Here is a sneak preview of the speakers of Walk21 Rotterdam. Keep an eye on our website, because soon we will introduce more of our program and speakers. For now we are proud to present:

Ben Rossiter, Executive Officer, Victoria Walks

Make the world more walkable, is what I strive for. Walking goes to the heart of what it is to be human – the ability of all to walk in and share public space marks a community as liveable, or not. Despite its potential to deliver significant benefits to cities and people, walking is typically overlooked in planning and investment decisions. Walking has economic value for transport and recreation!


Cecilia Vaca Jones, Director Bernard van Leer Foundation

Walking is a key part of giving all children a good start in life; it's about planning and designing a city to better meet the needs of babies, toddlers and the people who care for them is one of the best investments a city can make.


Adriaan Geuze, Founder and director West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

West 8 developed a technique of relating contemporary culture, urban identity, architecture, public space and engineering within one design, while always taking the context into account.

Adriaan Geuze, foto Maaike Engels

Tinna C. Nielsen, Founder and Social Entrepreneur, Move the Elephant For Inclusiveness Inclusion Nudges

How can we apply behavioural insights to engage everyone in creating an inclusive city for everyone? How can we bring in the empathy, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and diversity of human beings to innovate the city, make people walk as a means to strengthen communities and make cities more human(e)! You will experience how the human mind works and why inclusive development processes have to be designed in new ways to mitigate unconscious bias and group think. Only then we can get to access to diverse perspectives and leverage these to achieve better and more inclusive solutions.


Lucy Saunders, Director Healthy Streets

It is possible to transform the way things are done so that the experience of walking is put at the centre of every decision? Healthy Streets is an effective framework for making this happen. I will be using London, UK, as a case study to show the steps taken to embed a people-centred approach to all decisions made in relation to streets and transport – from strategic direction down to the finer details. My Healthy Streets Approach is being used to tackle the big issues that undermine good intentions and underpin bad decisions. What’s the proof that things have changed and streets are being designed to improve health? The score on the Healthy Streets Check!


Sonia Lavadinho, CEO and Founder, Bfluid research (in mobility and territorial development)

One of the big takeways of this session will be a new, more strategic way of looking at data. Addressing indicators not just as strings of numbers, but as words blocks to build up the stories, the compelling arguments that will ultimately win the day and convince others (and ourselves) that walkability matters, that becoming a more walkable city is a goal worth aiming for, and that we are indeed getting there, as shown by the milestones that data provides.


Maria Alfonzo, Founder/CEO state of Place

What will you have learned after they visiting my session at Walk21 Rotterdam? You can identify limitations of top-down, ideologically-based, intuitive approaches to planning and development. You will understand the benefits of data-driven, evidence-based approach to citymaking. Tie walkability to economic, safety, and environmental benefits to help justify investments in better places. You know how to use benchmarking and standards to facilitate walkability.


Helge Hillnhütter, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Data collection was partly laborious. But this will change with better IT tools to analyse video footage. In any case data shows the importance of walking in an urban context and the role of walking environments - not only for walking but equally for public transport. Cycling is also an outdoor mobility where environments matters. Easy to conclude that the character of urban environments (that we design, plan, an built) substantially influences any attempts to reduce car use.