Three webinars will be held prior to the symposium by which you can get information on the main themes of the symposium, as well as meet and interact with some of the guest speakers.

The webinars will provide an opportunity for the guest speakers to introduce the topic and outlining the context of their presentation. Members of the public and those intending to attend the symposium are also invited to register to the webinars as such interaction will enhance the coordination and delivery of the event while creating networking opportunities.

The webinars will take place on the following dates:

Webinar August:
•  Date: August 20, 2015
•  Time: 9:00 am (Colombian Time GMT - 5)
•  Theme: Quality Public Space
•  Speaker: Diana Wiesner
•  Country of origen: Colombia
•  Institution: Fundación Cerros de Bogotá

Summary of profesional profile of host:

Diana Wiesner (

Founder and Director of the Bogotan Hills Foundation ( and of her Landscape Architecture company (

Diana is an architect who obtained her undergraduate qualification in the University of the Andes and continued her studies in landscape architecture and planning at the University of Buenos Aires. She has 20 years of experience in areas related to urban ecology, the design of public space and ecological and urban research. Diana’s work aims to contribute to human wellbeing through integrative projects with clear vision, that are based in social and ecological realities.

She is a distinguished professional who has won various awards:
• Jinzhou, China Art exhibition in 2013
• The Holcimawardsaknowledgement Award in 2008 for Sustainable Construction
• Seven first-place awards for in Colombian Architecture Competitions between 2004-2009
• Two first-place awards in the Biannual Architecture Awards of 2006 and 2008
• Three first-place awards in the Biannual International Architecture Awards in 1991, 2002 and 2006
• A project selected for the Biannual Latin Amercian Landscape Awards and the Rosa Barba International Landscape Awards in 2014.

Diana is an international judge, a member of the Bogota consultative council for planning and an honored member of Green Planet Architects.

Summary of webinar:

Urban green areas and public space are key elements in the urban structure, as they assist in addressing environmental challenges and fulfill social and ecosystem functions in their surrounding region.

Isolated conservation in the urban context, without understand the social reality of the area, has obstructed the construction of a coherent natural public space system that guarantees connectivity and social and ecological functionality. Additionally, mechanisms in the generation of such a system are limited, and prevent the application of an urban management system that has a macro vision which considers hydrographic features the basis for design and management.

The tendency of actors that seek to transform cities “sustainable” continues to be questionable, as the point of sustainability it not to reduce urban areas but to interlink and conceptualize them as part of the region.

The disciplines derived from conservation sciences; and those from architecture, design and landscape architecture, suggest a renewed concept of green infrastructure, eco-urbanism and urban sustainability. The home of such a conceptualization is found in landscape ecology, which today is known as landscape design; as a research area and as a practical framework for the application of its methods, which Nausauer and Opdam (2008) define as the directed transformation of a landscape with the aim of satisfying human needs by managing ecosystem services (Andrade, Remolina, Wiesner 2013) .

Planners must be inspired to confront a specific challenge: that the rhythm of cities outruns the ability of actors to manage them, and as such, that new methodologies be developed creatively to respond to this issue urgently. This is a challenge that requires synchronized action between government actors, business and citizens.

The justification of public space must be based on the needs of the human being; by improving environmental conditions, density conditions and by creating space which is proportionate to the needs of the surrounding settlements.

As such, it is required that sustainable urban development departs from being a discussion which excepts the majority, and that transforms into a common language where the population is included. Professionals must look to work as part of a team where the objective is synchronicity.

(Diana Wiesner, Nature or Cities [Fragment])

Themes addressed in this webinar:

• Quality public space
• Ecological aesthetic
• Human fabrics

Presentación del webinar Espacio público de calidad

Webinar July:
•  Date: July 21, 2015
•  Time: 9:00 am (Colombian Time GMT - 5)
•  Theme: Socio-Ecological Urban Innovations and Transformations
•  Speaker: Dr. Fernando Remolina

Webinar summary:

Social innovation is a concept which seeks to demonstrate the kinds of changes that inspire social efforts to change undesirable situations. When these changes are sustained, they can produce transformations that have repercussions not only in society, but in the environment that sustains it. The webinar will present these concepts and explore their application in the green areas of Bogota.

Biography of host:

Fernando is a biologist at the National University of Colombia and was awarded his Masters in Geography from the University of Texas. He has been a consultant in the area of urban green space and ecological structures, and in the development of management plans for protected areas in the Capital District and region of Bogota. Recently he finished a second Masters in the Stockholm Resilience Centre, which focuses on socio-ecological changes in eight wetlands in Bogota.

Webinar presentation: Socio-Ecological Urban Innovations and Transformations

Webinar June:
•  Date: June 24, 2015
•  Time: 9:00 am (Colombian Time GMT - 5)
•  Theme: The Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Teledetection in Urban Territorial
•  Studies: Methods and Examples
•  Speaker: Dr. Luis Inostroza

Summary CV

Research associate at the Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the Technical University of Dresden. Lecturer of urban planning, urban ecology and geographic information systems (GIS) in the Centre for Postgraduate Studies of Environmental Management (CIPSEM) at the same university. Assistant Professor at the University of Economics in Prague and visiting professor for the doctoral program in urban regeneration at the Technical University of Madrid. Dr. Inostroza belongs to the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE), is a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), partner of the European Land-Use Institute (ELI) and member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA). Dr. Inostroza is permanent reviewer of several high rank scientific journals, like Ecological Indicators and Land Use Policy among others. His research interest focuses on the analysis of the spatial evolution of urban systems, its physical and economic effects of changes of use/land cover, land markets and urban policy, with special attention to the dynamics of urban systems in Latin America and Europe. In his research integrates quantitative analysis, remote sensing and GIS to understand the spatial structure of urban socio-ecological systems, and their linkage with the ecological and economic functions.

Webinar presentation: The Use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Teledetection in Urban Territorial