Technical Panel

Twenty-three multi-disciplinary experts from around the globe form the technical panel for the inaugural AIPH World Green City Awards.

The panel is comprised of leaders in the global green city space whose expertise spans across the six award categories. The role of the technical panel is to assess and score all eligible entries and select a shortlist of entries for each award category to be delivered to the 2022 Jury, who will select each category winner. The technical panel will also put forward recommendations on which shortlisted entries should be considered for the overall AIPH World Green City award.

Click on a panel member to learn more about them.

Anne Maassen Darby McGrath
Anne Maassen Darby McGrath Dominic Regester Dusty Gedge Grant Pearsell
Jennifer Rae Pierce
Dr. Harriet Bulkeley Ian Shears Ingrid Coetzee Jennifer McKelvie Jennifer Rae Pierce
John-Rob Pool Judith van der Poel Kyra Appleby Luis Romahn
Jianping Zhou John-Rob Pool Judith van der Poel Kyra Appleby Luis Romahn
Peter Chmiel Peter Massini
Marcus Grant Michael Casey Michael von Hausen Peter Chmiel Peter Massini
Robert Brears Simone Borelli Zac Tudor
Robert Brears Simone Borelli Zac Tudor

Meet the panel

Anne Maassen

Anne MaassenAnne oversees the Prize for Cities, WRI’s award for excellence in urban transformation, and integrates the Prize into WRI Ross Center’s learning, engagement, and capacity development agenda. Working with leaders across the program, Anne generates insights about urban transformation, creates opportunities for new knowledge partnerships, and helps build a community of urban changemakers at the interface between scientific, policy, funding, and practitioner communities.

Before joining WRI, Anne was a project design and evaluation specialist for multilateral development banks and agencies and worked at the World Bank and the Climate Investment Funds. She has provided strategic advice to governments, multilaterals and non-profits, and has published and peer-reviewed studies on urban transformation for sustainability.

Anne holds a PhD in Geography from Durham University (UK), with a focus on urban sustainability and innovation, as well as an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling & Management (King’s College London, UK) and a BA in Economics, Politics & International Studies (University of Warwick, UK).


Darby McGrath

Darby McGrathDarby McGrath is the Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Horticulture and Program Lead for the Plant Response & Environment at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre located in Ontario, Canada. She is also the Leader of the newly launched, Greening the Landscape Research Consortium at Vineland.

Her research is focused on developing solutions to improve urban tree establishment by working with tree production nurseries, the landscape sector, developers, consultants and municipalities. She has a MES and PhD from the University of Waterloo. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and Brock University.


Dominic Regester

Dominic Regester is the Executive Director of Karanga: the global alliance for Social Emotional Learning and Life Skills and a Program Director at the global think-tank Salzburg Global Seminar, where he is responsible for designing, developing and implementing programs on education, conservation, and the future of cities. Prior to this he worked for the British Council for 14 years on global citizenship education, teacher professional development, and education collaboration. He works on a broad range of projects across policy, philanthropy and international development including as a Director at the Amal Alliance and a Contributing Editor to Diplomatic Courier. He holds two Masters degrees, an M.A. in Chinese studies from the School of Oriental and African studies in London and an M.A. in Education and International Development from the Institute of Education at University College London.


Dusty Gedge

Dusty GedgeDusty a consultant with the Green infrastructure consultancy (GIC), working in London, UK and Europe. He is the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) and founder of, and a board member of GRO – the UK green roof trade body.

Though he has a particular interest in biodiversity and urban nature, his work in the built environment also focuses on climate resilience and the promotion of greener cities through multi-functional green infrastructure.

In 2021 he was appointed Industry Expert-in-Residence at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.


Grant Pearsell

Grant Pearsell is an ecological planner from Edmonton, Canada. His work is guided by a collaborative approach to decision-making and a commitment to integrated systems thinking. It is also founded in his technical background and experience in land use planning, urban ecology, and engineering. His vision and work drive positive change to build a sustainable and vibrant city where ecological functions remain intact and the recreational, restorative, and social needs of the community are met.

Grant is an internationally recognized and award-winning leader in the field of urban biodiversity. He has been an invited speaker on urban biodiversity issues around the world, chaired and participated on a wide variety of technical committees and boards, and has been published in both academic and professional journals and books.

