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Future Cities

Our Future Cities: Security event, held in London on 9th July despite travel issues due to strike action, provided a superb line-up of speakers, whose insightful presentations will be available to members this week, so please keep an eye out for them.

Future Cities: Security focussed on the challenges that face cities with increases in population, aging infrastructure, severe weather events and increasing costs of energy and food prices, to mention a few. How resilient and sustainable are our cities and how can we best utilise urban data to mitigate against potential future shocks and stresses? The great line-up of speakers debating some of these issues and much more were:

Doug Specht, who is the co-founder and Director of VOZ Geographic Information Systems, chaired this AGI event. His opening address can be found here.

As well as managing a team of geographically dispersed staff, he continues to conduct research and outreach projects with the communities VOZ works with. Alongside this he presently takes responsibility for the funding of the company and its public relations work.

The main source of their work is VOZ, a multi-platform Participatory Geographical Information System (PGIS) tool that supports human and environmental rights. The parent company VOZ: GIS also provide training and education through Erasmus+ and is branching out into custom applications.

With a background in teaching and lecturing, Doug also provides consultancy work in a number of fields including Education, Sustainability and Development, GIS, Human Rights and International Development.

Dan Byles is Vice President of Corporate Development at Living PlanIT SA, a company at the forefront of harnessing the power of technology, people and creativity to drive real innovation in the design, functionality and sustainability of infrastructure and urban space to improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Responsible for leading all aspects of Living PlanIT’s strategic corporate development, Dan’s role includes identifying strategic design wins, partners and investors; identifying strategic opportunities for investment, merger or acquisition; managing the company deals’ pipeline and participating in the assessment of target markets, developing company strategy, product roadmap, messaging and operating structures. He’s also responsible for driving the growth of the company's business model; developing the company sales strategy and building corporate level strategic partnerships and alliances.

A former soldier and politician, ocean rower and polar adventurer, Dan was a former Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire & Bedworth; he has served on the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee and the Science & Technology Committee. He has a strong interest in energy, environment, and sustainable infrastructure policy.

Prior to Parliament, Dan trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served in the British Army for nine years, serving operationally in Bosnia and Kosovo, and at the UK Ministry of Defence as a staff officer responsible for strategic medical planning. His expeditions all over the world include Bolivia, Peru, East Africa, Canada and Borneo. He holds two Guinness World Records for skiing to the Magnetic North Pole and crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a wooden rowing boat.


Gary Grant, author of Ecosystem Services Come to Town: Greening Cities by Working with Nature (Wiley 2012), is a Chartered Environmentalist and an independent consultant at Green Infrastructure Consultancy. Gary is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Fellow of Leeds Sustainability Institute and European Commission Expert (Technical Reviewer). Supervisor of Y5 architecture theses at Bartlett, University College London since 2009. Member of All Party Parliamentary Group on Biodiversity.

Gary has three decades of experience involving several hundred projects of ecological survey and assessment, environmental design and planning, biodiversity action planning, habitat creation, wetland restoration, regional planning, green infrastructure planning, site design and management planning. He is an expert on green roofs and living walls (Green Roofs & Facades published by BRE Press 2005, contributor to the London Plan Policy on Living Roofs and Walls and the Green Roof Guidance for Greater Manchester).

His projects include London Bridge and Bankside Green Infrastructure Audits, the English Schools Climate Change Adaptation Study, Whitehill-Bordon Eco Town, Bicester Eco-town, Lend Lease London HQ roof garden, Masdar HQ roof garden, Rubens Hotel at The Palace living wall, London Olympic Park Biodiversity Action Plan, the Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden, the SE Wales Networked Environmental Region, Bedford River Valley Park Framework, Deep Bay Link in Hong Kong, the National Stadium Singapore, Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi, Education City Qatar and resorts in Sanya, Hainan, China, Zavidovo and Anapa, Russia and Costaterra, Portugal.

Stephanie Bricker is Team Leader Urban Geoscience at the British Geological Survey
and her background is in hydrogeology and environmental Earth Sciences. She has many research interests which include:

  • Urban groundwater systems (London, Glasgow, East Midlands)
  • Use of 3D geological models for hydrogeological research (Clyde, Thames)
  • Development of multi-scale hydrodomains map tools for decision-making
  • Investigation of climate change and hydrological extremes on groundwater resources
  • Thames Basin rural-urban earth observatory

Steve Bowyer is Chief Executive at Opportunity Peterborough, and is an excellent leader in both the heritage and economic development sectors. He has considerable success in transformational heritage, regeneration and urban environment programmes, as well as major business development, inward investment and city bid schemes. In effect, delivering new growth and regeneration for cities, through inward investment and identity enhancements, economic and cultural regeneration.

