Keynote speakers



Territorial uncertainty and vulnerability as a challenge for urban and regional policy


Professor Simin Davoudi - School of Architecture, Planning and LandscapeNewcastle University

Simin Davoudi is Professor of Environment Policy & Planning at the School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape and Associate Director of Newcastle Institute for Sustainability, Newcastle University.

 She is past President of the Association of the European Schools of Planning (AESOP), Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, member of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grant Assessment Panel C (2010-2014); Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Sub-Panel 16 (Architecture, Built Environment and Planning); DEFRA/DECC Social Science Expert Panel, and Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Climate Working Group 3.

She has held visiting professorships at Universities of Amsterdam, Karlskrona and Nijmegen; led the UK Office of Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM now DCLG) Planning Research Network; served as member of the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Expert Panel on Housing Markets and Planning Analysis; Research and KnowledgeCommittee of the Royal Town Planning Institute; Expert Group for the EU DG Environment (on Thematic Strategy on Sustainable Urban Management) and DG Regional Policy (on Green paper on Territorial Cohesion), the Irish and Austrian EU Presidency Seminars; is Advisory Group for the UK ESPON Contact Point, Advisory Board of the Irish Social Science Platform,  Departmental Advisory Council for University of Hong Kong, Advisory Board of the BTH Swedish School of Planning, Expert Advisory Group for the ex-post Evaluation of the Interreg III (2006) programme.

She has undertaken peer reviews for the Government’s Chief Scientist’s Foresight programme and served on Expert Review Panels of national research programmes in the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and Portugal; was co-chair of ACSP-AESOP Chicago Joint Congress Committee; is the Editor of Journal of Environmental Planning & Management, founding member of the editorial team of 21st Century Society (former Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, and member of editorial board of 10 international, peer-reviewed journals. Her recent books include: Conceptions of Space and Place in Strategic Spatial Planning (Routledge, 2009), and Planning for Climate Change (Earthscan, 2009). Simin has undertaken research for a wide range of international and national organisations and research funding bodies and is published widely.


Kai Böhme - Spatial Foresight GmbH

Dr Kai Böhme is director of Spatial Foresight GmbH.

He specialises in European regional and territorial research and policies, international comparative studies in the fields of regional development policies, spatial planning, and in the territorial impacts of sector policies. He has a truly European background and considerable experience in policy advice at the European and national level as well as in the management of international applied research and consultancy projects.

Kai Böhme is also active as associated senior consultant at SWECO EuroFutures in Sweden. In parallel to his consultancy and policy advice activities he is associated assistant professor at the University of Luxembourg and holds visiting research fellowships at the Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield (UK) and the Centre for Spatial Development and Planning at the Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden).

He has work experience from the European Spatial Planning Network (ESPON) Secretariat in Luxembourg, Nordregio in Stockholm and the Secretariat for Future Studies (SFZ) in Germany. His educational background includes a PhD in Management Science from the University of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and a Masters in Spatial Planning from the University of Dortmund (Germany). He is member of the German Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL).


Professor Jacek Szlachta - Warsaw School of Economics

Professor Szlachta is a resident of Warsaw since his birth in 1950.  He is a Full Professor of Warsaw School of Economics, a Vice-Chairman of Committee for Spatial Economy and Regional Planning, a member of the National Economy Editorial Board, a member of the German Academy for Ubran and Regional Spatial Planning, an expert of the European Commission in Georgia.  

Between 2002 - 2004 he was the President of the Regional Policy Board. In 1995, he became a Chairman of the Committee on Spatial Development of the Baltic Sea Region. During his term the intergovernmental programme VASAB 2000 Plus - Spatial Planning Systems in the Baltic Sea Region countries was adopted. A team of experts with professor Jacek Szlachta at its head prepared various documents for the Government, local governments and cities, including: The National Spatial Development Concept (Vice-Chairman of the team - 2007-2009), OECD Territorial Review of Poland (Chairman of the Polish team - 2007-2008), The Strategy for Socio-Economic Development of Eastern Poland until 2020 (2006-2007), the first and the second Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship (2000-2001 and 2004-2006), the first evaluation of the National Development Plan for 2004-2006 (2003), The National Strategy for Regional Development (1998-1999), the European Commission’s Task Force Report on Polish Structural Policy (1886-1997), the European Commission’s Task Force Report on Regional Development of Poland (1995). As an expert he was involved in preparation of the Polish negotiating position in the sphere of European Cohesion Policy for 2004-2006 and 2007-2013. He managed research teams in two international research programmes funded by the EU Framework Programmes (2001-2002 and 2006-2007).

His publication record consists of more than 200 items, including over a dozen books devoted to: regional development, European cohesion policy and EU structural funds, spatial planning;  his articles were published among others in Sweden, the USA, by the OECD and the European Commission. He has been a lecturer or a speaker at various conferences in over 25 countries around the world, also those organized by the OECD, Council of Europe, the European Union and ISOCARP. He was a visiting scholar in MIT and Strathclyde University.