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Speaker Biographies 

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Rachelle Alterman (Prof. emerita at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology - and Senior Researcher at the Neaman Institute for National Policy Research) was recently elected Member of the Israel National Academy of Sciences and Humanities. She is an urban planner and lawyer, holding degrees from the University of Manitoba in Canada (BA Hon. and MCP), a PhD from the Technion, and LLB from Tel Avi University (in this order). She specializes in comparative planning law, land policy and housing rights, and heads the Faculty Laboratory on these topics. She is the Founding President of the International Academic Association on Planning, Law and Property Rights and an Honorary Fellow of the Association of European Schools of Planning. An up-to-date listing of her publications may be viewed here.

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Anne Amin is a legal and governance specialist at the Policy, Legislation and Governance Section of UN-Habitat with twenty years of international professional experience in a variety of different areas, including advisory services in legislative processes, legislative drafting, capacity building and research. Her areas of expertise include urban governance, physical planning law, climate change and human rights. Ms. Amin holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Paris VIII, France.

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Prof. Tarun Arora presently serving at Central University of Punjab as Head, Department of Law and Dean of School of Legal Studies. Life member of Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Besides, associated with United Nations Development Programme as Master Trainer on International Biological Diversity Law; & Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, GoI on Capacity Building Programmes for Youth on Parliamentary Procedure and Practices. He is developing two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for University Grants Commission, India on the course s titles 'Administrative Ethics in Governance' and 'Regulatory Governance'. Areas of research are Environmental Law, Constitutional Law and Legal Theory.  

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Eman Ateek is an architect graduated in 2011 from Zaqaziq university, now she is a Master degree candidate at Cairo university for urban design major, working on a thesis entitled “socio-economic regeneration for Nile delta waterfront”. Beside Working as a professional Architect and Master degree candidate, Eman is also a founder director for urban revitalization initiative in her home city, Zaqaizq Revitalization initiative (ZR) leading a team of 10 architects and urbanists to revitalize the city major spaces to re-brand Zaqaziq and restore its lost identify in order to be resilient, green and attractive city and ultimately improve the quality of life for all Zaqaziq inhabitants.


Helmut Philipp Aust, Dr. iur., is a Professor of Law at Freie Universität Berlin where he teaches public and international law. His research interests lie in the relationship between international and domestic law, the use of force in international relations and the role of cities in international law. Together with Janne E. Nijman he is the Co-Chair of the ILA Study Group on The Role of Cities in International Law. His publications include Das Recht der globalen Stadt (Mohr Siebeck 2017), The Globalisation of Urban Governance - Legal Perspectives on Sustainable Development Goal 11 (co-edited with Anél du Plessis, Routledge 2019) and the Research Handbook on International Law and Cities (co-edited with Janne E. Nijman, Edward Elgar 2021) which received the Collaborative Book Prize 2022 of the European Society of International Law.

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Alberica Aquili's career path took place in law firms where she was able to deepen civil and commercial law, enriched by the study of contracts thanks to the experience of an intern at the Court of Appeal of Rome. Her career path is accompanied by an academic path: after graduating she was assistant professor in urban planning law and smart cities and she won the industrial PhD in Law and Business at LUISS Guido Carli. She plays the role of Compliance Officer for and she deal with legal consultancy for European/national research and innovation projects, whose main sectors are housing, renewable energy, energy communities, sustainable mobility, AI and Blockchain, ultra-broadband, governance innovative.

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Pamhidzai Bamu was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. She holds an LLB, LLM (Labour Law) and a PhD (Labour Law) from the University of Cape Town. She has worked as a researcher in the Institute of Development and Labour Law at the University of Cape Town, and the Social Law Project at the University of the Western Cape, and has undertaken and published research on various labour issues in South Africa and Southern Africa. She completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Stellenbosch University in 2013. Her post-doctoral project considered the Zimbabwean labour market, with a focus on the development and regulation of its informal economy.

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Felemont Banda is a lecturer in urban law at the School of Built Environment, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS). He is an advocate admitted to practice law in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court. His areas of research interest include the interface between urban law, socioeconomic rights and urban planning. He holds a MSc in Urban Planning and Management; BSc Geography, Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Master of Laws by Research (Pending).


