Friday April 7


9.15_Plenary Session

Giuseppe Spataro


Giovanna Marano

Councillor for Economic development
Municipality of Palermo

10.00_Urban Lab  

The speakers present innovative projects and ideas applicable in Palermo. The speeches last 10 minutes.

Iris Bijlsma



Iris is a water expert, coordinator and advisor of various international projects at Arcadis. She is specialized in water management and urban development. As representative of the Shelter program – the partnership of UN-Habitat with Arcadis – she is organizing over 20 seminars and workshops per year worldwide focused on urban sustainability. Graduated in international relations from both the University of Oxford and the University of Amsterdam, Iris brings people and parties together to combine different interests of stakeholders in order to find sustainable urban solutions.


In many places in the world water provides the identity of cities. A combination of an attractive urban design and its functionality, such as flood protection or water retention, is key for projects in cities. Examples will be given of urban water projects worldwide, such as the waterfront project in New York and the multipurpose flood protection and water retention projects in the Netherlands.

Amit Kachvan

The Library
Tel Aviv


Amit is the manager of The Library, Tel Aviv Municipality’s co-working space for urban innovation, part of the Young-Adults Unit. Amit holds a B.A. in political science, with a specialty in economics and philosophy, from Tel Aviv University. Prior to managing The Library, Amit was the coordinator of Active Citizenship and Social Innovation in the Municipality’s Young-Adults Unit, and before that, was part of the team who founded MAOZ, a non-profit organization for training and empowering senior managers and leaders in the Israeli public sector. Amit is also a board member in the IAF Alumni organization.


Ranked one of the world’s leading innovative cities, Tel Aviv is at the heart of the global startup scene. Through its vast resources, top talent, highest level of venture capital per capita and non-stop culture, Tel Aviv is the place to be to create the next big project. At 2011, long before WeWork was even dreamed of, Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality established The Library, a co-working space for the Tel Aviv startup community inside a traditional public library. The Library provides a co-working space and facilities for teams dedicated to developing Internet startups and technology companies. Amit’s speech will be about how the idea of The Library was born, basic model of operation, the challenges of operating a municipal space in the monthly-changing and highly competitive market in Tel Aviv, and about new platform created by the municipality to support the local ecosystem.

Angelica Agnello

Orto Capovolto


Angelica is an architect and a farmer. In 2013 she got a degree in architecture at the University of Palermo. Now she works at the Agnello & Associati firm and as a farmer in Menfi where she owns a small farm. In 2015 she founded, together with group of friends, the social cooperative Orto Capovolto, where she is currently the Director, with the aim of transforming the city through urban agriculture.


The future Palermo is a city that considers ”common gardens” as opportunities for economic, social and environmental sustainability: an “Edible City” where the waste cycle plays a key role in triggering best practices and processes of active citizenship, improving the quality of life. The idea, then, is to change the face of Palermo by cultivating it and allowing people to do so everywhere (from balconies to roofs of buildings, abandoned lands, dismissed railway lines, abandoned and occupied factories): so that we can achieve, over the decades, increasing food self-sufficiency and also the opportunity to create community composting areas, plus a municipal composting system that fosters a virtuous circle. These would allow indeed not only to reuse waste materials derived from food products and from pruning (avoiding waste), but also to decrease the waste to be disposed of and to produce electricity. The project, therefore, beyond a Regulation on gardens in cities, includes: on one hand, the creation of a municipal composting system that, through recycling, allows to create a certificate and branded product to sell in Sicily, promoting territorial marketing actions; on the other hand, the implementation of community composting sites, able to trigger tax relief and incentive systems for citizens who actively participate in the process.

Stefania Fort



Graduated in international relations and communication Stefania has lived always between Italy and Germany. After an extensive experience as an intern in newsrooms and foundations working in cultural programming, she started working in the marketing and communication department of a small business in the agri-food sector. Two years ago she had a baby, Andrea, and she decided to quit her job to be a full-time mum. From then, she started elaborating strategies for a more sustainable daily life.


Bycircle is a bike sharing network offered by private companies that use bikes as billboards (with custom bikes for each sponsor). The bicycles of the Bycircle circuit are completely available and free. They are not tied with a padlock or to a parking stall but located everywhere. Who use the bikes must not return them to the starting point and not even need to register (no need to own a credit card). They are, however, equipped with GPS and an alarm system in order to find out when they are no longer on the road. This system allows you to eliminate all barriers to entry and prevent any theft. Changing the behaviour of individuals who move is the heart of sustainable mobility policies. Several studies point out that once you try a transport sharing system you are more likely to use this kind of systems in the future. The goal is to encourage private companies to turn their advertising investment into a service available for the community. Bycircle does not just provide visibility to their customers through the bikes but it also designs events and interventions aimed to support the sharing process and environmental sustainability.

