Sebastien Goethals is an Architect, Urbanist and Urban Transport expert from Belgium. After having worked as an architect and urban consultant in Europe and Africa with a focus on transport infrastructures, Sebastien started to conduct research on urbanism and mobility in 2009 with Tongji University and ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) in Shanghai. In 2010, he established Citilinks together with Anastasia Velnidis, and organized the exhibition « Kinshasa, Vision 2025 » in the African Pavilion of the World Expo of Shanghai. He created then one of the first African Urban Labs, Congonext, with his partner Methode Mateso. In 2012, he won the international urban design competition « Rosemont 2040, Morph My City Challenge » in Regina, Canada. Sebastien has been leading several large scale architecture and urban planning projects, such as the Nsele African Garden City (Kinshasa, Congo), the Warehouse District regeneration plan of Regina (Canada) and the Strategic Master Plan of Chengdu Longquanyi (China.) In 2011, he was the urban planning leader of the Transport Plan of Kinshasa. He’s permanently involved in the implementation of integrated urban solutions for mixed-used and dense communities, public spaces, transport and urban agriculture. He has also been lecturer at ULB (Brussels), Tongji University (Shanghai), Sichuan University (Chengdu) and IBTP (Kinshasa.)
Anastasia Velnidis is a Civil Engineer and Architect, having a strong expertise in water sensitive urban design and integrated coastal management in a context of increasing environmental issues. After having worked as Energy efficiency Auditor in building sector in Brussels, she moved to China in 2009 to conduct research and projects focused on smart and self-sufficient urban communities with Tongji University and ULB. In 2010, she founded Citilinks together with Sebastien Goethals. She has been leading several large scale projects of architecture and urban design, such as the « Kin Sky Gardens » mixed-used eco-building and the Agricultural New Town of Mikonga. In 2013, she was the lead engineer of the first self-sufficient Garden City of Africa, by conceiving a social and economic model of consumption+production of energy and food. Anastasia works continuously to integrate actual and future climate specificities, existing natural resources and Water Sensitive Urban Design. In a context of increasing water related challenges in cities, she finds solutions to adapt and improve cities to face future climate changes and take advantage of natural cycles and resources.With her global and unique vision coming from her experiences in Europe, Asia and Africa she manages with talent each project in its own context.
Philippe Schockaert is a Belgian Architect based in Brussels. He is the author, since 1975, of a wide range of residential and mixed-used projects. His philosophy of work is based on the respect of the environment and a human oriented approach. He has also developed an expertise in green building design and low carbon housing. Since 2011, he has worked on several mixed-used complexes in the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, and is now involved in the achievement of livable cities and high-quality architecture in South-Eastern Asia.
Njeri Cerere is a Planning, Development and Environmental Consultant based in Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Policy Studies from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, and a Master Degree in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S.A. Her foundation as a practitioner was laid at the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), which is the regional planning and investment advisory agency for the 10-county Atlanta metropolitan area. She is also the Executive Director of the Naipolitans Forum in Nairobi.
Prior to her entry into private practice, Njeri was CEO of Kenya Property Developers Association (KPDA), which is the representative body of the residential, commercial and industrial property development sector in Kenya. In 2015, she creates Citilinks Africa in Nairobi together with Sebastien Goethals with a holistic and resilient approach of African urbanism.
Xiaoyu Wang is a Chinese expert in sustainable urban planning and design, graduated from the University of Stuttgart in Germany with a Master Degree in infrastructure planning. He has been involved in various scales of urban projects in Europe and China and developed a holistic expertise in urban infrastructure planning. His deep understanding of the urban development challenges in European cities and China has inspired him innovative and contextual approaches of sustainable and healthy urbanism. He has the ability to manage international teams from Europe, Asia and Africa and contributed to build partnerships between complementary companies in the three continents for architectural, engineering and planning projects and research programs.
Methode Mateso is a Civil Engineer from Belgium and Congo, and the Director and Founder of African Engineering and Consulting (AEC), based in Kinshasa. In 2010, he partnered with Citilinks to create one the first African Urban Labs, Congonext, and organized the exihibition « Kinshasa Vision 2025 » at the World Expo of Shanghai. He is currently a lead engineer and planner in DR Congo, and conducts a team of 30 engineers in Kinshasa, involved in engineering, transport and architecture projects. His main references are the Transport Plan of Kinshasa Metropolitan Area, the Nsele Garden City and the Airport Free Trade Zone of Mikonga Agri-Town. His ability and flexibility to work with Western, Chinese and Indian companies in Africa brings him a holistic view of Africa’s urbanization.