You are equally likely to find Grant in a boardroom discussing biodiversity opportunities or in Edmonton’s beautiful River Valley and Ravine System – either relaxing or finding ways to add to North America’s largest municipal park.


Dr Harriet Bulkeley

Dr. Harriet BulkeleyHarriet Bulkeley holds joint appointments as Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University, and at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University. Her research focuses on environmental governance and the politics of climate change, energy, nature and sustainable cities. She has published 8 books, several edited collections and over 60 papers, including An Urban Politics of Climate Change (Routledge 2015) and Accomplishing Climate Governance (CUP 2016). From 2016 – 2021 she convened the EU H2020 NATURVATION project exploring the potential and politics of urban nature-based solutions ( She has been recognised as one of the most highly cited social science researchers internationally and in 2019, she was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences and as a Fellow of the British Academy.


Ian Shears

Ian ShearsIan Shears is acknowledged as one of Australia’s experts in urban landscapes and as an experienced practitioner in public open space design, implementation and management. He has specialised in urban greening for 30 years and worked for 19 years with the City of Melbourne. He currently advises a range of governments nationally and internationally on policy and practice of urban greening.

Ian and his teams have been credited with the development of some of Australia’s most progressive environmental policies, programs and projects and have won many state, national and international awards for their work.


Ingrid Coetzee

Ingrid CoetzeeIngrid is a governance and sustainability expert with special interest in nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, nature and health, and biodiversity mainstreaming and governance systems. She has over 30 years’ work experience of all government levels and joined ICLEI Africa and Cities Biodiversity Center in December 2016. Ingrid has extensive experience of working with multi-lateral environmental agreements, such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its associated processes. Ingrid has authored several guidelines and policy frameworks, and managed numerous multi-dimensional, large-scale projects. She is the Director: Biodiversity, Nature and Health at ICLEI Africa, and the technical lead of ICLEI’s global Cities Biodiversity Center and its biodiversity advocacy work. Ingrid represents ICLEI and the local and subnational government constituency on the CBD Informal Advisory Group on Mainstreaming of Biodiversity, and on UNEP’s Major Groups Facilitating Committee.


Jennifer Rae Pierce

Jennifer Rae PierceJennifer Rae Pierce is a political ecologist, urban planner, and urban biodiversity specialist with 16 years of experience. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Cornell University and in environmental science and policy from Central European University. She is a co-founder of Urban Biodiversity Hub (UBHub) which hosts the largest global database on urban biodiversity activities, publishes research on local practices and global targets for biodiversity, and supports related indicator tracking and development for local governments. She has served as a technical expert on urban biodiversity indicators and measurement for several international NGOs and local governments, including the World Bank. She has prepared local government tools and reports including a biodiversity and ecosystem services mainstreaming toolkit for ICLEI and the Urban Nature Index for IUCN. Her research experience includes projects in the cities of India, Japan, Israel, Canada, the USA, Brazil, and South Africa.


Jennifer McKelvie

Jennifer McKelvieJennifer McKelvie is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 25, Scarborough Rouge-Park, representing over 100,000 constituents in the City’s most eastern riding. Before being elected in 2018, Jennifer worked as a professional Geoscientist and managed research partnerships at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). Her own graduate (Ph.D. 2006) and postgraduate research was supported by numerous provincial, national and international awards, including the prestigious L’Oréal/UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship.

At Toronto City Council, Jennifer serves as Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee. In that capacity, she is taking an active role in the City of Toronto’s climate change, resilience and ravine strategies.


Jianping Zhou

Jianping ZhouMr. Zhou Jianping, Master of Business Administration. He has been serving as the president of Beijing University of Agriculture since October 2020. Mr. Zhou has long been engaged in landscaping department and has accumulated rich experience in management. He was once appointed as the investigator, deputy director and director of the Urban Greening Division of the Beijing Municipal Forestry and Parks Bureau, and the deputy director of Beijing Municipal Forestry and Parks Bureau, in charge of urban greening management. He was the executive deputy director of the Bureau of Coordination during Beijing World Horticultural Expo 2019, responsible for the planning, construction, even organization and operation of the Expo. Mr. Zhou is currently a member of the Population, Resources and Environment Committee of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the first National Special Inspector of Natural Resources.

