A Place to Call Home Speakers

This page will be regularly updated with speakers. Please continue to check this page for the latest information.

Jonny Anstead AoU
Director, TOWN

Jonny is Director and cofounder of TOWN, a developer with a mission to deliver homes in places people love. TOWN works across varying scales, from single streets to new parts of cities.
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Leonie Andriesse
Housing Policy Lead, City of Rotterdam

Leonie Andriesse, an urban planner who has turned into an expert on housing. After working for consultancy agencies for more than seven years, she switched to the municipality of Rotterdam in 2009. Since then, she has been advising the mayor and aldermen of Rotterdam on a wide range of housing issues, ranging from the pricesegmentation in the urban housing stock (citywide and areaspecific), quality of houses in general and for specific interest groups like families and the elderly, the distribution of (public) housing and liveability in and around the house.
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Thom Aussems AoU
Former CEO, Trudo Housing Association, Eindhoven

Thom Aussems is a Dutch authority in urban renewal and city transformation. From 1995 until 2018 Thom was the CEO of Trudo housing association in Eindhoven, where he led a number of innovative projects, including the renewal of declining urban neighbourhoods (Kruidenbuurt, Woensel-West), former Philips industrial sites (the Light Tower and Strijp S), and ‘de Broeders van Liefde’ boarding school estate.
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Lord Richard Best OBE
Chair, The Affordable Housing Commission, UK
Richard Best was Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation for 15 years then of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for 18 years; he was chair of The Property Ombudsman and chair of Hanover Housing Association; he has chaired a series of commissions and inquiries covering rural housing, housing in Northern Ireland, housing for an ageing population, local authority housing, private renting, et al.
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Alexis Butterfield
Associate Partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
Alexis’ projects frequently make creative reuse of, or restore lost, landscapes and townscapes – while emphasising the importance of shared space. This approach is exemplified in The Avenue, the multiple award winning scheme in Saffron Walden. Alexis is currently working on several urban extensions and new settlements, including sites within Cambridge University’s North West Cambridge development, and establishing the design code and phase 1 detail for the 1350 home “Wing” urban extension in East Cambridge.
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Dominic Church AoU
Project Leader for Strategic Planning, City of Lucerne
Architect and Urban Designer, Dominic Church is the Project leader for Strategic Planning in City of Lucerne´s real estate department. After completing his training as an Architect in Stuttgart, Dominic worked in Sweden, Israel and London before going on to complete the MSc City Design and Social Science at the LSE Cities Programme, where he subsequently acted as Assistant Director of the LSE Cities MSc programme.
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Heather Claridge AoU
Principal of Spatial Strategy & Projects, Development & Regeneration Services, Glasgow City Council
Heather is a chartered Urban Planner, Designer and Geographer who has worked for Glasgow City Council since 2008 leading on a diverse range of spatial strategy, regeneration and sustainability initiatives. Heather has been responsible for leading on neighbourhood regeneration frameworks including recently Glasgow’s River Clyde waterfront. She has helped built creative partnerships at different scales within Glasgow’s Canal Corridor and has gone on to secure significant investment for activities which help support the delivery of new and improved housing.
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Eric Corijn
Emeritus Professor of Cultural and Social Geography, University of Brussels
Eric Corijn, cultural philosopher and social scientist, professor in Urban Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels), Founder of COSMOPOLIS, Centre for Urban Research (VUB). Vicechair of the Brussels Studies Institute, director Brussels Academy, Promotor BSI-Brussels Centre Observatory, advisor to the Global Parliament of Mayors, vicechair of the Regional Development Commission of the Brussels Capital Region and member jury Urban Renewal of Flanders.
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Dr Jennifer Duyne Barenstein
Senior Researcher and Lecturer, Executive Director, MAS ETH in Housing, ETH Department of Architecture, Zurich
Dr Jennifer Duyne Barenstein is a social anthropologist specialized in socio-economic and cultural dimensions of housing, urbanization and post-disaster reconstruction. Her current research interests focus on housing cooperatives in Switzerland and Uruguay and on the opportunities and challenges of replicating and scaling up best practices in different socio-economic, cultural and political contexts.
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Elina Eskelä
Planner, City Executive Office, City of Helsinki
As a planner at the City Executive Office, Elina coordinates and develops housing policy in Helsinki, ensuring mixed tenure development in the neighbourhoods. As Helsinki strives to hold its position as a textbook example in Europe of how to prevent segregation, Elina is also planning suburban renewal projects, enabling equality and wellbeing in all districts. She also works with projects aiming at innovative housing solutions and diversifying housing in apartment buildings.
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Jos Goijaerts
Director & Investment Director, Sint Trudo
Jos has been working at Sint Trudo since 2004 as Director of Investments.Before that he was employed by the municipality of Rotterdam and he had his own consulting firm in the field of building, living and project management for 15 years. In that period Jos was also connected to the TU/e, department of Architecture, for a few years.
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Paul Hackett AoU
CEO, Optivo
Chair, G15

