15–16 June 2021 | Online

Community Session: How can data-driven planning create more inclusive urban environments?

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The fourth WDBE Community Session explores data-driven possibilities in modern urban planning processes

This Community Session is a two-day event and organised in collaboration between Estonia and Denmark. The session will describe and analyse how the urban environments around us are being created. Our speakers will explain how we curretly use data in different parts of the processes that eventually construct, modify and re-build our cities. We will also discuss the ways in which data can inform and model the ways we will live and use our cities in the future.

Data is the new global currency, but what is value of data in urban planning? Is the full potential of data being used for planning, and should this be done at all? How could we unlock data-based processes that engage and benefit all stakeholders?

These are some of the topics being dealt with over two days from the perspective of two Nordic countries. According to folklore, the Danish flag revealed itself by falling from the skies in Tallinn, Estonia on 15 June 1219. Since then, Estonia and Denmark have been connected by a shared history. Exactly 802 years later, these two countries join to try to come up with answers to some of the challenges for building our modern cities.


Two days, two perspectives – a collaborative debate hosted by Denmark and Estonia

On June 15, the Estonian Digital Construction Cluster is hosting a discussion about modern planning processes in the living environment. Together we will be looking for answers as to how the environment around us is created. Does data give us some sense of how we will live and use space in the future, or is something else needed for this? Perhaps we as humans will be unable to shape our environment in the future: it will develop according to its own logic and instead reshape us. You will hear number of intriguing and thought-provoking presentations on these exciting topics.

On June 16, BLOXHUB and ConTech Lab in Copenhagen will host a discussion about data-driven possibilities in modern construction, and take a critical look on how data can create a better and more sustainable built environment: Can data transform the construction industry, and what are the opportunities and the risks? How do we approach and already use data today, and what is the potential in the future? We will discuss the fine line between basing our decision making on existing data and needing to engage the users in new and innovative ways.



participants registered



countries represented



15th June, 15:30–18:00 EEST, Tallinn / 14:30–17:00 CEST, Copenhagen

Please note that all times are in EEST. The program is subject to change.


Log in and matchmaking


Welcome and introduction

Jaan Saar, Head of Digital Construction Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Estonia (EST)


Community Talks + Q&A

Urban Analytics for “Good” City Design

 Andres Sevtšuk, Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning, MIT (US)

Over the last two decades, two rather different approaches to city design and analysis have dominated much of the discourse on urbanism: Smart Cities on the one hand, and people-centered cities on the other. While the former has advocated for extensive use of sensing and data analysis in urban decision making, the latter has predominantly focused on addressing basic human aspirations in city design, with relatively little or no emphasis on data analytics.

In this presentation Andres argues that data-driven approaches to urban planning need to be grounded in values and visions, which normative urban design theory can offer. Towards this end, he will illustrate a few recent research projects that engage in urban data science with a normative aim of supporting better, people-centered city design.

Andres Sevtsuk is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning at MIT, where he also leads the City Form Lab. His work bridges urban design, active mobility and spatial analysis technology. He has recently published a book entitled “Street Commerce: Creating Vibrant Urban Sidewalks” with Penn Press. 


Public data for public use

Raul Kalvo, Architect, Inphysica Technology (EST)

How to combine public data for research and analysis to create value? In this session, Raul will share his experience in three different projects based on open public data: The new development strategy “Tallinn 2035” , Tartu parking norms, Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning for Tallinn region.

Free People Move

Kristjan Lepik, Teleport (EST)

Kristjan has worked on building software that removes barriers for talent to move to a new location. First with teleport.org and the with Topia, helping the world’s biggest companies to manage their talent movement. While working at Teleport, Kristjan advised European cities on how to build a city that attracts talent.


Enabling outcome-driven design by leveraging data

Raoul Lindberg, Real Estate Developer & Solution Consultant, Head of Delivery for Finland, Spacemaker (FIN) & Daniel Gameiro,  Architect & Solution Consultant, Spacemaker (PT)

In this session, we will share how data enables outcome-driven design in early phase development. The presentation will cover technologies, processes, and real use-cases.


Community Panel

Joined by all speakers

Moderated by Jaan Saar, Head of Digital Construction, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Estonia (EST)


Closing words


Session ends


16th June 11:00–13:00 EEST, Tallinn / 10:00–12:00 CEST, Copenhagen

Please note that all times are in EEST. The program is subject to change.



Pernille Berg, Science Manager, BLOXHUB (DEN)

Christina Haupt Toft, Head of Networks, Contech Lab (DEN)


Community Keynote

Can data generate appealing urban design?

Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Henning Larsen Architects (DEN)

What is the new role of the architect, when planning processes and business models
become data driven? In this talk, Jakob will explore the potential of urban design
processes to benefit from the ever-expanding influence of data.
The approach of Henning Larsen’ Architects is based on curiosity and artistic audacity,
resting on a solid foundation of knowledge-based design and attention to detail.
As Partner and Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Jakob’s professional focus
revolves around the interaction between engineering, architecture and modern
technology. Jakob also manages Henning Larsen’s unique Industrial PhD program. He
has gained vast international experience through projects addressing cross-cultural
design, and ambitious sustainability certification objectives.


Community Panel

Presenting cross-disciplinary perspectives:

Mohammed Almahmood, Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University (DEN)

Mohammed is the founder of Walkscapes urbanism studio and Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University. As an architect and urban designer with expertise in the interface between city planning and human-centred design, he focuses on integrating urban design and research through evidence-based approach.

Peter Bjørn Larsen, CEO, Smart City Insights (DEN)

Peter is the owner of Smart City Insights and a global expert in urban innovation ecosystems – and in particular in smart city and data business models. He has worked on smart city projects in cities like New York, Sydney, Riyadh, Seattle, London, Bangkok, Dubai
and developed new business- and partnerships models for urban solutions using the
smart city concept.

Peter Weitzmann, Technical Development Manager, NCC (DEN)

Peter is a civil engineer with the Nordic Construction Company (NCC) and PhD from the
Danish Technical University. His focus is on cross-cutting and holistic approach to
design in the early stages. Peter is focused on the systematic collection of data from
buildings in operation. The mantra in Peter’s work with data is how data can lead to
action – otherwise data collection is just an expense.

Daniel Gameiro, Architect & Technical Sales Operations Manager, Spacemaker (NOR)


Community Keynote

Uncovering data sources through soft city sensing

Anders Koed Madsen, Associate Professor, Aalborg University (DEN)

What type of data creates true value for users in construction projects, and are we
looking in the right places for the data we need to begin with? Using his experience
from working closely with planners and urbanists on construction projects in Denmark,
in this talk Anders explores how alternative sources of data can be used to improve
value for users of construction projects.
Anders’ research agenda at the Techno-Anthropological Lab at Aalborg University is
focused on digital methods, re-tooling of humanistic methods, as well as with big data
and related shifts in organizational data practices. Apart from his research role, he is
partner in Backscatter, a data driven startup in Copenhagen.


Community Panel 

Roundtable discussion with input from the audience

Mohammed Almahmood, Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University (DEN)

Peter Bjørn Larsen, CEO, Smart City Insights

Peter Weitzmann, Technical Development Manager, NCC (DEN)

Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Henning Larsen Architects

Raoul Lindberg, Real Estate Developer & Solution Consultant, Head of Delivery for Finland, Spacemaker (FIN)




Session ends

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