Doug Austin
Chairman and CEO of AVRP Studios

Since establishing his own firm in San Diego in 1977, Douglas H. Austin, FAIA has lead teams in designing projects that have received over 100 design awards. Doug is widely recognized by his peers and the community as a leader in the design profession and is a highly respected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Doug is the “architect” among the Firm Principals. He was appointed by the Mayor of San Diego to the City’s Task Force in Ballpark Planning. His participation as chair in the advisory group and the quality and diligence of his service earned him the appointment of Director with the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), a non-profit organization that plans, facilitates, and manages redevelopment of the downtown district.

A graduate of the architecture program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Doug Austin’s work encompasses a broad spectrum of project types as well as large-scale master planning. His completed work includes both domestic and international projectsis and is well known for his expertise in human responsive design. Doug heads the design behind the Urban & Hospitality Studios.

María Buhigas
Founder of URBAN-FACTS platform

Born in Barcelona, she is an architect at ETSAB (Higher Education School of Architecture of Barcelona) and has a Master of Science in Urban Planning (MSuP) from the University of Columbia. In 2014 she founded the URBAN-FACTS platform, an interdisciplinary platform focused on developing urban concepts. Before that she worked for the public organization Barcelona Regional from 1999 to 2013, where she held several positions, and, in the last 5 years she was there, she was the acting Director of the Urban Strategy Department. Her field of expertise is the integration of a spatial perspective (on both a territorial and urban level) in economic and social questions related to cities and metropolitan areas. Among the fields that she has worked in the most noteworthy are: promoting and developing local economies, urban industry, industrial spaces, tourism, urban renovation, marginal urban planning and transforming planning instruments as well as the whole of planning as a discipline. She has published articles that are related to subject areas of her work and she collaborates on a monthly basis in a seminar called l’Econòmic.

Manny Diaz
Former Mayor of Miami

Manny Diaz is a Cuban-born lawyer and was first elected Mayor in 2001. After his first term, characterized by rapid growth in Miami’s urban development, Diaz was re-elected as an independent in the November 2005 poll. Diaz has received many plaudits for his business-style leadership and private sector-orientated approach to governing the city, with city hall finances straightened out to A grade standard from virtual bankruptcy in less than three years.

Diaz remains a partner in the legal practice of Diaz & O’Naghten, L.L.P. In 2004 he was named Urban Innovator of the Year by the Manhattan Institute. In 2009 Diaz was President of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). Former Mayor Diaz is also an advisory board member for both the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Civic Innovation, the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research and the Mayors’ Institute on City Design

He attended Belen Jesuit Prep School and continued his education at Miami-Dade Community College, Florida International University (political science) and the University of Miami Law School.



David Sim
Creative Director at Gehl Architects

For more than ten years David has been focusing on Masterplanning Frameworks and urban design, collaborating with other professionals in the planning and building process, applying Jan Gehl’s theories to large-scale projects. David is also renowned as an inspiring educator and lecturer, and has taught at architecture and design schools all over the world.

Jan Gehl
Worldwide renowned architect, urban planning guru

A legendary architect and urban design guru, Jan Gehl has been rebuilding cities to accommodate the needs of modern societies throughout half a century. He has been involved in rebuilding most large cities that one can imagine, from Sao Paolo to New York, to Copenhagen, to Moscow, to Singapore. He is a founding partner of Gehl Architects

Ethan Kent
Senior Vice President PPS

Ethan Kent works to support Placemaking organizations, projects, and leadership around the world. During 18 years at Project for public Spaces, Ethan has traveled to more than 750 cities and 55 countries to advance the cause of Placemaking and public spaces. Ethan has been integral to development of Placemaking as a transformative approach to economic development, environmentalism, transportation planning, governance, resilience, equity and design.