Paul is CEO of Optivo and Chair of the G15 – representing London’s largest developing housing associations. He is a member of the Mayor’s ‘Homes for Londoners Board’ and a member of the RICS ‘Housing Supply Group’. Paul is an Honorary Professor at the UCL Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, an Academician of The Academy of Urbanism and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
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Paul Hackett AoU
Director, The Smith Institute, London
Paul Hackett is Director of the Smith Institute think tank and a former special adviser in both the Blair and Brown Labour governments. He has extensive knowledge and insights into the workings of Westminster and Whitehall and has published various articles and reports on politics and public policy, notably on housing, economic development, labour markets, local government and welfare. Paul has worked for Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, ministers of state, the Parliamentary Labour Party and the Trades Union Congress, the ILO and OECD, and as a journalist for the Economist Group and Financial Times.
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Stephen Hill
Chair, UK Cohousing Network
Stephen works as an independent public interest practitioner in planning and housing development, advising central and local government, developers and community housing groups. He teaches professional ethics to mid-career development professionals. In 2014 and 2017, he visited the USA & Canada as a Churchill Fellow. His report describes approaches to co-production by the ‘state’ and citizens of housing and neighbourhood development through community organising. Stephen is Chair of the UK Cohousing Network and a trustee of the National CLT Network.
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John Jorritsma
Mayor of Eindhoven
John Jorritsma has been the Mayor of Eindhoven since September 2016. In his capacity as Mayor, he also chairs the South East Brabant Security Region (VRBZO) and the Metropolitan Region Eindhoven (MRE). The Mayor of Eindhoven is also chairman of the Brainport Foundation. Previously, John had a long career in public administration (among others as King’s Commissioner in Friesland and the Mayor of Cranendonck municipality) and economic development (as Director of the Brabant Development Company).
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Paul Karakusevic
Partner, Karakusevic Carson Architects, London
Paul Karakusevic established Karakusevic Carson Architects to improve the quality of social housing in London. His focus is the delivery of successful and sustainable neighbourhoods, mixed-tenure housing and civic buildings that reflect both their unique, local sense of place and the real needs of the communities involved. In addition to his nationally and internationally recognised experience with the practice, Paul is a Design Advisor to the HCA/GLA, Urban Design London and Design Council/CABE and lends his experience to audits, critiques and review and awards panels of major initiatives and projects across the UK.
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Peter Kentie
Managing Director, Eindhoven365
Eindhoven365 (or short EHV365) is the organisation responsible for the citymarketing of Eindhoven region. Primary focus is brand management of Eindhoven marketing strategy and activation programs based on the brand pillars: design, technology and knowledge, the core qualities of the Eindhoven Region. Target groups are knowledge workers, tech starters, bright talents and city explorers and tourists.
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Tae-Hyung Kim
Director General of Urban Space Improvement,
Seoul Metropolitan Government

Tae-Hyung Kim has been working as Director-General since 2015. He has worked as an architect, urban development strategist and an adjunct professor of architecture in Korean National University of Arts. As a Director-General he has focused on planning and managing key urban projects of Seoul metropolitan government such as Seoullo, Sewon sky walkways and Reaching out community center.
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Colm Lacey
CEO, Brick by Brick, London

Colm is founding Managing Director and Chief Executive of Brick by Brick, a progressive development company established by Croydon Council which specialises in the development of smaller sites. Colm has led some of London’s largest and most complex development projects for over 15 years, including senior level roles at the Homes and Communities Agency, Greater London Authority and London growth boroughs such as Newham, Croydon and Lambeth.
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Matt Lally AoU
Associate Director, Arup
A highly experienced urban designer and town planner, Matt has worked internationally on a wide-ranging portfolio of major planning and development projects in both public and private sectors throughout the UK, Europe, Australasia, Middle East, Asia and Africa. He has lived and worked in London, Sydney, Singapore and Doha. Experience encompasses sub-regional strategies new settlements, major urban regeneration, Transit Oriented Development, housing renewal, urban extensions, mega sport events, resorts, specialist employment precincts and associated infrastructure.
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Erik Leijten
Director for South Region, BPD, Eindhoven
Since December 2018, Erik Leijten’s role as regional director at Bouwfonds Property Development (BPD) has focused on creating affordable, sustainable new living environments that are attractive to people, both now and in the future. With a good team, a large network and more than 20 years of experience, this will be put into practice in Brabant and Limburg.
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John Lewis
Executive Director, Thamesmead, Peabody, UK

