Re-Building Europe

We kicked off our Re-Building Europe journey in Paris on 29. - 30. March with the aspiration to facilitate a paradigm shift in urban district development. Along with our partner Schneider Electric, an exclusive group of 45 guests joined the vibrant discussions and workshops on the various topics.


Award-Winning Urban Strategist and Global Advisor on Housing, Orna Rosenfeld delivered the keynote and briefly gave an overview on the evolving concepts and aspirations in city development. She highlighted the unforeseen challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic and the importance collaboration and co-creation play in addressing them.

Panel discussion

The panel brought together the CEO & Creative Director of Landscape, Architecture, Nature, Development (LAND) Andreas Kipar, the Co-Directing Urban Design and Planning Development at Drees & Sommer, Haris Piplas and the Policy Analyst Alessandro Rancati from the New European Bauhaus. The speakers unpacked the nuances around the evolving changes and trends in urban district development. One of the topics discussed was the myth around disconnection between people and the environment as well as the will to move beyond competition and polarization.

The first panel was wrapped up on the inspiring thought: We need to enjoy complexity and make it liveable.

The two Workshop sessions on day 1

Workshop 1

Re-Building Territorial strategies for future European societies with Dr. Haris Piplas and Andreas Kipar

Human habitats form the focal point of sustainability issues since they are major consumers and distributors of goods and services. Therefore, it is important to consider the connection of ecological systems and urban landscapes. The increasingly blurred boundaries between urban and rural areas are shifting the paradigm towards circular regions. This Workshop demonstrated how to activate potential and envision include larger-scale interventions, including green corridors as a glue between the social, economic and ecologic strata of urban environments.

Workshop 2

Smart, Green and Social: The Future of Urban Districts with Eva-Kristin Seeber and Alexander Bakhtiar and Stefanie Lütteke and Milena Ivkociv

Since European cities are urbanizing faster than ever, they need to ensure that the residents stay healthy as well as that the nature in the cities is preserved. In this Workshop, potential urban districts were discussed. The process of linking functional green, smart adaption through technology and providing social needs is going to be one of the problems trying to be solved, aiming to outline a concept for an “urban district of the future”.


The second panel brought together Grigor Hadjiev, Head of Product and Development in Western Europe, Allianz Real Estate, Estelle Monod, Building Segments President at Schneider Electric, and Piero Pelizzaro, the Chief Resilience Officer from the City of Milan. The discussion focused on the usage and governance of data, the collaboration between cities, investors and technical solution providers as well as the green use case for businesses.

Keynotes on day 2

The second day took place at “THE HIVE”, the innovation centre at the Schneider Electric headquarters.

Nicolas Maisetti is responsible for the metropolitan developments at POPSU, a Platform for the Observation of Urban Projects and Strategies. It combines scientific knowledge and operational expertise to understand the challenges and developments associated with cities and territories in a comprehensive way.
To the presentation

Sena Segbedzi is the Coordinator of the OECD’s Champion Mayors Initiative for Inclusive Growth. She is an expert in the economic growth in cities and how topics like equitable development, climate finance and investment, local governance and innovation capacity could be implemented.
To the presentation

The three workshop sessions on day 2

Workshop 1

Smart and Green cities for peaceful and secure European societies with Haris Piplas

Within the current realm of political and security instabilities, we have to rethink the way we want to live, work and exchange. Positive action in districts and cities can have an impact at scale and play a key role in addressing these risks, as the implications of urbanization cut across a variety of issues and sectors, including public health, energy, migration, social cohesion, environmental protection, biodiversity and climate change. Case studies from cities will be discussed and put into a system of a future Urban Transformation Toolbox, revealing lessons learned and fostering the transfer of knowledge among peer cities and partner organizations.

Workshop 2

Sustainable Buildings for future ESG proof environments with Stefan Klepzig and Karin Teichmann

This workshop highlighted best practices for designing, building and operating future-proof environments. The role model EUREF Campus with DOs and DON´Ts from a 10 years-process in creating a sustainable inner-city district in Berlin, which evolved into a unique real-world laboratory for the shift to renewable energy. The aim is to identify and address future locations that will figure as lighthouse projects - exemplifying future campus development that minimize environmental impact.

Workshop 3

Sustainable strategies for local climate change mitigation and adaption in the urban context: Science, data, people with Christiane Gebhardt, Stella Schmidtler and Johannes Orphal

Cities have become the focal points of data-driven solutions for sustainability issues as climate change poses a threat to vulnerable groups and critical infrastructure. Sustainable urban transformation is one of the most important challenges for humankind in the 21st century, and due to its complexity it requires a new policy, practice and scientific paradigm.

The Workshop focused on how these developments also trigger socio-economic alterations like the quadruple helix model, which integrates science, industry, government, and societal actors.

Best Practice Schneider Electric

The concluding session was with Cormac Crossan from Schneider Electric. He showed us step by step how to decarbonize a building.

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We are now looking forward to our upcoming workshops in Basel, Berlin, Barcelona, Oslo and Milan driven by Canton Basel City, EUREF campus, LaSalle University, SwissLife Asset Managers and LAND.

If you are interested, get in touch!

Get in touch

Ramona Schmid Business Transformation and Network Management

Götz Schönfeld Business Transformation and Network Management