self-organisation of infrastructures.

An architect by education, Eugenio Morello is Associate Professor in Urban Design at Polimi, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (Dastu). He is coordinator and research scientist at the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti (since 2010), and the Climate Change Risk and Resilience Lab (since 2020). Since 2017 he is the Rector’s Delegate for environmental sustainability. He is the department principal investigator of the European H2020 projects ‘Clever Cities’ and ‘Sharing Cities’. His research interest is situated in the interplay between urban design and environmental quality, climate design, resilience and adaptation to climate change. He investigates the integration of environmental aspects and energy transition solutions for the design of sustainable neighborhoods towards the closing of energy and environmental cycles. More recently, his research work has opened new insights on the topic of collaborative consumption and sharing society and how these new paradigms can inform urban planning, urban design and co-creation approaches.

Israa is an Architect and Urban planner by education and She holds a Ph.D. in “Sociability of Public spaces and Placemaking approach as key drivers for Cultural-Based Urban Regeneration processes.” Since 2018, she is a research fellow at the Urban Simulation Lab Fausto Curti, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), at Politecnico di Milano. Now she is the research team leader together with Prof. Eugenio Morello on CLEVER Cities Project – Funded by the European Commission – Horizon 2020 Funded Project – GA#776604 as an expert of Co-creation guidance for cities to implement Nature-based solutions in socially inclusive urban regeneration processes. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Architectural Engineering Dept. Alexandria University of Egypt with a major on Urban Design. Whereas, she was teaching as an assistant lecturer for four years and leading students’ groups as an academic adviser. After earning her MSc degree in 2013 with a 3.97 CGPA about psychological and environmental urban design, in a collaboration program with Michigan state University and Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany.

Track 3: Mainstreaming NBS in urban planning policies and decision-making processes

Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis is a Director of Research at FORTH and Head of the Remote Sensing Lab. He holds a BSc in Physics, a MSc in Environmental Physics and PhD in Remote Sensing from the University of Athens. He has been involved in R&D projects funded by the European Union, the European Space Agency and the Ministries of Environment, Development, Culture and Education. His main research interests include urban climate, urban energy balance, urban resilience, urban planning and metabolism, natural and technological hazards, surface temperature and albedo, environmental monitoring and change detection. Dr. Chrysoulakis is the corresponding Principal Investigator of the European Research Council (ERC) Synergy project urbisphere (ERC-SyG) focusing on coupling dynamic cities and climate. He is the coordinator of the H2020-Space project CURE, focusing on Copernicus services exploitation in the domain of urban resilience. He has coordinated the projects URBANFLUXES (H2020), SEN4RUS (ERA.Net-RUS Plus), BRIDGE (FP7) GEOURBAN (FP7). He has also participated projects ECOPOTENTIAL (H2020), THINKNATURE (H2020), IGIC (LIFE) and FLIRE (LIFE). He has more than 250 publications in per-review journals and conference proceedings.

Currently postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC) of Lund University, doing research on issues related to the use of nature-based solutions in urban areas. Formerly postdoctoral fellow and adjunct professor of urban planning at the University of Trento (Italy). I hold a PhD from the University of Trento, where I conducted my research within the Planes research group under the supervision of prof. Davide Geneletti. Visiting scholar at the Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany) in the Landscape Ecology lab led by prof. Dagmar Haase and expert for the European Commission. I have been involved in several EU projects related to urban ecosystem services and green infrastructure, including Esmeralda, the MAES urban pilot, and EnRoute. Work experience as planning consultant for local and regional administrations. MSc in Building Engineering/Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Milan (2011).

