12-13 October 2020
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Dubai, UAE

Middle East Smart Landscape Summit 2020

Summit Program

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» Day 1 - 12th October 2020

» Day 2 - 13th October 2020

Day 1 - 12th October 2020
08:30 - 09:30


09:30 - 09:35


09:35 - 09:45


09:45 - 09:50

Welcome Address by Guest of Honor

Yousif AlMutawa, CEO, Sharjah Sustainable City

Yousif AlMutawa
09:50 - 10:10

The UAE’s Roadmap Towards a Greener Economy

  • An overview of the UAE’s ‘Green Growth Strategy’ and its implementation process
  • Exploring the six pillars of the ‘Green Growth Strategy’ and recognizing current achievements
  • Implementing the futuristic vision of smart, sustainable cities – tackling key challenges

Taleb Abdulkareem Jilfar, Executive Director - Infrastructure Services Division, Dubai Municipality

Taleb Abdulkareem Jilfar
10:10 - 10:30

Future-Forward Cascadia: Creating People-Focused Spaces for a Tech-City

  • Highlighting how our Seattle Metro Region is planning and designing our public spaces during a time of rapid tech-centered growth and climate change-related influences unique to the Cascadia region of North America.
  • Showcasing how a signature public space project, the Grand Connection, can support positive public health benefits for a major tech city as a people-focused, interactive, connected experience through the heart of Bellevue.

Michael Austin, Senior Urban Planner, City of Bellevue, Washington

Michael Austin
10:30 - 10:50

Expo 2020 - Driving Sustainable Practices

  • End-to-end use of sustainable design strategies to build the EXPO 2020 pavilions
  • How are landscape architects and designers creating integrated public realms with latest urban technology?
  • Promoting resident wellbeing and creation of interactive urban spaces in line with the theme of the expo

Rob Lockhart, Chief Compliance Officer, Dynamo Playgrounds

Rob Lockhart
10:50 - 11:10

Challenges to Sustainable Landscaping and Roof Gardens in the Middle East – A Geosynthetics Perspective


Andrew Leech, Commercial Director, Geofabrics Limited

Andrew Leech
11:00 - 11:40


11:40 - 12:20

Panel Discussion: Building Sustainable Cities – Government Authorities Supporting the ‘Green Dream’

  • Retrofitting existing public parks & recreational spaces – what are the strategies employed by government organizations?
  • Use of native plants in landscaping projects – the importance of driving awareness and use-case examples by local municipalities
  • Improvements to the public realm help contribute to community building – what are the challenges faced by local municipalities when it comes to the development & maintenance of green urban spaces?


Adel Bu-Ali, Director of Urban Scenery Portfolio, Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs – Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ahmed Soleiman Ahmed Aqel, Head - Landscaping & Irrigation, Engineering Office
Ayub Hassan Algaferi, Head of Parks Section, Al Ain Municipality
Haism El Masir, Lead - Urban Planning Project Engineer, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority
Husain Al Saeedi, Director Of Technical Services Operations Dept, Abu Dhabi City Municipality
Jamal Abou Chakra, MEAC’s Regional Manager, Hunter Industries
Safwan Hantash, Advisor for Urban Development Directorate, Ministry of Works - Bahrain

Adel Bu-Ali Ahmed Soleiman Ahmed Aqel Ayub Hassan Algaferi Haism El Masir Husain Al Saeedi Jamal Abou Chakra Safwan Hantash
12:20 - 12:40

Case Studies of Socio-environmental Development Through Landscape Architecture & Micro-Farming

  • Applying home micro-farming methods as social development tools.
  • Socio-environmental impact of green walls and roof gardens and achieving social development through landscape architecture.
  • The strategies in water conservation in public landscape design

Khaled M. Abdelgawad, Design Director & Partner, Schaduf

Khaled M. Abdelgawad
12:40 - 13:00

Landscaping in Emerging Urban Districts

  • Landscaping as an urban design tool
  • Shifting from cities driven by vehicles to creating human – centric cities
  • What lies ahead? The opportunities & challenges in Autonomous vehicles; AI & reshaping the public realm

Fady Nassim, Executive Head of Urban Planning, Jeddah Economic Company - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fady Nassim
13:00 - 13:20

Creating Child-Friendly Playscapes that Nurture Development – Designing for Play

  • Playscapes that focus on nurturing motor development in children – what’s so different from our traditional playgrounds?
  • Play spaces with in-built safety design and accessibility strategies – taking safer design to the next level
  • Playscape design and maintenance costs – how are landscape designers tackling these challenges


13:20 - 14:00

Panel Discussion: Stewards of Our Land – The Evolving Role of a Landscape Designer

  • The integral role played by landscape designers in urban planning of our cities – how many dominant features of our urban landscape can we attribute to their work?
  • Is there a need for landscape designers to be multi-disciplinary to design cities that are more sustainable?
  • The need for landscape architects to monitor the maintenance of their projects post completion – is it a necessity?
  • What challenges do landscape designers face whilst designing biophilic cities in the Middle East region?