 As well as leading the Opportunity Peterborough team by setting the strategic vision and business & implementation plan, he is also director of Peterborough's Future City programme with the Technology Strategy Board: driving innovation, economic growth and sustainable solutions.

Miranda Sharp is Head of Smart Cities Practice at Ordnance Survey, as well as Head of Commercial Markets

At Ordnance Survey, the term 'smart cities' is used because it is globally recognised, not because they think it encompasses everything about making communities more efficient and sustainable.

They work with jurisdictions in the UK and further afield, who are aggregating data in the most efficient way to enable citizens to have the best outcomes in complex areas like congestion and health, OS helps people to visualise data but are also building capability and standards to enable global interoperability for machine learning in new technological applications. Miranda is also a member of the Smart Cities Interoperability Committee. Prior to working at Ordnance Survey, she worked at The Royal Mail Group and PAF Advisory Board.

Liane Hartley, Director at Mend, Founder Urbanistas UK

Mend specialises in responsible procurement, planning and place-making, and provides advice and practical support to enable communities, businesses and organisations to build social value and deliver better projects together.

Mend sees the ‘community as client’ and aims to elevate the role of communities in decision-making about their local area and neighbourhood, building relationships across networks, sectors, places and communities to get things done. Its clients range from small community groups to mega-urban transport projects and like-minded developers. It helps places, organisations and businesses respond effectively to Localism, Neighbourhood Planning, Social Value, Responsible Procurement agendas. Mend specialises in building collaboration across a spectrum of people and orgs to get things done.

Some of the key projects that Mend is involved with include:
* Crossrail RP Support - providing full range of RP services for contractor to deliver on Crossrail’s targets including Strategic Labour Needs and Training, Ethical Sourcing, Equality + Diversity, Youth Engagement.
* Hackbridge + Beddington Neighbourhood Plan – provided advice and support on development of a pioneering Neighbourhood Plan in London.
* London Legacy Development Corporation – researched community facility models and best practice around the park to feed into Legacy Community Scheme Community Facilities and Participation Strategies.
* LB Merton – designed and facilitated engagement around the future of Merton Cricket Green.
* Heston West Big Local - supported the Getting Involved Round 2 programme to enable the HWCP identify key projects and    source new members for delivery of £1m action plan.
* Omega/UCL Bartlett School research into treatment of social impact assessment and CSR on mega urban transport projects.
* CSR + ethical sourcing policy and procurement support to Riley Consulting.
* Community engagement on Aldershot Urban Extension for Grainger Plc.
* Monmouthshire Borough Council – researching the social impact and value of car-parking charges.

Dr Mara Ferreri

Mara is currently working as a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Durham. Founded in 1928, the Department of Geography at Durham is one of the leading centres of geographical research and education in the world.  It was ranked fifth in the world by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2013/14, 2nd in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2016 and fourth by the Guardian University Guide 2016. The recent Research Excellence Framework found they produced the most world leading research publications and were top for overall research power in the discipline nationally.

Prior to her appointment at Durham University, Mara was a Research Assistant working on the project 'Re-valuing Temporary Urban Use', funded by the AHRC-Creative Works London, in collaboration with Dr David Pinder (QMUL) and public works.

Research Assistant on the project 'Re-valuing Temporary Urban Use', funded by the AHRC-Creative Works London, in collaboration with Dr David Pinder (QMUL) and public works.

Temporary uses of vacant spaces are an emerging yet little studied part of London's creative economy. This collaborative project brings together practitioners and urban researchers to understand the overlapping systems of values mobilised on the ground by projects of temporary use (e.g. alternative economies, voluntary labour), and their relationship to wider dynamics of urban transformation. Which value(s) are mobilised by temporary uses and who benefits from them?

- See more at:

Dr Colin Roberts, is Operations Manager at Universities Police Science Institute (UPSI) Cardiff University and leads the Institute's research programme on counter-terrorism policing. He holds a PhD from the University of Surrey and an MA in social justice from the University of London. Colin is a former police officer and senior police civil staff member with extensive experience of research, project management, and training gained both in the UK and overseas. In his capacity as a leading international expert on human rights relating to the police use of force and firearms, he has acted as a consultant to the Department for International Development; the United Nations - UNODC, UNDPKO, UNHCHR; and Amnesty International's International Secretariat. These roles have taken him to conflicts all over the globe, but with particular focus upon sub-Saharan African and Asia-Pacific countries.  With Professor Martin Innes he worked on the National Reassurance Policing Programme and invented a community intelligence technology for the capture and analysis of signal crimes and disorders. In recent years Colin's main interests have focused on counter terrorism policing, informal social control, conflict dynamics and social media analytics.