Abdulrahman Kedhr

Axeer Studio


Abdulrahman is the co-founder and CEO of Axeer Studio, a media production house that focuses on empowering filmmakers and creating audiovisual content that highlights societal problems. Founding Axeer Studio was a paradigm shift in his life, his strong belief in the role of media is what made him decide to shift his career from a materials science engineer to his current role in the media industry. In 2016, after over 3 years of experience in visual communication and as a part of their plan to increase their impact and work in the field of education, Abdul along with his business partners, co-founded a subsidiary company from Axeer called Giraffics Ltd.. Taking information design to the next level, Giraffics produces animated videos that uniquely present information in an efficient and effective manner.


Media is powerful, media can change societies, it can empower them and it can take away this power. It can spread love, but also it can spread hate. How we changed the state of music and media in Egypt, how music and media helped in shaping a better society and is trying to shape a better future for our country. How can we empower musicians and filmmakers to create a good content, a content that raises awareness, highlight societal problems and enriches communities?

Massimiliano Monetti



Architect and freelance professional, he found in the Social Housing issue the main focus of his professional and cultural career. Starting from the pure architectural composition, now he deals with the economic sustainability of processes, by focusing on the development of financial instruments of real estate funds, and also with social sustainability, by experimenting innovative solutions on living and community territorial aggregation processes. His heterogeneous skills allowed him to coordinate working groups for complex interventions affecting the spatial development of several Italian small towns and the enhancement of local communities and their social and cultural heritage.


Organizing territories starting from the inhabitants. This is the real sense of regeneration actions in contemporary cities where residents are the protagonists of their lifestyle and of local development. Regeneration starting not really from the physical part of cities, from their buildings and infrastructures, but from the intangible relations between residents, the community of inhabitants, called to start businesses together on their territory. Agenzia per l’Abitare is the name of the tool that transforms, in the neighborhoods of large cities but also in small towns, residents from users to actors, from users to entrepreneurs, in a virtuous role reversal.

Sandro Aglialoro



After graduating in strategic marketing, Sandro got a master in management and training of staff and one in digital marketing. He has an extensive professional experience in marketing and communication at national and international level in various sectors: finance, luxury, food & beverage and ICT. In 2010, along with two dear friends, Elisa and Emanuele, he founded Mostrami, a large collective of young artists aimed at promoting young contemporary art as social and cultural progress factor. Recently he has also launched Sicily and Sicilians, a portal dedicated to the enhancement of Sicilian excellences through the development of young contemporary art; in mid-May, there will be the project kick-off in Palermo.


11.30_Coffee Break

12.00_Urban Thinkers Session

After the speeches, there will be a moment for speakers and participants to discuss the ideas that emerged during the Urban Lab.
The debate is moderated by PUSH and Alessandra Pirera [UN-Habitat].



Three workshops, inspired by the Global Service Jam format, to co-design the future of our city.
Participants (citizens, employees of the municipality and local stakeholders) work in groups with the aim of providing concrete solutions on the selected topics.
Attendance is free. The workshops will take place simultaneously, therefore you can take part in only one.

Roundtable #1 – Cultural and artistic heritage  

The purpose of the workshop is to focus on the lesser-known cultural heritage sites of the City of Palermo and showcase different and creative ways to raise awareness and valorize them.

Roundtable #2 – Community living  

The roundtable will focus on more collaborative approach on the issues of housing and service delivery for citizens in vibrant and diverse communities around the City of Palermo.

Roundtable #3 – Public spaces  

The roundtable will target participatory processes that will involve citizens and socio-economical actors in proposing creative and concrete solutions to regenerate and create a local identity in some selected public spaces.

15.00_Urban Journalism Academy

The Urban Journalism Academy (UJA) is a pioneering and innovative initiative to train journalists and media professionals who are already interested or involved in urban development with reference to social, economic and economic issues facing cities in the 21st Century.
Media and communications professionals’ role is crucial to expand the level of consciousness of the wider audience. They have the opportunity to spread knowledge and share reflections on urban issues. Journalists are already the ones who chronicle life in the city, who give voice to urban changes and who describe the urban reality from different points of view. Now is the time to encourage a more proactive and substantive role of media in the development of the city, at international, national and local levels. During this global change, it is, in fact, crucial that the media features in-depth analyses of the opportunities, challenges and solutions found across over the urban framework. Moreover, by managing research and interpretation tools they could become spokespersons of sustainable urban development. Finally, to train journalists and communication professionals means moving towards greater democratisation, encouraging transparency and participations of those usually not involved in the debate on cities.
The event is moderated by Alessandra Pirera [UN-Habitat].
Andrea Baio [Mobilita Palermo], Fabio Bruno [Radio Start Me Up],  Abdulrahman Kedhr [Axeer Studio], Tobias Kettner [UN-Habitat] and Alessia Torre [PUSH] will join the debate.


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