About this event

About this event

The sessions of Empowering Women, Public Space and Cimate Change Talks, combine our past topics of Public Space and Climate Change. Partnering together with Her City a joint initiative of UN Habitat and Global Utmaning. Partners of the New European Bauhaus and co-organization with partners of BIDs Beglium and City Space Architecture.

Empowering Women, Public Space and Climate Change aims to create further awareness, research and projects on female led initiatives and gathering experts from a variety of sectors with a focus on empowering diverse women around the world. Engaging in inspiring debates and discussions, taking an inclusive approach to highlight women working in the field.All sessions of Empowering Women and Climate Change recognize the need for more gender equality, racial and social justice. With taking an integrated systemic and connected approach by local governments, private sector and grassroots and civil society organizations, together having a crucial opportunity to enhance their climate responses from social issues to the supply chain, from poverty alleviation and gender equality.

About this session:

In this session we continue sharing, exchanging and highlighting projects, research and case studies from global perspectives from our partners and extended network. From those working in collectives and initiatives to those in private sector. Discussing the challenges and potential positive impacts with projects and research on the ground. Emphasizing the strong link between each of these topics and the need for a more systemic and integrated approach relating to; empowering women, public space and climate change in communities across the world.

This session of Empowering Women and Public Spaces Talks, is co-organised by Rozina Spinnoy, BIDs Belgium and in partnership with Luisa Bravo of City Space Architecture. Partners of Her City, a joint initiative of UN Habitat and Global Utmaning, the New European Bauhaus (as community partners of BIDs Belgium).

This is the first session of 2023 and we look forward to welcoming the following speakers::


Maria Fernanda Pineda has 10 years of experience managing projects on environmental awareness and climate action in Latin America. She studied Business Engineering, Climate Change, Design Thinking and Brand Management. She co-directed the Acción Sostenible NGO focused on environmental education for children and youth, as well as on the development of CSR programs. She worked as Project Coordinator of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Regional Energy Security and Climate Change Programme, highlighting projects in sustainable local governments and circular economy. She is currently part of Fundación Avina, supporting projects in public spaces and sustainable management of plastics.


Jorn drives KPMG’s Net Zero Urban Program and also leads the Decarbonisation Innovation Exchange for KPMG’s Global Decarbonisation Hub, brokering business agendas, innovation, finance, policy and science for the climate and energy transition, with a focus on urban challenges, innovation in key emission sectors and the Global South agenda. For the Belgium firm, he’s responsible for the ESG work in the public sector.

With +20 year sustainability expertise, in both public and private sector, at local and international level, and a journalist by training, Jorn easily embraces complexity by combining the different agendas and perspectives of stakeholders involved and has year-long experience of turning them into ambitious yet feasible action plans.

Jorn brings deep expertise in innovation, energy transition, circular economy, public-private partnerships, theory of change and transition management. He has advised cities worldwide, large multinationals, small-scale start-ups, local, national, and international governments, global NGOs, and science and research institutes.


A feminist Urbanist & architect. She is cities and people enthusiast, hence she does her best in her work and research to activate communities and build an inclusive sustainable cities for people, she is advocating for Placemaking, Playmaking and interactive design processes that respond positively to the needs and aspirations of the community to activate the role of communities to shape their lives. she works on amplifying women’s voices in their cities.

She is the author of the upcoming book “The Gendered City” from her project “How cities keep failing women”, focusing on gender and cities, bringing light to these omissions and to the subordinate situations of women in cities. Cities for too long have been failing women, in mobility, economic empowerment, safety, representation, and many other factors.

Founder of “GamingX” a think tank that enables urbanists and placemakers to develop and create play spaces and active urban places in the city focusing on marginalized, underrepresented kids and Girls.

A PhD candidate in the scope of resilient communities and the built environment.


Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar and educator, social entrepreneur and public space activist. She has more than 15-years experience in the professional field as urban planner and designer with a specific focus on public space. Her expertise is grounded in extensive academic postdoctoral research and teaching in Italy and Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Throughout her academic career, she held different academic positions, in Italy and abroad, and she has been the recipient of prestigious grants and awards such as the Marco Polo scholarship for a postdoctoral research period as Visiting Scholar at IURD – Institute of Urban and Regional Development at University of California Berkeley (USA, 2012) and the Australia Award Endeavour Executive Fellowship for professional development, fully funded by the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, hosted at the Queensland University of Technology, School of Design, Faculty of Creative Industries (Australia, 2018).