Luan Baptista Ribeiro is the C40’s Team Coordinator for Global Initiatives. In this role, Luan works closely with the Director of Global Initiatives to manage and track the spectrum of interactions among C40 member cities. Prior to joining the C40, Luan has been involved in a number of projects focused on regional innovation and the impact of transportation on urban development in Regeneris and Urban Flow.

Before moving to the UK, Luan worked in the International Relations Secretariat in the city of Sao Paulo, where he was responsible for facilitating the exchange of best practices and policies on urban regeneration with cities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. He also worked closely with the Mayor and the Secretary in promoting Sao Paulo municipal projects in a range of international events. Luan has a Master’s degree from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit at University College London and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo. Luan is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and is competent in French.

Dr. Jean-Yves Cherruault is a Director at The Panacea Group, a London based organisation supporting clients to improve their economic performance through innovations in resource efficiency (energy, water and waste).

Throughout his career, combining over 12 years of UK-based professional experience in project management, consultancy, research and development, Jean-Yves has successfully combined working at strategy and operational level. Jean-Yves has provided technical input and assisted in the coordination and management of EU collaborative research and development projects within the sustainable transport, energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors. He has also advised and supported FTSE 100 organisations on carbon management and strategy and recently worked with London Underground to embed carbon efficiency into the procurement process of the underground network capacity upgrade programme. He has a personal interest in unleashing the benefits of resource efficiency for asset management and performance within complex entities such as urban environment.

Nick Bromley is an Earth Scientist and MBA with over 20 years in the IT industry, including working for Nokia and Fujitsu/ICL before setting up an Autonomy re-seller; he now specialises in Intelligent Mobility solutions consultancy with Citi Logik. He has several ‘firsts’ in transport including: a vehicle tracking system for West Midlands Passenger Transport; a vehicle hire system for Eurodollar; and setting up for Fujitsu the Asia travel business winning major scheduling systems contracts with MAS and Cathay Pacific. Nick was programme lead for TfL on the design of Abbey Wood Crossrail station and the assessment of the transport impacts from the £1.5bn Elephant & Castle regeneration.

Passionate about the use of technology in transport, Nick was interim director of the Transport KTN, and has led research into the application of mobile telephony networks to provide ‘demand’ data for transport planning and modelling purposes. His interest now is how near real-time mobile data can be used for optimising network capacity and for shaping customer demand and behaviour change. Nick has worked most recently with the GLA and EU iCity on the specification of an Open Data/Infrastructure platform building on the success of London Datastore, he wrote the technology parts of the Smart London Plan and London 2050 Infrastructure Plan, and is now an advocate for the use of smart phone movement patterns to optimise the design of city infrastructures.

Timo Tuukkanen is Solutions Director for Bentley Systems government business in EMEA. This includes definition and promotion of infrastructure lifecycle management solutions for local, central, military governments and cadastres. He holds an M.Sc in geomatics from Helsinki University of Technology.  His working history covers geospatial and infrastructure area positions from data production services to marketing, business development and sales management.

Gary Walker, as Programme Director, is currently responsible for the delivery of the Future City Glasgow Programme. Glasgow City Council’s globally-renowned programme demonstrates how smart city initiatives and technology can improve quality of life, environmental sustainability and create economic growth in cities. Funded by Innovate UK, Future City Glasgow is the largest UK smart city investment programme. The city's citizens are at the forefront of the innovative changes resulting in each demonstration area: City Data Hub, the Glasgow Operations Centre and City Integration demonstrators.

Gary holds an honours degree in chemistry and forensic science, is a qualified Public Analyst with a Mastership in Chemical Analysis and has a Certificate and Diploma in Local Government Management . Although currently seconded to the Future City Glasgow programme, Gary also has responsibility within Glasgow City Council for Environmental Health, Trading Standards, Scientific Services, City Energy, Sustainable Glasgow and the lead partner role for Scotland’s 8th City - the Smart City ERDF Strategic Intervention.

Wallis Motta is a Research Officer at the LSE Department of Media and Communications. She currently works with Dr. Myria Georgiou and Professor Sonia Livingstone in the project: Community through digital Connectivity, Communication Infrastructure in Multicultural London.

She previously worked as a Research Associate in The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at UCL, where she was responsible for community engagement in the project. She has been Visiting Lecturer at Riga Stradinis University (2013) and Visiting Researcher at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning in the University of Cambridge (2007). She has worked in industry as Senior Planner in advertising agencies like DDB and JWT, as well as a Market Researcher in De La Riva (Mexico City) and consulting expert in Flamingo International (UK). Wallis earned her PhD in Anthropology at UCL (2011). She has an MA in Material and Visual Culture (UCL) and a BSc in Communication Sciences (Universidad Iberoamericana).


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