Angela van der Berg is the Director of the Global Environmental Law Centre (GELC) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Faculty of Law in South Africa. She is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Law and Jurisprudence where she runs and teaches the LLM (masters) Programme in Environmental Law. Before joining UWC, Angela held the position of Assistant Professor in International Justice and Global Challenges, at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University College (LUC) The Hague. Angela obtained her joint PhD in Law and Development from Tilburg University, Netherlands in 2019 and from the North- West University, South Africa in May 2020. The PhD focussed on the role of urban planning law and policy for promoting sustainable cities in the South African context. From this research, Angela published several accredited peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on the role of environmental- and planning law for sustainable urban development as articulated in Goal 11 (sustainable cities) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal. Angela’s current research relates to climate change, adaptation and resilience in cities and critically questions how city authorities can pursue more environmentally sustainable and climate resilient futures through law and policy initiatives in different sectors (i.e., transport, spatial and land use planning, adaptation planning, housing, public health, environmental management, etc.)


Michelle Chitando is the Legal Officer at ZELA, a non-governmental organisation that focuses on promoting environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources.

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Dr. Thomas Coggin is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. His research interests are in the field of property law and the urban and spatial environment, and he is especially interested in how the system of property structures the appropriation of space in everyday life. He holds a Doctor of Juridical Sciences from Fordham University (Doctor of Laws LLD in South Africa), is the global co-coordinator of the International Research Group on Law & Urban Space, and is a member of the Researcher & Statisticians Constituency of WIEGO – Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising.

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Nestor Davidson joined Fordham Law School in 2011 and was named the Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law in 2017. Professor Davidson is an expert in property, urban law, and affordable housing law and policy, and is the co-author of the casebook Property Law:  Rules, Policies and Practices (7th ed. 2017).  Professor Davidson founded and serves as the faculty director of the law school’s Urban Law Center and previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Professor Davidson practiced with the firm of Latham and Watkins, focusing on commercial real estate and affordable housing, and served as Special Counsel and Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Professor Davidson earned his AB from Harvard College and his JD from Columbia Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Justice David H. Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Papon Dev has more than 12 years of professional experience with universities or research institutions (e.g., Technical University Berlin, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin, Khulna University Bangladesh), national and international NGOs or banks (e.g., Bernard Van Leer Foundation, Save the Children, World Bank Group, Global2015 e.V., Shushilan etc.), consulting firms (e.g., Economic Research Group) and public institutes (e.g. Berlin Senate Department for Housing and Urban Development, Anti-corruption Commission Bangladesh etc.) on urban development, climate resilience, poverty reduction, and other community development issues in Asia, Europe and Africa with completion of his M.Sc. in ‘Urban Development’ from TU Berlin and B.Sc. in “Urban & Rural Planning” from Khulna University, Bangladesh. Currently he is researching on green and carbon neutral cities with specific focus to LEED/GPRS/DGNB certification, climate change, energy efficiency etc.

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Meeschka Diedericks is a PhD Researcher at the SARChi Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability at the Faculty of Law at the North-West University. She holds an LLB and an LLM by Research. Her research interests include environmental and public health, disaster risk management, local government, water law and municipal finance management.


Vivian Dombrowski is Brazilian,  has a master's degree in Urban and Environmental Law (Federal University of Santa Catarina), graduated in Social and Environmental Law, and is an undergraduate in Law. She is the mentor of the Embassy of the United States Interchange Youth Ambassador Program and has been a Youth Ambassador since 2003. Nowadays she is the coordinator of USBEA PR (Chapter of USBEA Brazil in the state of Paraná) and vice president of the NGO Fiscaliza Cidades (an organization that follows the acts of mayors and aldermen regarding city management). She is also the creator and management of "Muda Cidade", a project that shares some orientation and content on urban and environmental law for free. USBEA, Fiscaliza Cidades, and Muda Cidade are volunteer projects. She believes the power to improve cities is in the people's hands.

