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Brain Trust: Meet the experts

The experts helping guide our conversation on how to improve our cities

The POLITICO Global Policy Lab is a collaborative journalism project seeking solutions to social challenges in an age of rapid change. Living Cities, a year-long installment launching March 31, explores the future of cities. To help guide our conversation, POLITICO has gathered a group of experts who will advise and provide feedback throughout the project.

Interested in being a part of the brain trust or know of someone we should include? Email us. If you’re not yet signed up to receive the newsletter, you can do that here.

Guilherme Rodrigues is a Portuguese urban economist at the Centre for Cities, a London-based think tank that studies the economies of British cities. He holds a masters’ degree in economics from Lisbon’s Nova School of Business and Economics and has studied inflation and house prices for several European countries.


Linda Gustafsson is a Swedish gender strategist working for the city of Umeå. She has worked with gender equality in public organizations for 15 years, with a special focus on gender in relation to urban planning, infrastructure, mobility and climate change on local level.


Mirik Milan is the Dutch former night mayor of Amsterdam. He is an ex-nightclub promoter and has handled strategy and production for mass events like the Nuit Blanche and Amsterdam fashion week. He is co-founder of the VibeLab nightlife consultancy and author of the paper “Governing the night-time city: The rise of night mayors as a new form of urban governance after dark.”


Carlos Moreno is the French-Colombian creator of the 15-minute city concept and the “smart cities” adviser for the city of Paris. He is co-founder and scientific director of the Entrepreneurship, Territory, Innovation Chair at the Paris IAE – Panthéon Sorbonne University and a member of the scientific board of Columbia University’s City Diplomacy Lab.


Marco Cremaschi is an Italian professor of urban planning and director of the Master in Urban Planning and Design at the Urban School, Sciences Po, Paris. He studies how cities react to influxes of refugees and migrants, the informal housing sector, the financialization of housing and the cultural aspect of urban policy-making.


Antonio Giraldo is a Spanish geographer and urban planner. He serves as sustainability coordinator for Spain’s Socialist Party and writes about urban planning issues for several Spanish newspapers.


Ann Voets is an art historian and landscape architect who is specialized urban planning. Voets has taught landscape architecture and urban design at Brussels’ and Ghent’s LUCA School of the Arts and served as a lecturer in landscape-urbanism at Brussel’s Institut Supérieur d’Urbanisme et de Rénovation Urbaine. She has served on several urban planning commissions, is a member of the board of the Korei association of cultural ambassadors highlighting the connection between art, architecture and urban planning, and is a member of the Royal Commission for Monuments and Sites of Belgium’s Brussels-Capital region.


Caterina Sarfatti serves as director of C40’s Inclusive Climate Action program, which provides support for mayors and local administrations to plan and deliver bold climate action. Caterina leads and manages global initiatives on local green new deals, climate and migration, gender inclusive climate action and a just transition.

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