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The Scientific Program Committee

Scientific Program Committee (SPC)

The Child in the City Foundation organises seminars and conferences together with local officials and politicians and the members of the SPC. The SPC is primarily responsible for the choice of the themes discussed during the events, the speakers program, the panels, the workshops and the field trips. It does so by initiating highly relevant topics, by inviting expert keynote speakers and by reviewing submitted abstracts. The members of the SPC are present during seminars and conferences and can be approached by participants to discuss lectures, presentations and eventually new initiatives for future meetings. The SPC has an international board of professionals presided by Lia Karsten. Members are rooted in different countries and have different disciplinary backgrounds.

Members of the SPC:

Lia Karsten
Professor (associate) dr. ir. Lia Karsten is president of the Scientific Program Committee. She has a position in Urban Geographies and Childhood Studies at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and at UNIMORE University (Italy). Lia is an internationally renowned scholar with a long and highly quoted list of publications. She was visiting professor in Hong Kong and New York. In 2013 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala (Sweden).

Carlo Fabian
Carlo Fabian is professor and head of the Institute for Social Work and Health at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland FHNW. He is a social and health psychologist, coach and organizational developer. His research and development work focuses on health promotion, prevention of psycho-social stress and diseases, neighborhood and urban development, participation, childhood and youth, and old age. In addition to his scientifically oriented work, Carlo Fabian is involved in various committees on an honorary basis.

Froukje Hajer
Froukje Hajer is an independent consultant on youth policy and children’s rights related to ‘Child, play and environment’. She worked for 40 years in the field of non formal education and leisure time and the right of the child to play. Play- and youth work, extended school day programmes, community schools, and public space and creating Childfriendly cities are subjects of her interest.

Irene Quintáns
Irene Quintáns worked in the Barcelona City Council and in the SEHAB – Municipal Housing Secretariat in São Paulo. As a consultant she works in urban projects, highlighting her role at Bernard van Leer Foundation developing Urban95 strategy in Latin-America (2016-18). Executive Leadership Program on Early Childhood Development (Harvard University). She is the founder and director of Red OCARA, a Latin American network of experiences and projects on city, architecture, urban mobility and public space in which children participate.

Sven De Visscher
Sven De Visscher is lecturer social work and coordinator of the eCO-CITY research center at the University College Ghent (Belgium). He holds a doctoral degree, based on research about the pedagogical meaning of the neighbourhood. His research interests involve social-spatial perspectives in relation to urban issues, community development, participatory research methods, housing and social work, and local governance. He contributes to the Flemish network of child and youth friendly cities.

Helena Szewiola
Graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology. Member of the Board of the ANTYRAMA Foundation in the years 2018-2022 and Program Director of A<FESTIVAL in Katowice. Currently working at the Silesian University of Technology, teaching urban planning and pursuing her PhD on the topic of children in public space. Holder of scholarships of the Prime Minister, the Mayor of the City of Gliwice and the GFPS. Currently associated with the architectural firm SA Studio Architektury. Organizer of TEDxInterfaces, the first event of its kind at the Silesian University of Technology. Co-organizer and volunteer of many events in Silesia.