Dr. Rutger Dankers, Researcher Climate Resilience, Wageningen University & Research (NL)

Measurements of heat in coastal environments: results from Zeeland, The Netherlands

Rutger Dankers is a researcher in weather and climate impacts at Wageningen Environmental Research, part of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands. His research focuses on collecting information on climate impacts through data collection and modelling in support of climate adaptation policy and decision making, looking in particular at climate extremes.

Examples of current projects include a modelling study of the water demand of urban vegetation in Utrecht, The Netherlands, as well as numerous international climate services projects. Previously Rutger has worked on weather and climate impacts at the UK Met Office and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Boris Fillon, Bioclimatic Urban Architect, AUD Agency (FR)

Introduction to Cool Towns and tools

Boris Fillon is an architect, graduated from Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture - Paris La Villette and an urban designer, graduated from the urban planning programme of Sciences Po Paris. After having worked in an architecture office, in a public establishment and in an environmental engineering office in Paris, he joined the Agence d'Urbanisme et de Développement du Pays de Saint-Omer / Flandre Intérieure as a "bioclimatic architecture" consultant.

He assists local authorities in defining their projects for the development of public spaces, the transformation of public buildings, housing, etc. by carrying out feasibility and programming studies, organising architectural competitions, producing master plans and holding events and consultation workshops and working on prospective studies on water and development issues.

Dr. Gideon Spanjar, Senior Researcher, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (NL)

Demonstrating the Urban Heat Atlas and the effectiveness of green interventions to mitigate heat stress

Gideon Spanjar is the project leader and senior researcher of Cool Towns, Building for Well-being and Nature Inclusive Area Development at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). He is a member of the chair Climate Resilient City and the chair Spatial Transformation at AUAS. Gideon is also professor of Innovation & Urban Green Space at Aeres University of Applied Sciences where he conducts research in climate change adaptation, rewilding cities, and biobased building.

Gideon is a member of the Floriade Expo 2022 knowledge exchange program where he recently co-organized the Floriade Challenge: The Green Escape to enable young professionals and students to gain experience in designing green interventions to enhance the thermal comfort and health of residents. His research always focuses on the redesign of the built environment using neuro-architecture principles, ecosystemic thinking, and biometric technology to get a better understanding of how we can restore biodiversity and improve human well-being in a changing climate.

© Tamara Hoornweg Photography

Debby Bartlett, Professor of Environmental Conservation, University of Greenwich (UK)

Learning from European case studies

Debbie Bartlett is an established and professional Chartered Landscape Architect (Management Division), Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Her current role is as Professor of Environmental Conservation at the University of Greenwich, and she has over 30 years’ experience combining consultancy, teaching and research. She is particularly interested in landscape scale management, including the social and economic influences affecting resilience to environmental/climate change.  Fundamental to her activities is the belief that the knowledge of local people as well as professionals and wider stakeholders are essential to achieving success so is actively engaged in developing participatory techniques to include the widest possible perspectives to inform land use planning and development strategies both in Europe and Asia. 

She can be contacted at d.bartlett@gre.ac.uk

University profile: https://www.gre.ac.uk/people/rep/faculty-of-engineering-and-science/debbie-bartlett

Mrs. Saskia Libbrecht, Climate Policy Officer, Province of East-Flanders (BE) Mrs. Severine Verschaete, Expert Climate, Energy and Environment, Province of East-Flanders (BE)

Never ending learning - Educate yourself and others

Saskia Libbrecht:

Joined the Cool Towns project in May 2021 and works within the 'Steunpunt Duurzaam Wonen en Bouwen'. My training as business and managerial economist helps me to convert the knowledge we have gathered from the project into policy. I find it important that we transfer the knowledge and findings of the project into tailor-made advice for the municipalities and the local residents.

Severine Verschaete:

Active within the 'Steunpunt duurzaam wonen en bouwen' within the Cool Towns project. As a graduated ecologist, I strongly support the initiative to assist cities and municipalities to reduce the effects of heat stress and thus commit to meeting the joint climate targets.

About the Province of East Flanders and their climate approach:

The Province of East Flanders investigates, advises and raises awareness on heat stress, stimulates blue- green networks and tries to obtain a healthy water management in its territory through its spacial policy and support for the local authorities.  The 'Steunpunt Duurzaam Wonen en Bouwen' supports and advises municipalities and their inhabitants in creating a climate-healthy living environment.

Mrs. Iris Chervet, Architect and Landscape Designer, Atelier Iris Chervet (FR)

Between town and marsh, a bioclimatic station district in Saint-Omer

Architect and landscaper, Iris created her urbanplanning studio in 2018, after winning two international idea competitions on coastal sites (Saint-Brieuc - FR, Oostend - BE). Iris mixes architecture, urban planning and landscaping into a transversal design, where natural environments takes precedence over the organization of built environments and guides architectural choices. Our approach is based on geography as the foundation of urban planning, allowing to conceive the city on all scales, and to project the transformations of territories in regard to the climate changes. Finally, she has specific expertise in water territories.

Mr. Julien Despax, Project Manager, Franck Boutté Consultants (FR)

Engineer and consultant in sustainable urban design, Julien joined Franck Boutté Consultants in 2019 after graduating from the University Technology of Compiègne (France). Specialized in neighborhood-scale projects, he puts his scientific background to the service of integrated design both in planning and architecture. His favourite terrains are district-scale energy strategies and outdoor thermal comfort analysis. Using advanced simulation engines, Julien helps architects and landscapers in the design of livable outdoor spaces.

Mr. David Sim, Author of "Soft City", Urban Expert at Gehl (DK)

Living with the weather: making climate change relevant in everyday life

With some 20 translations to date, the book 'Soft City' has established David Sim as a thought-leader in urban livability and sustainability planning.

David started his architecture studies in his native Scotland but after hearing Jan Gehl’s lectures he moved to Scandinavia to complete his education. After a distinguished career teaching architecture at Lund University in Sweden, where he received the student-nominated “the teacher of the year” prize, he spent 17 years at the renowned Gehl urban planning practice, most notably as Creative Director, seeing it grow from 4 people in an attic to a world brand with offices in Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco.

A well-respected practitioner, David Sim has an impressive portfolio, personally leading master plans, urban strategies and design work across the globe, from the Highlands of Scotland to the lakes of Patagonia, from suburban Melbourne to downtown Tokyo, from finding new ways to build IKEA stores to rebuilding Christchurch after the devastating 2011 earthquake.

Based in Sweden, David Sim now works independently with his own consultancy company, making cities, towns and villages softer.

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