Ala Hason, Office Director – Principal, HKS Architects
Andre Badawy, Regional Director - Urbanism & Landscape Architecture, Arcadis
Jason Turner, Senior Associate Landscape Design, Modon Properties
Neil Serridge, Associate Director, Benoy
Robert Shakespeare, Group Design Director, Landscape Architecture, Cracknell
Waleed Shaalan, Design Director, AREP

Ala Hason Andre Badawy Jason Turner Neil Serridge Robert Shakespeare Waleed Shaalan
14:00 - 14:10

Lunch Sponsor Address

Emir Ergec, Technical and Business Development Manager, Gulf Perlite

Emir Ergec
14:10 - 14:20


14:20 - 14:50


Day 2 - 13th October 2020
09:20 - 09:50


09:50 - 10:00


10:00 - 10:20

Public Space in a Densifying City - Case study of Amsterdam

  • Cities are expanding globally which brings about very densely built up urban areas
  • As a consequence, the need for unbuilt urban space is growing simultaneously
  • As in many other countries around the world, the combination of the two poses great challenges to local policy makers, urban planners and designers in The Netherlands
  • An overview of the current policies, strategies and practices to address this issue in Amsterdam

Erik Pasveer, Head of Strategy, Department of Spatial Planning and Sustainability, City of Amsterdam – Netherlands

Erik Pasveer
10:20 - 10:40

We are Not Exterior Decorators - Beautiful and Sustainable is Our Responsibility

  • In the past landscape architecture was reduced to beautification or 'greening' but the climate crisis impels us to be ecological in all our design decisions
  • Weaving new natures into our cityscapes creates the opportunity for an ecological and beautiful landscape
  • Beauty has a function beyond simple enjoyment and humans have biological needs for experiences with nature
  • Through an exploration of recent projects that combine ecological utility and beauty the presentation will outline a role for landscape architecture that achieves artful landscapes that serve ecological ends

Steven Velegrinis, Head of Master Planning, AECOM

Steven Velegrinis
10:40 - 11:20

Interactive Panel Discussion: Innovative Landscape Design in the Development and Maintenance of Recreational & Sport Facilities

  • Recognizing the positive economic & health impact of sporting facilities in the Middle East – what are some of the key considerations that landscape designers are mindful of when tasked with developing a sports or recreation facility?
  • Maintaining turf at sports facilities – Can technology aid the maintenance process and is there a more sustainable growth environment available?
  • Improving citizen accessibility to sporting & recreational facilities – what role can a landscape designer play in putting together a more sustainable and cost-effective project? Will the use of smarter technology play an important role with OPEX of the project?

Ben Griffiths, Director of Agronomy, Trump Golf Dubai
Clinton Southorn, Cluster Director of Agronomy, Abu Dhabi Golf Club - Saadiyat Beach Golf Club - Yas Links Abu Dhabi
Matthew Perry, Director of Agronomy, Dubai Golf
Michael Neider, Director of Golf, Arabian Ranches Golf Club
Sean Kinsley, Cluster Director of Agronomy, Emaar Hospitality Group
Stuart Horwood, Golf Course Superintendent, The Els Club - Dubai Sports City

Ben Griffiths Clinton Southorn Matthew Perry Michael Neider Sean Kinsley Stuart Horwood
11:20 - 11:50


11:50 - 12:30

Panel Discussion: Reinventing Green Livable Cities in Middle East – A Dream in the Making

  • Blue green infrastructure in cities – the future of urban dynamics and creating happy, healthy cities
  • Urban and design planning – what are the strategies that work for this arid region?
  • What are the challenges in implementing green urbanism and creating an aesthetic public realm?

Farah Yassine, Sustainable Resource Management Lead - Environment & Sustainability, WSP
George Arvanitis, Director – Master Planning & Urban Design, Parsons
Manosh De, Regional Technical Lead – Cities + Places, Jacobs CH2M
Marlon Van Maastricht, Global Head of Landscape Architecture - Urban Planning & Design Departments, UAE, Khatib Al Alami
Nivine Issa, Director of Environment, AESG
Vasushree Mohta, Head of Urban Design, Atkins

Farah Yassine George Arvanitis Manosh De Marlon Van Maastricht Nivine Issa Vasushree Mohta
12:30 - 12:50

Next Generation of Sustainable Cities - The Metropolis of the Future

  • The role of urban and landscape design in connecting culture - rise in social engagement and sustainable lifestyle
  • The future of sustainable communities – understanding design practices that have shaped urban development with livability as priority
  • Project case study: The Sustainable City in Dubai

Baharash Bagherian, Head of Urban Planning, Diamond Developers

Baharash Bagherian
12:50 - 13:10

Green Roofs & Walls – Improving our Living Environment

  • Vertical Green and Green Covered Structures – The many types and why the definition is important
  • The various benefits of Vertical Green and Green Covered Structures.
  • What to consider for design and application and why it doesn’t work for everyone.

Boris Fabinski, Senior Landscape Architect, AE7

Boris Fabinski
13:10 - 13:50

Panel Discussion: Preserving Legacies – Maintaining Iconic Landmarks through the Test of Time

  • Landscapes around iconic structures enhance the ambience of the place. What are the strategies that can be developed in preserving historic landmarks?
  • What are the operational costs in preserving historic structures and creating an aesthetic ambience?
  • Case Study of Wahat Al Karama – How the landscaping of this memorial is key in binding cultural sentiments and bringing the community together?

Carlos Vieira, Senior Manager - Master Planning, Modon Properties
Farah Naz, Team Lead - Sustainability & Innovation, BuroHappold Engineering
Farid Esmaeil, Founding Partner and Principal Architect, X Architects
Janus Rostock, Vice President, Practice Lead, Design + Planning & Economics, Head of Concept Architecture, AECOM
Matthew Utley, Principal, Grimshaw Architects
Morne Fourie, Executive Director – Design & Masterplanning, PIF Holding Entity – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Carlos Vieira Farah Naz Farid Esmaeil Janus Rostock Matthew Utley Morne Fourie
13:50 - 14:00


14:00 - 14:30


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12-13 October 2020

Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa
Dubai, UAE



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