Mr. Zhou was appointed Vice-President of AIPH in October 2021.


John-Rob Pool

John-Rob PoolJohn-Rob is the Implementation Manager of Cities4Forests, where he oversees the day-to-day implementation of the project. In this role, John-Rob works to cultivate awareness and spur action on the part of city governments and urban residents to protect, conserve, and restore trees and forests inside and outside city boundaries, and to harness the previously untapped voices of mayors to catalyze the political, social, and economic weight of cities to support trees and forests, recognizing the important role that they play in improving the livelihoods of city inhabitants. He leads the engagement of multiple cities in Africa, Europe and Latin America, works hand in hand with WRI’s International Offices in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico, contributes to technical research, and supports outreach and engagement efforts.

John-Rob holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy from the University of Oxford, where he was a student of St Edmund Hall. In addition, he holds a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Biodiversity & Conservation and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology & Environmental Science, both from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. John-Rob is originally from Botswana and is a dual national of South Africa and the United Kingdom. He speaks fluent Setswana and Sotho and conversational Afrikaans and French, and enjoys being outdoors and in nature.


Judith van der Poel

Judith van der PoelJudith (1979) studied Garden and Landscape Design in Velp (2001) and graduated from the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam (2015) as a landscape architect. In addition to being the company’s landscape designer, in 2019 Judith became the director and owner of Niek Roozen Landscape. Together with her partner, she continues to drive the company’s mission and philosophy.

Judith excels in creating strong, detailed concept designs in which positive existing landscape qualities are preserved and serve as the design foundation. Diverse green parks in cities and exhibition areas, like International Expo’s/Floriades in the Netherlands and Dutch gardens all over the world, are great stages to showcase the Green City Philosophy to many diverse visitors. One of the core philosophies of Niek Roozen Landscape is their green city principles, through which Judith believes that the right type of greenery in the right place can contribute significantly to improving the quality of urban environments. Judith has been involved in numerous designs at various scales, both in The Netherlands and abroad, where the appropriate application of the green city principles became important added value elements for the projects.

Judith also has a considerable amount of experience in landscape design projects in China, which includes large scale projects in rural regions and tourism-oriented designs on the fringes of larger cities.  Judith is committed to creating realistic design plans where nature, culture, and recreation are harmonized and form a synergistic relationship.


Kyra Appleby

Kyra ApplebyKyra heads the Cities, States & Regions team at CDP, having joined in 2010. Prior to her role at CDP, Kyra worked in various research positions at NBC Universal, eMarketer and the City of New York. Kyra holds an MA in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Environmental Earth Science from the Johns Hopkins University.


Luis Romahn

Luis RomahnLuis Romahn is president and founder of Parques de México and the National Association of Parks and Recreation of Mexico. He has worked for the past 12 years on urban parks and public spaces projects in Mexico through models of participatory design, community building and financial sustainability; in addition to organizing the International Congresses of Urban Parks of Mexico and South America.

Luis is Executive Director of World Urban Parks, Member of the Board of Directors of the City Parks Alliance in the United States and member of the Board of the World Parks Academy. He is a Fellow for the Salzburg 2021 Seminar in the Emerging Urban Leaders Program and winner of the Emerging Leaders Award by the World Urban Parks Organization 2021.

In recent years Luis has given lectures in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and the U.S. on public spaces. He is the author of the book “Building my Park – From Citizen Participation to the Administration of Public Space.” Luis has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in communication and education, both from the Monterrey Tec.


Marcus Grant

Marcus GrantMarcus Grant is an urban designer and Chartered Landscape Architect specialising in people and planetary health through place-shaping. After studying ecology as an undergraduate, he trained in landscape and was awarded a Masters for a review of landscape and sustainable tourism. He has worked in consultancy for a broad range of clients, specialising in spatial planning and population health through joining an academic Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization in 1996. Marcus is Editor-in-Chief of Cities & Health an international journal, and is an expert advisor to the WHO and UN-Habitat, for whom he developed international health guidance for urban and territorial planning. Marcus is co-author of Shaping Neighbourhoods: a desktop guide for local health and global sustainability.


