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Series 1 (May) - Webinar 3


Image created by Laura Makaltses.

Health Disparity and Public Space in High Density Environments

Thursday May 21, 2.00 - 3.30 pm CET
Series 1 (May) - Webinar 3

This webinar is part of the initiative '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic'.

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>>> Read the summary of this webinar


Hosts & Moderators

Gregor H. Mews, Queensland University of Technology / Urban Synergies Group, Brisbane, Australia
Hendrik Tieben
, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture, Hong Kong

Event managers

Stephanie Cheung & Yin-Fen Chen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong



Miodrag Mitrasinovic, The New School, New York, USA
Mindy Fullilove
, The New School, New York, USA
Mahak AgrawalThe Spatial Perspectives, India
Fan Ning, Health in Action, Hong Kong



Jens Aerts, ISOCARP Urban Health Community of Practice / BUUR, New York, USA

Round table discussion

Q&A Session - engagement with the audience, managed by Yin-Fen Chen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.



Dr Greg Mews
Greg has recently joined the School of Design at Queensland University of Technology as a Lecturer in Landscape Architecture. His philosophy is based on social constructivism researching the nexus of human condition in relation to spatial practice, sustainable and healthy development with humanities collective bio-history in mind. Greg uses a range of mixed- research methods to make a difference in the real world internationally. Growing up in Germany, living in the US and working as an artist, urban planner and design practitioner in Colombia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Netherlands and in Australia defined and shaped his thinking. Greg obtained his urban and regional planning degrees at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, and Environmental Design degree from the University of Canberra, Australia. Greg holds an honorary adjunct position at the Health Research Institute at the University of Canberra and is on the Advisory Board for Research into Practice of The Journal for Public Space. He lectures regularly at Technical University of Berlin (Germany), Yale University (USA), University of Canberra (Australia), University of Kassel (Germany) and University of NSW (Australia). Greg has received several high-profile research scholarships, nine work-related awards and completed his PhD on the production of space and play. Greg is strong international voice for human-centred urban design transcending disciplinary boundaries- in order to enable meaningful change, he founded in 2013 the international “Think and Do” Tank Urban Synergies Group (USG) that is committed to shaping healthy communities worldwide. Prior this calling, he was the Head of Project Development and Corporate Social Responsibility at the global segment market leader in sustainable play space design SIK- Holzgestaltungs GmbH based in Germany. While leading the design and innovation agenda, he advised key clients such as Playmobile Funpark and many capital cities internationally on holistic play space designs. In the role of the Director of USG, Greg provides strategic policy advice, training and knowledge transfer to clients in international context. He is an active member of the Steering Committee at UN-Habitats World Urban Campaign. Under the conceptual approach of “Right to the City” he advocated for better health and well-being outcomes at the United Nations Habitat III conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development held in Quito (Ecuador) in 2016.


Dr Hendrik Tieben
Hendrik is an urban designer, researcher and educator devoted to the creation of more inclusive, liveable and healthy cities. He is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Over the last years, he developed a series of public space and placemaking projects which have found international recognition. He collaborated with The Journal of Public Space since its launch in 2016 at the Habitat III Conference in Quito and contributed to the journal, as author and guest editor of the 2019 issue “Public Space in the Entrepreneurial City” in 2019 (with Maurice Harteveld). At CUHK, Hendrik co-organized three Urban Thinkers Campus events to help implementing UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda and push for a more inclusive approach to planning. In his current World Universities Network project Hendrik focuses on the relationships between urban forms, health and wellbeing. In this context, he investigates people’s experience with the limited access to public space in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. He mainly focuses on Hong Kong and Taiwan, two places which experienced the SARS epidemic in 2003, and, in different ways, developed early strategies to cope with the current health emergency.


Dr Miodrag Mitrasinovic
Miodrag is an architect, urbanist and author, he is a Professor of Urbanism and Architecture at Parsons School of Design, and Co-Chair of Parsons Graduate Urban Programs. His scholarly work focuses on the role design plays as an agent of social and political change, and as a catalyst for critical urban transformations; his research argues for the centrality of designing in the conceptualization, production, and representation of democratic and participatory urban space. His work also focuses on the generative capacity and infrastructural dimensions of public space, specifically at the intersections of urban and public design, socio-spatial justice, and public policy.
Miodrag is currently completing manuscripts for "The Public Space Reader" (co-editor, Routledge 2020) and "Public Space in a Chinese Megaregion: Contemporary Urban Practices and Design Strategies of the Greater Bay Area" (co-editor, Routledge 2021). He is the co-editor of "Cooperative Cities" (Journal of Design Strategies Vol. 8, 2018); editor of "Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion" (Routledge 2016); co-editor of "Travel, Space, Architecture" (Routledge 2009); and author of "Total Landscape, Theme Parks, Public Space" (Routledge 2006).

