Norman Foster, Norman Foster Foundation
Ihor Terekhov, Mayor of Kharkiv
Stuart Smith, Arup Berlin
Belinda Tato, Ecosistema Urbano and Harvard GSD
Ammar Azzouz, University of Oxford
Yurii Spasov, Kharkivproject Institute

Norman Foster is the President of the Norman Foster Foundation, which promotes interdisciplinary thinking to help new generations of architects, designers, engineers and urbanists to anticipate the future. He devotes much time to the study of cities and their future, leading the United Nations (UN) Forum of Mayors. Norman Foster is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism and design rooted in sustainability. Since the 1960s, he has promoted sustainability through his practices with green buildings around the world—airports, museums, hospitals, corporate headquarters, public buildings, skyscrapers and major works of infrastructure. He received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1999, was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1997 and was granted a Life Peeragein 1999.

Igor Terekhov graduated from the Kharkiv Engineering and Construction Institute in 1990, with a specialty on “Industrial and civil construction” under a “construction engineer” qualification. He obtained a Masters and PhD in Public Administration in 2006 and 2007 respectively, from the Kharkiv Regional Institute of Public Administration of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. He worked in the private sector before transitioning to public service on the managing positions of the leading enterprises in Kharkiv. From 1999 to 2006, he served in the Department for Economy and Communal Property of Kharkiv City Executive Committee as the head of divisions for entrepreneurship and consumer markets. In 2007 he was appointed as the Deputy Head Kharkiv Regional State Administration. From 2010 to 2015 he was Deputy Mayor of Kharkiv for the development and maintenance of the city’s life-sustaining activity, and between 2015 and 2020 he was appointed as the First Deputy Mayor of Kharkiv. He won the subsequent Kharkiv mayoral election in October 2021, and officially became the new Mayor of Kharkiv on November 11, 2021. Has numerous distinguished national and international awards for the social and economic city development. In 2022 was awarded by the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine with the medal for the defence of the Hero City Kharkiv and Order of the President of Ukraine “For Courage”.

Stuart Smith is a Director of Arup leading the Structural team in Germany and the Global Circular Economy Skills Leader responsible for growing and developing capabilities for decarbonising the built environment using circular principles. Working as structural engineer for Arup based in Berlin, he has been engaged in the design of some of the world’s most challenging building projects including CCTV with OMA in Beijing and Perez Art Museum Miami with Herzog & de Meuron. Stuart has collaborated on projects worldwide of various scales and typologies from artist installations to major urban masterplans. He is a member of the Board of the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction and an Academic Chair at the Norman Foster Institute for Sustainable Cities.

Belinda Tato, a Spanish architect and founding partner of Ecosistema Urbano, has been a professor at Harvard GSD since 2010. Renowned for her innovative approach to urban design and regeneration, she earned her architecture degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Tato later studied at The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. Her firm, Ecosistema Urbano, designed the Eco-boulevard of Ensanche de Vallecas, incorporating air trees to create a microclimate. This project, funded by the European Union’s LIFE Program and the Municipal Housing and Land Company of the Madrid City Council, was completed between 2004 and 2005. Throughout her career, Tato has shown a particular interest in engaging the community in urban design and planning processes.

Ammar Azzouz, a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment, leads the Slow Violence and the City project, investigating the effects of violence on urban environments during wartime and peacetime. Originally from Homs, Syria, Azzouz’s architectural studies were interrupted by the Syrian Revolution. He completed his postgraduate studies in the UK and obtained a PhD from the University of Bath, focusing on architecture and conflict. Azzouz’s research covers inclusive cities, cultural heritage, featured in global publications and academic journals. His book “Domicide: Architecture, War and the Destruction of Home in Syria” explores architects’ roles in conflict zones and community-centered reconstruction. Azzouz previously worked at Arup, researching forced migration and urban destruction. Currently, his research examines the histories of wars and cities, focusing on Homs and the Syrian diaspora in the UK.

Yurii Spasov is an architect and the head of “Kharkivproject Institute” LLC. He graduated from the Academy of Municipal Economy in 1983 with a degree in Architecture and is a member of the Ukrainian Union of Architects and Ukrainian Union of Designers. Since 2008, he has served as the director of “Kharkivproject Institute” LLC. Some of his notable projects include the “Rost” trade center on Klochkovskaia Street, the “Olimp” House on Cultury Street, and the “Pioner” house on Dzhusa Street. He has also worked on projects such as reconstruction of Pavlovskaya square, as well as the reconstruction of the “Fridrich” expo-trade complex on Rizdvyana Street. Additionally, Spasov has been involved in various urban concepts and projects aimed at enhancing the cityscape of Kharkiv, including “Kharkiv is comfortable,” “5th facade,” and “Other Kharkiv.”

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