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Hassan Elmouelhi is an architect and urban planner by training and works after getting his PhD (Berlin Technical University) since 2014 as a senior researcher, post-doc and project leader at the department of Urban Development, Campus El Gouna, and the department of International Urbanism and Design-Habitat unit at the Berlin Technical University (TU Berlin), Germany. His academic interests within the field of international urbanism include: culture and urban informality in relation to aspects of urban development and governance in the global South. In partnership with several academic institutions, and international cooperation organizations (e.g., UN Habitat and GIZ), he is involved in projects that cover interdisciplinary topics, mainly urban management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, public space, refugees and migration, urban mobility, urban law, new settlements, land management, in addition to the localizing global agendas. He participated as a consultant and expert for international cooperation organizations in projects in Egypt, Germany, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Malaysia, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and India. His latest contribution as a consultant was as the main author for the “State of Arab Cities Report-2022” for the UN Habitat-Regional office for Arab states, published in February 2022.

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Dr. Arig Eweida has pursued a career in academia since 2007 and works now as an Assistant Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law, Alexandria University, where she teaches Constitutional and Administrative Law for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at several private universities in Egypt, such as the German University in Cairo and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology. In addition to her research in administrative and constitutional law, she has a growing interest in development and urban studies. Therefore, she has received a master’s degree in public policy from the American University in Cairo (2023), in which she worked on numerous development and urban issues.


Paolo Galizzi  is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Sustainable Development Legal Initiative (SDLI) and the Corporate and Social Responsibility Program at the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School. He teaches and researches in the areas of international law, sustainable development, corporate and social responsibility, human rights and climate change law and policy. Prof. Galizzi has had a distinguished academic career spanning three continents and almost three decades. After graduating in 1993 summa cum laude at the University of Milan, he continued his legal education at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he obtained an LLM in Public International Law in 1995. He then returned to his alma mater, the University of Milan, to pursue research for his doctoral degree, which he obtained in 1998 with a thesis on “Compliance with International Environmental Obligations”.

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Mathew Idiculla is a visiting faculty at the School of Policy & Governance, Azim Premji University, Bangalore and an independent legal and policy consultant. His research and practice are broadly in the intersection of public law, politics, and public policy, with a focus on issues concerning cities, local governance, and federalism in India. Over the past ten years, he has engaged with the field of urban governance in multiple ways: academic research, legal consultancy, policy engagement, public advocacy, and popular writing. He has been part of multiple international research projects including the “Global Suburbanism” project housed at York University, Toronto and was a consultant with CLPR (Centre for Law and Policy Research) and WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing). Mathew has played an active role in urban governance reform in India and led the drafting of the “Greater Bengaluru Governance Bill, 2018” for the Expert Committee on BBMP Restructuring, Government of Karnataka. He writes frequently about various law and policy issues in the op-ed pages of India’s national dailies and his scholarly work has appeared in journals like Economic and Political Weekly, Socio-Legal Review, VRÜ: World Comparative Law and Chinese Journal of Comparative Law.


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Christian Iaione is a professor of public law, teaches courses on urban law and policies and public law of innovation and sustainability at the Law Department of Luiss Guido Carli,  and is co-director of  LabGov.City – LABoratorio for the GOVernance of the city as a common good  (scientific and planning partnership between  Luiss Guido Carli and  Georgetown University ), deputy director of the BILL-Blockchain research centre, artificial Intelligence and digital innovation Law Lab, coordinator of the innovation area of ​​the  Luiss School of Law and of the master's degree in  Law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability, a fellow of the Urban Law Center of Fordham University in New York. He is a scientific manager for Luiss of four European research and innovation funds ( Open Heritage,  EUARENAS,  ENGAGE.EU R&I, AWARE) and two national funds for applied research on the creation of energy communities and houses of emerging technologies. He is the co-lead expert of the URBACT- UIA  CO4CITIES project and a member of the  Urban Partnership on Innovative and Responsible Procurement within the Urban Agenda for the EU. You coordinate the  City Science Office of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia and represent it within the City Science Initiative of the European Commission.