Michael Casey

Michael Casey
Michael is an award winning Registered Horticulturalist with a passion for sustainable urban horticulture, urban greening and green infrastructure and therapeutic horticulture. His highly successful horticulture practice is synonymous with cutting edge, thoughtful and beautifully designed landscape architecture, attracting high profile clients and projects. Michael’s expertise is sought by others in the industry as demonstrated by his external and ongoing consulting positions, impressive training portfolio and extensive authorship in industry publications. His professional standing through peak industry bodies is also a testament to his influence in the industry and the future of Australian and International horticulture.


Michael von Hausen

Michael von HausenMichael von Hausen is a national leader in innovative green development and climate resilient communities. He is President of MVH Urban Planning and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. He and his company have received numerous provincial, national, and international awards for their innovative projects. Michael is also Adjunct Professor at both Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Island University. Michael developed and has facilitated the UDI School of Development over the last 20 years in Vancouver.

His most recent books – Public Realm: The New Makers Handbook (Tellwell, 2022), and New Pathways to Approvals: Developing Better Communities Together (Tellwell, 2021) – provide refreshing new processes and approaches to both public realm design and real estate development.

Michael is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and former President of the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects. He completed his master’s degree at Harvard University in urban design with a specialty in real estate development economics.


Peter Chmiel

Peter ChmielPeter is a director at Grant Associates, an international award-winning landscape architecture company and leader in creative ecology, environmental sustainability, and innovative landscape design. With 35 years of experience in landscape architecture, his interest is the promotion of design quality and technical innovation through the synergy of landscape, architecture, nature, community and space.

In 1997 Peter joined Grant Associates, working on The Earth Centre, a landmark millennium project and the first visitor attraction based on the ethos of sustainable development. He has a particular design and implementation interests relating to sustainable homes and fostering new communities. Peter is currently working on the developing 17-acre Paradise site between Centenary Square and Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, and the major redevelopment of central Tottenham Hale ‘’Heart of Hale’’.

In September 2021 Peter won Gold and Best Show Garden at his debut RHS Chelsea Garden where the Guangzhou Garden provided a narrative promoting green city principles.


Peter Massini

Peter MassiniPeter has spent the majority of his 30-year professional career as an urban ecologist and green infrastructure policy maker.

He started his career with the London Wildlife Trust and the London Ecology Unit, managing nature reserves and providing ecological advice to London boroughs. He subsequently worked for Natural England where he had responsibility for the government agency’s strategy for the London region. He initiated and help formulate the All London Green Grid and the policies that helped foster interest in green roofs and other forms of urban greening.

For the past 10 years he has led on green infrastructure and natural environment policy for the Greater London Authority, successfully embedding a policy framework in the London Plan and London Environment Strategy that aims to make London a greener, more liveable and resilient city.


Robert Brears

Robert BrearsRobert is the Editor-in-Chief of the Palgrave Handbook of Climate Resilient Societies and the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures, both Major Reference Works published with Springer Nature. He is the author of a variety of books including Blue and Green Cities: The Role of Blue-Green Infrastructure in Managing Urban Water Resources and Nature-Based Solutions to 21st Century Challenges among others. Robert is the Founder of Our Future Water, which has a Knowledge Partnership with the World Bank’s Connect4Climate Program to take on climate change as well as with the UNEP/World Bank/OECD-hosted Green Growth Knowledge Platform.


Simone Borelli

Simone BorelliSimone Borelli holds a first degree in Forest Science from the Universitá della Tuscia, Italy, an M. Sc. in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona and Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management from the University of London.  He has worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) for over 20 years in different positions and is currently responsible for the Urban Forestry programme of the Forestry Division.  In this capacity, he provides technical support to FAO field projects, provides policy advice to member countries and develops technical publications.  He is one of the creators of the World Forum on Urban Forestry and of the Tree Cities of the World programme. In addition to FAO, he has also worked for WWF, IPGRI (now Bioversity) and as a consultant for public institutions and the private sector.


Zac Tudor

Zac TudorZac is an associate landscape architect for Arup, where where he leads landscape architecture for the north region. He is based in the Sheffield Arup offices. Previously, he worked for Sheffield City Council’s Project Design Team for 22 years.