Collaboration and Co-creation for Liveable Cities

Celebrating 65 years of IHS
Thursday 26 Oct 2023, 14:00 - 18:00
Spoken Language
Erasmus Pavilion

Erasmus Paviljoen

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IHS students and director at Erasmus Pavillion

This year, IHS is celebrating a major milestone - its 65th anniversary. As a part of the EUR community, IHS invites students, staff, partners and remarkable urban experts to look ahead at the future of urban education and practice, and reflect on how knowledge institutions like IHS can work on making cities better places.

About the event 

In this event, we celebrate our long-standing dedication to making cities work for all by looking back at the rich history of IHS in urban education, research and advisory. Panellists will explore how capacity-building and knowledge-sharing processes are changing, they will reflect on how IHS and its stakeholders adapt to emerging urban priorities, and how institutions can better collaborate with partners to make cities more liveable for all. 


14:00-14:30Walk-in and Welcome drink
14:30-14:45Welcome speech by IHS General Director David Dodman
14:45-15:45Session 1: Collaboration and Co-creation: Exploring knowledge processes
16:00-17:00Session 2: Past, present and future: Adapting to urban changes
17:00-18:00Drinks & Snacks

Panel discussions

How are knowledge processes changing? We will reflect on the role of knowledge institutes and explore how they are evolving to respond to constantly transforming cities. We will look at the changing narrative around capacity building and find out how development organisations can best collaborate with different actors, to achieve a bigger impact.

ModeratorOre Fika, IHS Senior Specialist in Urban Land and Housing Development


  • Lars Gronvald | Head of Cities Section, Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA), EU Commission
  • Prof Michael Walls | Head of Development Planning Unit Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL
  • Aline Roldan | Programme Management Officer, UN-Habitat’s Capacity Development and Training Unit
  • Laura Quadros Aniche | IHS Specialist in Urban Sustainability and Climate Change, SCORE project 
  • Robbert Nesselaar | Co-Founder Closer Cities & Director of Citymarketing Arnhem

Navigating the past-present-future timeline, we will share insights on how changes in urban priorities and key areas have shaped the work we do at IHS, in the education, research and advisory areas. We see how newer generations of urban professionals adapt to big challenges in cities, by looking into some key projects our alumni work on, both internationally and locally.

Moderator: Saskia Ruijsink | Theme coordinator Cities & Regions LDE CfS and former IHS staff


  • Elena Marie Enseñado | IHS Specialist in Nature-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning
  • Dr Dr Lasse Gerrits | IHS Academic Director 
  • Dr Beatriz Calzada Olvera | IHS Researcher in Economics and Innovation
  • Oleksandra Tkachenko | Urban Planner at KuiperCompagnons & Coordinator, Ukrainian Netherlands Urban Network
  • Dr Nohemi Ramirez Aranda | Postdoctoral Researcher, TU Delft
  • Max Meldgaard van Gils | Strategic Advisor Spatial Development, Municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel

More about the speakers

Lars Gronvald
EU Commission

Lars Gronvald | Head of the Cities Section, EU Comission

Lars Gronvald, European Commission, is heading the Cities Section in the Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). Within in the EU Commission he has served in number of delegations, most recently as Head of Cooperation in the delegation to China, overseeing programmes inter alia on urban development, low carbon development, and employment creation. 

Aline Roldan | Programme Management Officer, UN-Habitat

Aline Roldan is an urban planner and social scientist with ten years of experience, including five years working with informal settlements in Brazil and four years with capacity development in UNITAR and UNESCAP in Asia-Pacific. Aline is passionate about innovative approaches for social learning, strategic foresight, and decision-making in urban planning. Her practical and research work received international and academic awards.

Michael Walls

Prof Michael Walls | Director of Development Planning Unit, UCL

Michael is Professor of Development Politics and Economy and Director of UCL's Development Planning Unit (DPU). He has twelve years' experience in senior management in the private sector and lectures in 'market-led approaches to development' (a module titled 'Society and Market: Private Agency for Development'). For seven years, he was responsible for teaching development management at DPU ('Development in Practice').

Photo of Laura Quadros Aniche

Laura Quadros Aniche | Specialist in Urban Sustainability and Climate Change

Laura Quadros Aniche is an Urban Sustainability and Climate Change specialist working in education, advisory, and urban sustainability and governance research. Her expertise focuses on nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, climate adaptation and resilience, urban living labs, participatory processes and legitimacy.

Robbert Nesselaar | Co-Founder Closer Cities & Director of Citymarketing Arnhem

Robbert Nesselaar has over 20 years of experience working for cities and regions, mostly in the field of city marketing and place branding. Since 2016, he has worked as a consultant for various cities. In addition to city marketing, he is fascinated by the topic of co-creating and sharing urban knowledge, and achieving positive societal impact in doing so. 

Photo of Elena Marie Ensenado
Maarten Zeehandelaar

Elena Marie Enseñado | IHS Specialist in Nature-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning

Elena Marie Enseñado currently works as a specialist in Nature-based Climate Change Adaptation Planning at IHS. Her expertise includes climate change and environmental planning, learning for socio-technical transitions and social-ecological resilience, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions, vulnerability assessments using participatory methods, and participatory decision making using multiple criteria analysis. At IHS, Elena is involved in advisory, research, education, and capacity building activities. She has more than 12 years of experience in project development, management, monitoring and evaluation.

Photo of Dr Dr Lasse Gerrits
Maarten Zeehandelaar

Dr Dr Lasse Gerrits | IHS Academic Director 

At IHS, Lasse Gerrits is currently the Academic Director, focusing on the PhD program, student supervision, and developing IHS's scientific portfolio. He is a regular advisor to municipal planning authorities and other government agencies. He was awarded an NWO Veni-grant in 2010 and the "Arthur" award for best teacher in Public Administration in 2012.

Dr Beatriz Calzada Olvera | IHS Specialist in Economics and Innovation

Beatriz Calzada Olvera is currently an economics researcher and lecturer at the Erasmus University Rotterdam - Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS). Her research currently focuses on innovation, development economics, (local) economic growth, extractive industries, trade, global value chains, inequality,  and resilience. She is also interested in economic geography and (economic) complexity issues.

Oleksandra Tkachenko | Urban Planner at KuiperCompagnons & Coordinator, Ukrainian Netherlands Urban Network

Oleksandra joined KuiperCompagnons in 2021. Her approach has a strong focus on development processes, such as scenario planning, participation, stakeholder analysis and research. Since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, she initiated and led the Ukraine Netherlands Urban Network (UNUN). This initiative aims for knowledge exchange between Dutch and Ukrainian Urban professionals, for Ukrainian recovery.

Dr Nohemi Ramirez Aranda | Postdoctoral Researcher, TU Delft

Dr Nohemi Ramirez Aranda is an accomplished architect. Currently, Dr. Ramirez Aranda holds a postdoctoral research position at TU Delft BK, where she is actively contributing to two prominent European Union projects: New European Bauhaus Stavanger (NEB-STAR) and Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions (DUST).

Max Meldgaard van Gils | Strategic Advisor Spatial Development, Municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel

After finishing IHS cum laude, Max worked for municipal and regional governments in the north of the Netherlands, mainly on regional spatio-economic policies and investments. Currently, he is working on a strategic urban plan for the long-term development of the municipality of Capelle aan den IJssel.

More about Lustrum 

The IHS anniversary event is organised under the Lustrum umbrella. This year Erasmus University Rotterdam is celebrating its 110th anniversary. Over the course of the following months, there are various events at the university to celebrate its birthday, including the IHS celebratory event. 

Learn more about the Lustrum

Read more about IHS

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