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Emmanuel B Kasimbazi is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, Makerere University. He has a PhD in Law from the University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, a Master of Laws from the University of Calgary, Canada, a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from the University of Dar es salaam and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, Kampala. He is a policy, legal and institutional expert in Environmental and Urban Planning Law. He has worked as a consultant on development projects that are related to urban development and management. These include: Development Urban Development Law in Uganda, reorganization of Water Supply and Sewerage Service Areas in the Urban Water and Sanitation Subsector in Uganda and development of the National Urban Solid Waste Management Policy for Uganda. He has published papers on urban development that include “Promoting Sustainable Development of Cities Using Urban Legislation in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “Environmental Review of Urban expansion the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA)”. He has presented papers in international conferences these are: “Urban Transformations towards Sustainability in Africa: Challenges and Prospects of Urban Planning of Kampala City, Uganda” and “Enhancing Innovative Environmental Sustainability in cities in Africa”.


Dr. Rajesh Kumar is an Assistant Professor (Visiting) at Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, India. He has completed his LL.B., LL.M. and PhD. from the Faculty of law, University of Delhi. He also has M.A. (Masters) in Political Science. His commitment to the research has fetched him scholarships/funding support to participate in the following international programs:(a) Summer Academy in Legal History, organized by Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt, Germany(2018); (b) International workshop on Terrorism and Belligerency, organized by Minerva Centre RLEC, University of Haifa, Israel (2019); (c) 6th Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference, jointly organized by the Urban Law Center of Fordham Law School (USA), and UNSW (Australia) at Sydney, Australia (2019); (d) 3rd ,4th, 5th , and 6th Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers (2018. 2019, 2020 (Virtual), 2021 (Virtual), respectively) organized by Max Planck Alumni Association (MPAA), Berlin, Germany. Besides these, considering his credentials he has been given the membership of Max Planck Alumni Association, Berlin, Germany. His research interests are: Comparative Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Urbanization; Federalism and related aspects etc.


Teresa Marchiori is an Italian lawyer and legal empowerment and access to justice expert. Since 2018, she has been working with the WIEGO Law Programme to advance the rights of informal workers through research and capacity-building activities, with a focus on street and market vendors. Teresa holds a JD from the University of Florence, an LLM from Penn State University, and an MSFS in International Development from Georgetown University.


Muhammed Martini has a Bachelor in Archeology, a Masters in Islamic Architecture from Ain Shams University,  and his Master in Urban Development at Berlin Technical University. He has worked on different technical programs such as Microsoft Office, Arc GIS, QGis, Design Builder ,Felix rayman ,Climate change analysis, and his favorite work on develop Urban Heritage.


Maria Mousmouti holds a degree in law (University of Athens), a post-graduate degree in comparative social security law (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and a PhD in law and legislative studies (University of London). She has a broad specialisation in different aspects of legislating and quality of legislation, having followed specialised courses on regulatory impact assessments (College of Europe), Legislative Drafting (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London) and having worked extensively on projects aiming to make legislation simpler and more accessible, introduce evidence-based methods in legislating and reduce bureaucracy-related costs. Her doctoral research focused on the effectiveness of legislation and the ways in which it can be promoted, particularly with regard to human rights legislation. She is a lawyer called before the Bar of Athens since 2000 and she has served as Research Associate to the (late) Member of European Parliament Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dimitris Th. Tsatsos (2002-2004). She has been cooperating with the Centre for European Constitutional Law (, a research institute based in Athens (Greece), since 1999, having worked there as project manager (1999-2002), as Director of International Projects (2002-2007) and as Executive Director (2007- today).

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Ivan Mugabi is a lawyer affiliated to both Kabale University and King Ceasor University, Bunga, both located in Uganda; he occasionally serves as a Supervisor of Masters Students in Oil and Gas Students at Kampala Petroleum Institute. His education background includes a Post graduate Bar Course from the Law Development Centre (LDC-Uganda), a Master of Philosophy Degree (M. Phil) from Cardiff University with the School of Law and Politics, a Masters Degree in Human Rights (LLM) from Cardiff University, UK Wales, a Master’s Degree in International Commercial Law (LLM) - University of Glamorgan, UK, Wales, and Bachelor LLB (Hons) from Uganda Christian University: Mukono, Uganda. He likes research and publishing as a means of advancing new epistemological discourses.

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Nyaradzo Mutonhori is a passionate development practitioner with over 15 years progressively responsible experience in good governance, human rights advocacy and legal empowerment work. She has designed human rights campaigns and programs promoting sustainability, accountability, anti-corruption, climate change resilience, citizens’ agency and institutional and policy reforms . Nyaradzo possesses a Law Degree and a Master's Degree in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London. She is an alumni of the African Leadership Centre, a leading institution dedicated to training and mentoring young Africans with the potential to lead and enable innovative change in their communities and in the African region.