Luisa is the Founder and President of City Space Architecture, an Italian-based non-profit organization promoting public space culture at the global level, and she is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Journal of Public Space, the first, interdisciplinary, academic, open access journal entirely dedicated to public space, that she established through City Space Architecture in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.



Rozina Spinnoy is a Design Strategist and Social Entrepreneur, Owner/Founder of her NGO BIDs Belgium and Design SME’s based in Brussels and working internationally. A community partner of the New European Bauhaus, with her NGO BIDs Belgium. She is also the Founder of the international/community initiative of Empowering Women, Public Space and Climate Change. Recently appointed as the Associate Direct of the Public Space Academy, an initiave of City Space Architecture, with the Ove Arup Foundation. An active member and Leader of the Placemaking Europe Network. Rozina is also an Academician for the Academy of Urbanism and also sitting on a variety of Advisory Councils. Rozina champions a variety of causes, projects and philanthropic activities, ranging from gender equality, urban place-making, inclusion and diversity. A keen advocate for more mental health awareness, inclusive communities and co-designing processes in her wide range of diverse projects. You will find Rozina often sharing her views and passion on the value of Design, Creativity and Foresight for positive impact across our society.


Empowering Women,Public Space & Climate Change-Talks(07) Video Summary

Introductions and Co-Moderation by Rozina Spinnoy of BIDs Belgium and Luisa Bravo of City Space Architecture, sharing the value of exchanging, sharing and highlighting the global perspective of women and the related topics. The initiative has ambition to continue to grow and expand the discussion beyond gender. Maria Fermanda talks of the case of female builders in the Her City project in Lima, Peru is a great example of empowering women in public space and climate change.The Her City project is a joint initiative of UN-Habitat and Global Utmaning that aims to create inclusive urban planning and design by empowering women to participate in decision-making processes. The project focuses on four sites across Lima, including low-income and informal settlements, and engages women from these communities as builders, architects, and planners.

The project provides training and employment opportunities for women, enabling them to contribute to the development of their communities and build their skills and knowledge in sustainable urban development. The project also involves community engagement and consultation to ensure that the needs and perspectives of women and other marginalized groups are taken into account in urban planning and design. The Her City project demonstrates the importance of empowering women in addressing climate change and building more inclusive and sustainable communities. By recognizing the value of women’s contributions and ensuring their participation in decision-making processes, we can create more equitable and resilient cities for all. Jorn Verbeeck implores the need of creating soft space for conflicts by opening dialogue and getting together. He says that if we look a city at a citizen’s perspective how much of the city is not being used .This basically means giving space for community and looking at cities as peoples cities. This would include sharing dinner together, daycare services so that people can discover things in common, the needs as well as the challenges. There is need to understand how to design the city to address all the long term challenges. Cities is a reflection of the past cultures have been and a packet for the future. Women and girls benefit less from urbanization as a result of system design of our culture. It is important that we bring feminine energy of kind and thoughtful urban planning to include women rather the hoping that the outcome will fit them.Another element that needs to be considered is future proofed inclusive planning and criteria with enough space for cohesion and dialogue. It is also crucial to have climate change as an enabler with investments in education, energy and social rights.

Cities reflect much of our culture but are also the pockets of the future by giving unheard voices a space and a platform. It is also important that in designing cities we show what is possible rather than too many policies, frameworks and ambitions.Nourham Bassam talks of planning carefully, a willingness to change, teamwork, and commitment are all necessary to implement gender mainstreaming standards in urban planning and design. Cities that successfully put gender mainstreaming policies into practice can develop more inclusive and equitable urban environments that serve the interests of all community members. Bassam also emphasizes the importance of intersectionality as an analytical tool to understand the gendered city. Intersectionality recognizes that individuals have multiple, intersecting identities that shape their experiences of the world, including their experiences of urban space. By examining the intersections between gender, race, class, and other factors, we can better understand how different groups experience the city and develop policies and strategies that promote greater equity and inclusion.