John is an Executive Director at Peabody leading one of London’s largest regeneration programmes which will position Thamesmead as London’s New Town creating 20,000 new homes of all tenure types to help meet the Capital’s housing needs. Previously he spent 6 years as CEO of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, a self-funded charitable organisation providing support services to maintain and enhance the world’s first garden city.
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Martijn Paulen
CEO, Dutch Design Week

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. The biggest design event in Northern Europe presents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. In more than 110 locations across the city, DDW organises and facilitates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates and festivities.
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Tina Saaby AoU
CEO, tinasaaby.com,
Former City Architect of Copenhagen

Tina Saaby was Copenhagen’s chief architect from September 2010 until December 2018. She inspires, facilitates, advises, and coaches politicians and the city administration. Her responsibility has been to help define architectural guidelines and visions in developing the city based on The City of Copenhagen’s Architectural Policy. As the Chief City Architect, Tina Saaby supported the agenda of developing a sustainable and liveable city by engaging in the creation of a resilient strategic framework for the future city development and also by facilitating a dialogue about how to rethink the processes of this development.
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Barbara Steenbergen
Member of the Executive Committee and Head of EU liaison office of the International Union of Tenants

Barbara Steenbergen has worked for more than 18 years for the protection of tenants. She started in 2001 as head of the president’s office of the German Union of Tenants (Deutscher Mieterbund), Berlin, and as political coordinator for energy policy and international affairs. In 2007 she was elected as head of the IUT EU Office in Brussels, since 2013 she has been member of the IUT Executive Committee. She is responsible for the political relations and the lobbying towards the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Council.
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Yasin Torunoglu
Deputy Mayor for Housing, Neighbourhoods, Work and Spatial Development, Eindhoven
After obtaining a degree in International Business Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, Yasin worked as a management trainee at energy company Essent. From 2006 to the end of March 2013 he was a municipal councillor for the PvdA in Eindhoven. In March 2013 he became the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Neighbourhoods, Spatial Planning, Citizen Participation and Services in Eindhoven. In most recent years he has been focusing on housing, neighbourhood renewal, citizen participation, spatial planning, urban development, services and civil affairs, licensing, legal affairs and the Stratumseind 2.0 project.
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Desirée Uitzetter
Managing Director Area Development, BPD
Desirée Uitzetter has been Managing Director Area Development at Bouwfonds Property Development since 2015. In 2019 she was appointed Chairman of NEPROM, the Association of Dutch Project Development Companies. Previously, she was a partner at Stec Group and Project Manager at BNG Area Development. Desirée is a member of the Supervisory Board of Platform31 and of the Deltametropolis Association. She also represents the Netherlands as Council Member at IFHP.
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Maria Vassilakou
Deputy Mayor of Vienna
Maria Vassilakou started her political career as Secretary General of the Austrian Students’ Union. In November 1996 she became Member of the Vienna Provincial Parliament and in 2004 Head of the Parliamentary Group of the Green Party. Since November 2010 Maria Vassilakou is Deputy Mayor of Vienna and Executive City Councillor for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation. Maria Vassilakou is the first Executive City Councillor with a migration background. She was born in Greece and sees Vienna as an open, modern and diverse city.
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Elanor Warwick AoU
Head of Strategic Policy and Research,
Clarion Housing Group, UK

Elanor trained and worked as an architect and urban designer, before focusing on applied built environment research. She now works within the social housing sector embedding learning and good practice about housing, placemaking and urban renewal. She spent seven years as Head of Research at CABE, managing a diverse research programme providing evidence to shape national policy and embed good design practices within the industry. Elanor is currently Head of Strategic Policy and Research at Clarion Housing Group, England’s largest housing association.
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Bert-Jan Woertman
Liaison Manager, TU/e Innovation Space
Bert-Jan is a social innovator with proven track-record in building innovation ecosystems that really work. Leading the development and growth of High Tech Campus Eindhoven into world’s smartest square kilometer as part of the management team. Followed by co-developing the Eindhoven University of Technology Campus and kickstarting the Brainport Industries Campus.
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