Anél du Plessis is Professor of Law and the South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES) in the Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa.  Her research focuses on the constitutional, environmental and climate change law dimensions of urban development in the South African and African regional contexts.  She also takes a keen interest in understanding the role of cities in global governance and the legal implications of cities performing as non-state actors in the international law arena.  She is the author of a number of publications in this field and have supervised more than 70 postgraduate students in this area of study.


Christian Iaione is Associate Professor of Public Law at Luiss University (Rome, Italy) where he teaches urban law and policy; land use; regulatory innovation; research and innovation and finance procurement; law and policy of innovation and sustainability (with Sofia Ranchordas). At Luiss he is also deputy director of the research center BILL-Blockchain, artificial Intelligence and digital innovation Law Lab, coordinator of the innovation area of the Luiss School of Law, faculty co-director of the graduate course in Law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability, and faculty co-director of LabGov – LABoratory for the GOVernance of the City as a Commons (, coordinator of the Horizon2020 Open Heritage and EUARENAS projects. He earned an LL.M. in Government Economic Regulation at NYU School of Law and received his PhD in European and Comparative Public Administration at Sapienza Business School. In 2006-2007 he was the Emile Noël Fellow at NYU School of Law Jean Monnet Center. In 2007-2008 he was visiting scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management of the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Christian has published several articles in the field of public and administrative law and, in particular, land use, public goods and the commons, public services and public contracts, urban law and local government. He has authored two books, has co-authored three others. He is completing a book manuscript (co-authored with Sheila Foster) entitled Co-Cities Empowering Equitable and Self-Sustaining Communities Through Land and Resource Stewardship (MIT Press, forthcoming 2021) and a monography The Law of Urban Communities (Jovene, forthcoming 2021). aione’s current research focus is on the governance of the commons, in particular urban commons and knowledge commons, sharing economy, collaborative economy, social innovation, social housing, innovation procurement, AI and public law, public-commons and public-private-commons partnerships.

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Steven L. Nelson is an associate professor of education policy & leadership in the educational psychology, leadership, and higher education department. Before his current appointment, Dr. Nelson served on the faculty of the University of Memphis (as program coordinator) and the University of New Orleans. He has taught and led in charter schools, traditional public schools, and private schools in the New Orleans area. Dr. Nelson also served as the first-ever education advocate at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Project in New Orleans. In addition, he worked on charter school law and policy, special education access and equity, and juvenile justice issues. Dr. Nelson’s research and teaching interests intersect with education law, policy, and education politics. In particular, his research and teaching consider how education reform laws, policies, and political dynamics advance, impede or regress efforts at achieving educational equity for Black students in urban settings. He considers himself a critical race theorist. His work has been published in various media, including law reviews, education journals, and edited books. Dr. Nelson’s work has been covered in the Washington Post and on national blogs, such as Cloaking Inequity. He maintains active memberships in the American Educational Research Association, the University Council of Educational Administration, the Critical Race Studies in Education Association, the Education Law Association, the Association of Urban Law Scholars, and the Law & Society Association. He fulfills leadership roles in some of these organizations and frequently presents scholarly works and professional developments at international and national conferences and research symposia.

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Mr. Samuel Njuguna, National Officer, Policy, Legislation and Governance Section, UN-Habitat. Mr. Njuguna has over seven years of UN specialization with UN-Habitat in technical and advisory services in legislative processes, legislative drafting, capacity building and research. His areas of expertise include urban governance, physical planning law, environmental law and human rights. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Manchester, UK and a Bachelor's Degree in Law from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya.