Juan Pardinas
 IMCO General Director

Juan E. Pardinas is director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness. He has previously worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Secretariat of Finance, and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Peru. As a journalist, he was a CNN correspondent in India and Japan. He also writes a weekly op-ed column for Reforma in Mexico City. He obtained his PhD from the London School of Economics, a Master’s in Economics at Sophia University in Tokyo, and a BA in Political Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Steven Popper
Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Steven W. Popper is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. As associate director of the RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute (1996–2001), Popper provided research and analytic support to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other agencies of the Executive Branch. His current work is on science and technology policy, socio-economic long-term strategy, energy, decisionmaking under uncertainty, and security planning. His research focuses on regional economic development and international economics. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank and OECD.

Camilla van Deurs
Partner, Director & Team Lead Design at Gehl Architects

As Team Lead, Camilla works with her team to develop Public Space and Street Designs, Masterplanning Frameworks and Pilot Projects. Camilla has worked with both public and private clients in Europe, USA, Australia, Middle East and China at both a strategic and design level. Camilla holds a PhD in Urban Design with a focus on urban housing and is an active lecturer on the Gehl methodology, speaking at conferences around the world. She is also an Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, as well as a Board Member for the Danish Architects Association

Camila Ween
Director of Goldstein Ween Architects

Camilla Ween is an architect, urbanist and transport expert with extensive experience in sustainable development, regeneration and transportation. She is a director of Goldstein Ween Architects and is a registered architect and Harvard Loeb Fellow. As a Harvard Loeb Fellow she spent a year researching sustainable urban development and climate change. She worked for Transport for London from 2000 to 2011, advising on the impact of land use development and transport strategy. Her book, Future Cities, published in July 2014, looks at the challenges facing future megacities and proposes solutions for a sustainable future. She has contributed to Green Cities of Europe, Global Lessons in Green Urbanism (now published in Chinese) and Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Ecological Urbanism.

Theme Leaders

Citizenship and responsibility

She is Director of Urban and Health Policy at the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), a think tank based in Mexico City. Since 2007 she has lead IMCO’s studies on these topics, including urban and state competitiveness indexes.

She was member of the editorial advisory board at Revista R, from Reforma newspaper, and at Alcaldes de Mexico magazine. She has been a member of the National Council on Housing, of the Mexican Observatory for Non Communicable Diseases, and of Pemex’s Citizen Participation Group on Sustainability Practices.

Before IMCO, she worked as an advisor to the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance and to the CEO at Nacional Financiera, as a researcher at the National Institute of Ecology and as project manager at an environmental consulting firm. She has also been an independent consultant to SEDESOL (the Ministry for Social Development), SEMARNAT (the Ministry of the Environment), the IDB (Interamerican Development Bank), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and several international companies.

She has a Bachelor degree in Economics from ITAM (Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México) and a Master in Public Administration from Columbia University.



Bernardo thinks of himself as a daily cyclist and heavy user of the public transportation. Since 2001, he has been developing his professional career in the subject of sustainable urban mobility, mainly through consultancies, publications, interviews and events. Since 2006 he joined The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and is currently coordinating the ITDP offices in Mexico and Brazil. In addition to a degree in Civil Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Bernardo studied a Master’s Degree in Transport Engineering at the IHE-TU in Delft,  Netherlands; and another one in Administration and Implementation of Development Projects, held at the University of Manchester in the UK. He is currently the coordinator of the Transport Module of the Master’s Program “Creative Management and Transformation of the City” given by the Universidad Iberoamericana in conjunction with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. In his spare time he enjoys sports, photography, reading novels and biographies, as well as traveling.


Zoning and diverse city

Ernesto Betancourt is General Director of Projects, Construction and Infrastructure for the Public Space Authority. He has collaborated with the Public Space Authority of Mexico City and with the Department of Urban Development and Housing of Mexico City in the area of strategic projects.

He collaborated with Teodoro González de León in projects such as the CNA Conservatory of Music, the headquarters of the Economic Culture Fund and the Mexican Gallery of the British Museum. He has a degree in Architecture from the UNAM, as well as a Master of Urban Management from the UIA and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. He has taught at the faculty of architecture of the UNAM and currently in the “Ciudad” postgraduate program at CENTRO.