MSc. Urban Planning, PhD in Urban Planning, Design and Policy (Politecnico di Milano).  Assistant professor at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies (DAStU), Politecnico di Milano and member of the LabPPTE – Landscape Plans Territories Ecosystems. She is specialised in Geographic Information System (GIS) for Spatial planning. Since 2007 she is member of the scientific board of the CRCS (Land Take Research Centre) and editor of the CRCS annual national reports. From 2015 to 2018, she collaborated with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Territorial Development Unit – B3). She is a member of the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) and the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE). She obtained the national scientific qualification for the second level professor in the competition sector 08/F1 – Urban and Territorial Planning and Design (valid until 01.2029). Her research focuses on Ecosystem services, landscape and urban planning, environmental assessment, green and blue infrastructures design. She has been a consultant of several Public administrations and research centres for the Strategic Environmental Assessment of General town plans and sustainable development projects (ecological connection, landscape studies and natural capital). She is (co)author of over 50 scientific publications.

Andrea is an urban and regional planner by training, and PhD in Biosciences and Territory at University of Molise, whose research interests relate to the sustainable development of disadvantaged territories, ecosystem services’ analysis and the implementation of Cohesion and Rural Development Policies. She graduated in Regional, Urban and Environmental Planning (IUAV, Venice) also earning a I level European Master in Planning and Policies for Cities. She currently is research fellow at Politecnico di Milano, engaged in strategic planning for university sustainability. She collaborated with different National and European Institutions in contributing to research (e.g. Rapporto Consumo di Suolo 2015, 2016, 2017 – ISPRA) and much of her work has been based upon analysis of local and regional scale data, creating and testing new socio-economic and environmental indicators to support the decision-making processes in selecting planning priorities.

Track 4: Citizen engagement in urban greening processes and co-design experiences of NBS

Urban Landscape Planner. Cecilia is a lecturer and professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism, where she runs the master’s program on Ecological Landscape Planning and Design. Her main interests are: how to integrate urban ecology and urban planning and design to adapt cities to the contemporary challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services; how the introduction of nature-based solutions is able restore ecological functions in highly urbanized environments; how people-nature interactions can regenerate lost natural processes and flows in urban landscapes to develop more sustainable and resilient cities that offer higher quality of life and well-being for all residents. She also is an expert and consultant on sustainable urbanization and nature-based solutions in national and international projects and institutions, such as. Sectoral Dialogues EU-Brazil (II and III), CGEE (Branch of GEF in Brazil), WRI, ICLEI, CEPERJ, among others.

An Architect by education, Barbara E.A. Piga is Assistant Professor at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), where she is also coordinator of the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti – labsimurb (POLIMI – Department of Architecture and Urban Studies) since its foundation in 2007. At labsimurb she coordinates and leads projects related to experiential simulation and sensory urban design. She is part of the board of the interdepartmental research laboratory i.Drive – Interaction Between Driver, Road Infrastructure, Vehicle, And Environment since 2019, where she is responsible of mobility experiential simulation and the urban/landscape environment design guidelines (assessment and design perspective). She is the POLIMI Coordinator of two European Projects H2020 EIT Digital (Digital Cities) AR4CUP: Augmented Reality for Collaborative Urban Planning (2019 and 2020), where she is responsible for a novel co-design methodology through Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Assistant Professor Urban Design and Planning at the Planning Department of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen. PhD in Territorial Design and Government at Politecnico di Milano. The relevance of transition processes and their potentials in fostering and driving innovation at the urban scale is at the core of Emma’s research. Her focus is on how system innovation can shift current development pathways towards sustainability. She strongly believes that the interplay between citizens, public and private stakeholders as well as knowledge institutes can have a crucial role in these processes. Also, she thinks that design can play a strong enabling role in innovation processes. Among her current positions: – Member of CASUS (
– Member of Urban and Regional Studies Institute (
– Editorial Board Italian Journal of Planning Practice (
– Programme Committee of the Communities and Technologies Conference 2017 & 2019 (

Giuseppe is Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of the University College of London (UCL) to tackle sustainable urban transformation through system thinking and participatory approaches. He has track record of international research and networking projects mainly addressing innovation and sustainable consumption. His research interests are focused on socio-technical innovations and design approaches for the transition towards sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with the contribution of Design and Social Sciences. In recent years he investigated attitudes and behaviours at different stages of product life; smart technologies; repair markets and grassroots innovations; and acquisition and development of skills. Giuseppe collaborated in research projects focusing on Design strategies for sustainable consumption.