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Dr Uchenna Jerome Orji is an Attorney admitted to the Nigerian Bar. He holds an LL.B (Hons.) degree from the University of Nigeria, and an LL.M from the University of Ibadan, with specialization in cybersecurity and information technology law. He also holds a PhD in Law from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria, with specialization in telecommunications law. He is the author Cybersecurity Law and Regulation (Wolf Legal Publishers: The Netherlands, 2012), International Telecommunications Law and Policy (Cambridge Scholars Publishing: United Kingdom, 2018), and Telecommunications Law and Regulation in Nigeria (Cambridge Scholars Publishing: United Kingdom, 2018), in addition to several peer reviewed papers on cybercrime, cybersecurity, data protection, telecommunications regulation, and other aspects of law. Uchenna is a Fellow of the African Center for Cyber Law and Cybercrime Prevention (ACCP), located within the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime in Kampala, Uganda. Uchenna has also worked as an expert for the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Dutch Government, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence, Estonia and the Government of Nigeria’s Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Law at the American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria.


Valentina Pagnanelli is a lawyer, a Privacy Officer, and Certified Privacy Consultant at TÜV Italia. She provides consulting services to companies and public entities on data governance and personal data protection regulations. She is a member of the Association of Urban Legal Scholars (AULS). Research fellow at the University of Florence, on the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation on local administrations. She published several papers on technological innovation and data governance, focusing on the dynamics of the public sector. She participates as a lecturer in conferences and training events in her areas of expertise.


Giacomo Pailli: I graduated cum laude at University of Florence in 2009, with a thesis on European civil procedure law and also hold a LL.M. from NYU accomplished in 2011. In 2013 I defended my Ph.D. in comparative law at the University of Florence, with a dissertation on forum selection agreements in EU, England and USA. I have authored several scientific papers and studies (such as a EU wide study on the service of documents), and have taken part to national and international conferences and seminars. I focus my practice in Commercial and International commercial laws, International private law, International litigation and Italian bankruptcy law. I am also a research fellow at the University of Florence, where I do research and teach in the fields of comparative law, international litigation and civil procedure. I am admitted to the Italian and New York State Bar and am a member of AIJA (Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats), ELI (European Law Institute) and SIRD (Italian society for the research on comparative law).


Priyanka Paul is a highly accomplished academic and professional with expertise in geodesy, geoinformatics, and environmental geography. She holds a master’s degree in Geography and Environmental Science from Jagannath University, Bangladesh, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Geodesy and Geoinformatics at the Technical University of Berlin. Priyanka has extensive research experience in disaster management, environmental analysis, and modeling, and has published several papers in reputed academic journals. She has also worked as a consultant and data analyst for companies such as Google Czech Republic s.r.o., Wittmann & Ladigin GbR.


Marius Pieterse is a professor in the School of Law at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he teaches urban and local government law, constitutional law and human rights law. His research focuses on urban governance, local government law and the realisation of socio-economic rights in an urban context. Marius is the author of  "Rights-based Litigation, Urban Governance and Social Justice in South Africa: The right to Joburg" (Routledge, 2017); "Can Rights Cure? The Impact of Human Rights Litigation on South Africa's Health System" (PULP, 2014) as well as a large number of peer reviewed academic journal articles on different aspects of rights-based litigation, socio-economic rights, urban governance, the right to health, the right to equality and the relationship between law and urban space. He is joint global coordinator of the International Research Group of Law and Urban Space (IRGLUS).


Anél du Plessis is Professor of Law and the South African Research Chair in Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES) in the Faculty of Law, North-West University, South Africa.  Her research focuses on the constitutional, environmental and climate change law dimensions of urban development in the South African and African regional contexts.  She also takes a keen interest in understanding the role of cities in global governance and the legal implications of cities performing as non-state actors in the international law arena.  She is the author of a number of publications in this field and have supervised more than 70 postgraduate students in this area of study.


Benedicta Naa Sackiorkor Quarcoo is currently a Junior Research Assistant at the Luiss Guido Carli University, under the supervision of Professor Christian Iaione, Co-director for LabGov. City and Director for the master’s degree programme in Law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability. She is a Ghanaian who grew up in the coastal parts of Accra and currently holds a master’s degree in law, Digital Innovation and Sustainability. She wrote her thesis on Accra, her hometown and capital city of Ghana, entitled “Accra As A Sustainable Smart City: Can The Quintuple Helix Of Innovation Approach Deliver?” She was an ENI scholarship holder and graduated with distinction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, (major in Public Administration) from Ghana’s finest and premier university, the University of Ghana. She seeks to pursue a career as a Doctor of Sustainability and her research interests are sustainability, smart cities, climate change & transition, collective action, governance, polycentrism, and community building. Benedicta possesses qualitative research and analytical skills, effective communication skills, writing skills, a teachable spirit and excellent creative skills. She loves to help people in need so she supports her best friend to run an NGO that feeds the needy on the streets of Accra and orphanages yearly.