He is founder and member of the editorial board of Arquine magazine, member of the editorial board of the Urban Space supplement of El Financiero and has published several articles in specialized media.



Amado Crotte is a Political Scientist and Economist, holds an MSc in Public Policies from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Transport Economy from Imperial College London. In his career Amado has worked as an independent advisor in urban mobility, as advisor for the Secretary of Communications and Transport in Mexico, and has lectured on transport economy at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. Currently he is a Senior Specialist of Transport at the Inter-American Development Bank in Mexico.

Citizenship and responsibility

Alejandro Hernández Gálvez studied architecture in Mexico City. He has been a finalist in various competitions throughout various collaborations: in the Rehabilitation of the Zocalo, Market of the Merced and José Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City, and won first prize in the competition for the first building of CENTRO, School of Design, Cinema and Television in Mexico.  

He has been curator in different biennials and architecture exhibitions, besides publishing in several magazines and newspapers. He is co-author of 100 x 100, Architects of the XX Century in Mexico and author of Shadows, Hats and Parasols: Of the principles of architecture.

He is currently a professor at CENTRO and at Universidad Iberoamericana and editorial director of Arquine Magazine.

Public Spaces


Public Spaces

Roberto Remes is the general coordinator of Public Space Authority of the Government in Mexico City. He is the creator of the concept Rey Peatón® (Key Pedestrian) and founding partner and consultant of the firm Remes Farill Ciudad. He has also been director of Ciudad Humana México, advisor of the General Direction of Petróleos Mexicanos, holder of the Primary Sector of Natural and Renewable Resources of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and delegate of the Federal Attorney’s Office for Environmental Protection PROFEPA). He has written the books Walking in the 21st Century, An Alternative City Project and Cross Shadows. He studied Political Science at the Metropolitan Autonomous University Campus Iztapalapa, Public Policies and Administration at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and has a PhD in Economics from the Faculty of Economics of the UNAM. He is a weekly contributor to the newspaper 24 Horas and editorial advisor of Reforma newspaper.


Zoning and diverse city

Rodrigo is the founder of ReUrbano, a platform for transforming buildings and urban spaces. He is a cyclist, curious, worried and occupied by the City, for  its built Heritage and the Quality of Life. Rodrigo is an architect graduated from UNAM.



CEO Grupo Kaluz

Daniel Martínez-Valle is CEO of Grupo Kaluz. Prior to joining Kaluz, Daniel was Director of Worldwide Strategy & Planning at Cisco.

Previously he was Managing Partner at Nebli Capital Advisors, a private equity and investment advisory firm based in Spain, and CEO and founder of Aquanima, the leading provider of global supply management for large corporations in Europe and Latin America. He was also a founding partner of BBF Ventures.

He has also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co., and has served as Chief Economic Advisor of the Deputy Minster of Communications and Technology in Mexico and Chief-of Staff of the Deputy Minister of Finance.

Daniel holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Bachelor of Science in Economics from ITAM, and a diploma in Economics from the London School of Economics.


Jose Castillo is an architect living and working in Mexico City. He holds a degree in architecture from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City as well as an MArch and a DDes degree from Harvard University’s GSD.

Alongside Saidee Springall he founded arquitectura 911sc, an independent practice based in Mexico City. Among their built projects are the expansion of the Spanish Cultural Center and the transformation of the Sala Siqueiros, both in Mexico City, and the CEDIM campus in Monterrey. He has contributed to books such as The Endless City, edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic as well as in Reinventing Construction published by Ruby Press. The work of arquitectura 911sc has also been showcased at the Rotterdam and the Venice Architecture Biennales and at the exhibition Dirty Work: Transforming Landscape in the Non-Formal City of the Americas at Harvard’s GSD.

Castillo has taught at UPenn, Tulane and the Universidad Iberoamericana. He has also curated exhibitions for the Venice, Rotterdam and Sao Paulo Biennales, as well as the show Mexican Modernisms at the Bozar in Brussels.Castillo is member of the advisory board of LSE Cities and Urban Age as well as of SciArc’s Future Initiatives program.