Dr Mindy Fullilove
Mindy is Professor of Urban Policy and Health. She is a board-certified psychiatrist who explores the ties between environment and mental health. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bryan Mawr College and her MS and MD degrees from Columbia University. 
Dedicated to the psychology of place, Mindy’s research started in 1986 when she linked the AIDS epidemic with place of residence and she continues to focus on the health problems caused by inequality. For the past 30 years, Mindy has been investigating how broken connections between different sections of cities harm public health and explores ways to reconnect them. Previously, Mindy taught at Columbia University and was a lecturer at Parsons. 
She has published numerous articles and six books including "Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities," "Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It," and "House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place." She has received many awards, including inclusion in many “Best Doctors” and two honorary doctorates (Chatham College, 1999, and Bank Street College of Education, 2002).


Mahak Agrawal
Mahak is a medical candidate turned urban planner, exploring innovative, implementable, impactful solutions for pressing urban-regional challenges in her diverse works. In different capacities, Mahak has worked with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Town and Country Planning Organization, Government of India, Institute of Transport Economics, Oslo, to name a few. In 2019, she founded The Spatial Perspectives as an enterprise that uses the power of visual storytelling and open data to dismantle myths and faulty perspectives associated with spaces around the world. Based out of India, Mahak spends spare time to experiment and create sustainable art works which showcase cultural heritage of India.  


Dr Fan Ning
Fan Ning is a surgeon and also public health expert. He was the President of Medecins Sans Frontieres Hong Kong from 2008 to 2013. As health inequity affects different people throughout life journey in HK, Dr Fan decided to set up Health In Action in 2011 to serve local working poor families, ethnic minorities and refugees. In 2014, he set up Forget Thee Not to provide holistic end-of-life service for public as primary health care project. By socio-medical collaboration model, he demonstrated how primary health care projects could be co-designed with social sectors and community stakeholders via innovative ideas and technology. Fan Ning is proactively engaging different disciplines to try to develop a social movement to work out Healthy City concept.
He is member of Hong Kong Council of Social Service Standing Committee on Policy Research and Advocacy, Specialized Committee on Elderly Services and Community Investment and Inclusion Fund. He is also Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor at Medical School CUHK, Mentor of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care at CUHK, Research Associate of CUHK Institute of Health Equity and Elite Mentor of MBA program at CUHK.
Health in Action has played an active role in the recent pandemic, supplying masks and hygiene products to vulnerable groups, hosting health workshops and webinars, and supporting the sterilization of sub-divided units.


Jens Aerts
Jens is a senior urban planner with 20 years of experience, working with international development agencies, city governments, developers and non-for-profit organizations on the intersection of urban practice, policy and research. Most recently he has been working for UN-Habitat, UNICEF and the World Bank. He authored UNICEF’s recent publication ‘Shaping urbanization for children’ and supported the agency in program implementation of its Global Urban Strategy, including training and technical assistance on child rights and urban planning in regional and country offices (Dominican Republic, LACRO, Paraguay, Philippines, South-Africa, UAE). He has contributed to various technical reports, guides and popular articles linking urban health, road safety, child rights and sustainable urban development. Recently he has been active as member of the Advisory Board for the upcoming Street for Kids program in the Global Designing Cities Initiative. Jens is an associate partner at BUUR - Bureau for Urbanism, specialized on sustainable urban development programs and policies, such as neighborhood upgrading, green mobility planning, healthy environments, circular economy and place-making. Before that he assisted both Governments of the Flemish and the Brussels Region to build urban planning capacity in public agencies and to direct community led planning processes and key public space interventions. Jens has been teaching at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research of the University of Brussels (VUB) from 2011 until 2016 and is currently affiliated with the Urban Community and Health Equity Lab at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP). He holds a MSc in Civil Engineering and Architecture from the University of Leuven (Belgium) and obtained his MA Urban Planning at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain). He is member of the Board of the Flemish Spatial Planning Organisation (VRP) and the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).


>>> Recorded video of the webinar

All our webinars are recorded and are available on the Youtube channel of our publisher City Space Architecture.
Watch this one and our future videos on City Space Architecture's Youtube playlist '2020: A Year without Public Space under the COVID-19 Pandemic'.




Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658