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Valentina Montoya Robledo is an Assistant Professor at Universidad de los Andes, where she leads the Gender and Law Research Group and the Socio-legal gallery. Director of the transmedia project Invisible Commutes on domestic workers’ Right to the City in Latin America, recently included in the 2023 Remarkable Feminist Voices in Transport. S.J.D. and LL.M. at Harvard Law School. M.A., LL.B., B.A. at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá). Recipient of the 2020 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for her research on domestic workers commutes in Bogotá, Medellín, and Sao Paulo. Former consultant of the Transport Gender Lab at the Interamerican Development Bank. Researcher, advocate and consultant on: mobility, women’s rights, human rights, and rights of people with disabilities.

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Prof. Marc Lane Roark is the Louisiana Outside Counsel of Health and Ethics Endowed Professor of Law at the Southern University Law Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Native American Law and Policy Institute, a think-tank dedicated to policies relating to Native American tribes in the U.S. and first nations in Canada. Professor Roark holds an affiliated appointment at the University of Pretoria as a Research Associate Professor. He is also a member of the EVICT research network, a collaborative group of worldwide scholars researching and collaborating on affordable housing issues.  Professor Roark serves on the Advisory Panel for the UNESCO Housing Chair at the Universitat Rovira I Virilli, in Tarragona Spain; and is a founding member of the Resilient Property Research Network with members across Europe, the U.K., the U.S. and Africa. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Professor Roark will be working with Emory University’s Vulnerability Initiative as a Research fellow, the University of Adelaide as a visiting researcher in residence, and National Irish University-Galway as a Visiting Researcher in Residence. Professor Roark’s research primarily considers how narratives and norms are scaled in Property conflicts around housing. Together with Lorna Fox O’Mahony (University of Essex) he is the author of Squatting and the State: Resilient Property Theory in an Age of Crisis.  His primary areas of work are in the study of resilience gaps in housing and homelessness through the lens of property norms. 

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Daniel B. Rosenbaum is an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Law, where he teaches Local Government, Property, and the Local Government Policy Lab. His research explores how local institutions function, evolve, and interact with each other against a backdrop of opaque or inconsistent state oversight. Professor Rosenbaum employs public records requests, interviews, empirical methods, and geospatial tools to understand and distill the operations of under-the-radar local institutions ranging from land banks to airport authorities to parks departments. His scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Indiana Law Journal, University of Richmond Law Review, Buffalo Law Review, and Marquette Law Review. Prior to joining MSU Law, Professor Rosenbaum spent two years as a visiting assistant professor  at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where he taught Property, Estates & Trusts, and  Local Government and was appointed editor-in-chief of the Michigan Real Property Law Review,  a position he still holds. Professor Rosenbaum entered academia after serving as executive  director of a public authority that managed distressed property in the Detroit region and advised  local municipalities on issues of divestment, land ownership, and development. A native of  Chicago, Illinois, Professor Rosenbaum earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington University  in St. Louis and his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. He currently lives in Ann Arbor,  Michigan.

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Aaron Saiger is Professor of Law at Fordham Law School, where he has taught since 2003, and where he was the Dean’s Distinguished Research Scholar from 2017–18.  He writes and teaches in the areas of administrative law, education law, and local government. Saiger has been a Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow (2006–07) and a Research Fellow at Columbia Law School (2002–03). He received his Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and his J.D. from Columbia University.  He was law clerk to the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court (2001–02) and the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2000–01). His book manuscript, Schoolhouse in the Cloud, to be published by the Oxford University Press, is in progress.

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Chiara Scalia is a graduating MSc student in Law, Digital Innovation, and Sustainability at Luiss University. She wrote her final thesis on social energy communities as a tool to contrast energy poverty under the supervision of Professor Christian Fernando Iaione. She is currently developing an experimental project for a social energy community in a vulnerable district of Tilburg, Netherlands, in partnership with the Tilburg municipality. She also works for LabGov ETS, an NGO part of the LabGov.City network, which is developing a platform to map and support bottom-up energy initiatives in Rome, named Co-Roma. She is also a tutor for a co-design course for BA students at Luiss University focused on energy communities.

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Els Schipaanboord LL.M (Groningen, The Netherlands) is a researcher and lecturer of law at the University of Groningen. Her main fields of research are the intersections of criminal law, administrative law, and human rights. Her research focuses on how administrative sanctions relate to the concept of a criminal charge in light of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. More specifically, she conducts research on area bans for homeless people, the closure of drug premises by mayors and revoking and refusing licences in the hospitality sector. Els is a member of the Dutch Lawyers Association.

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Nicolene Steyn is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand. Previously Post-Doctoral Fellow at North West University & the South African Research Chair: Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability She is the youngest PhD graduate in the history of the North-West University's Faculty of Law since its merger in 2000. She is passionate about all things law, innovation and technology. Her education: LLB (cum laude 2017); LLM by Research Dissertation in International Law (cum laude 2018); PhD in Law and Development - Realising the Constitutional Water Right in South African Cities through Intelligent Water Management Technologies (2019 - 2020).

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Stefan van Tongeren is a PhD researcher at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His PhD thesis Ex-Offenders’ Search for Housing: Closed Doors and Windows of Opportunity concerns ex-offenders’ problematic search for stable housing in light of other people’s right to safety and to the quiet enjoyment of their home. In his research, Stefan’s main interests include the reintegration of ex-offenders, the right to housing and public order law.

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Prof. dr. Michel Vols (the Hague, the Netherlands) is the Principal Investigator in the EVICT project and full professor of law at the University of Groningen. His main fields of research are housing law, human rights, public safety, and legal methodology. He received several grants and awards including an ERC Starting Grant (1.5 million euros) and a Dutch VENI-grant (250.000 euros). Michel is a member of the national Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and a board member of the Dutch Lawyers Association.


Courtney Parker West (she/her/hers) is a first-year PhD student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of WI-Madison where she focuses on Black spirituality and supporting educators of color experiencing racial stress. She is a former public school teacher who went on to work in education nonprofit for nearly a decade. Additionally, Courtney is a community and institutional organizer working on intersectional anti-racism in education spaces, faith-based communities, and community groups; she co-founded an antiracist DEI consultancy in 2016 and continues to work with clients in a variety of fields. She is working on one of several coaching certifications and has been a featured writer for Huffington Post, Quartz, Daily Dot, and Catalogue Magazine addressing issues of race, identity, movement building, and reproductive justice. In her downtime she enjoys hosting friends for meals, being obsessed with Star Trek, and being an opinionated introvert with wine. 

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Johandri Wright was admitted as an attorney of the High Court on 21 October 2022. She completed her Ph.D. in Law and Development at the NRF South African Research Chair: Cities, Law and Environmental Sustainability (CLES) in 2021, where she was also employed as a Ph.D. Researcher. Dr. Wight also holds an LLB Degree (cum laude) and a Professional LLM in Criminal Law and Procedure (cum laude). Her research and resulting publications focus on public governance more broadly. Dr. Wright is passionate about interdisciplinary research and often incorporates fields such as public governance, politics, economics, and other social sciences into her legal research. Her current research topics include issues of public sector corruption, good governance, financial sustainability, and whistleblower protection. Dr. Wright received multiple awards for academic excellence throughout her studies which includes the Best LLB Student for the 2014 and 2015 academic years and the Best LLM student in Criminal Law and Procedure in 2018. Dr. Wright has presented guest lectures on public procurement and municipal budgeting and papers at international and national conferences on corruption and municipal governance issues. Dr. Wright co-published academic articles on municipal financial management and on national and provincial intervention in municipal governance. Recently a manuscript was accepted to be published in a peer review journal on the prevention of corruption in the harvesting of marine resources by African cities. Dr. Wright was also involved in funded research projects. She was also the Editor-in-Chief of the CLES in-house newsletter CLES InPress. Dr. Wright is also a member of the Environmental Law Association, and the Golden Key International Honour Society.

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