Date/Time:                  28 July 2020, 01:30 - 03:00 PM CET

Location:                                 Webinar on Zoom platform

Registration:               Register here!



The COVID-19 pandemic has placed in the spotlight what already was in a critical situation. Most health measures taken to prevent the expansion of the virus were incompatible with current living conditions in informal settlements: lack of proper shelter, overcrowding in homes, unsafe or unsanitary conditions, no access to water and basic services, at-risk livelihoods, insecure tenure, plus climate risks and disasters on top of the pandemic. Series #1 of the Urban Thinkers Campus has stated the situation, the urgent needs and recommendations for action. But how do we do it? Many countries and cities are already facing multiple obstacles to providing basic services and good living conditions to their most vulnerable population. The pandemic has highlighted the need to effectively rethink and accelerate resilience in our built environment with a focus on low-income families. The need for adequate housing was already present, but COVID-19 has demonstrated that particularly in crisis situations it is again the most vulnerable population who suffers the most.

Housing as catalyst for sustainable development

This Urban Thinkers Campus intends to build on the previous sessions and bring up collaborative intelligence towards acceleration. To achieve affordable and sustainable cities we need to focus on housing as a supporting pillar of the population´s well-being. Innovative approaches in housing programmes are urgently needed to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The “shelter gap” in informal settlements constitutes a multi-faceted risk that needs to be tackled with a holistic approach (land and tenure security, housing, safety and climate-responsiveness, need for public space, basic services, public health, capacity building, livelihoods, etc.) and therefore requires multi-stakeholder platforms. Academia, practitioners, global and local institutions, administrations, civil society and private sector need to work together to effectively deliver if the SDGs are to be met by 2030. Time is pressing and greater innovation for scaling up good practices is much needed. We already share the same vision. This Decade of Action, we need to make sure that we share the same path towards affordable and sustainable housing for all. Our research agenda intends to be a roadmap for accelerating long-lasting solutions and enhance new collaborative thinking processes and partnerships to achieve it.


Moderator: Werner Lang and Ana Hernández Chamorro, Technical University of Munich (TUM)

13:30-13:40  Welcome and introduction to the session by Werner Lang, TUM

13:40-14:30  Urban Thinkers Session


  • Asnawi Manaf, Diponegoro University
  • Claudia J. Jerger, YOU Foundation
  • Lamine Ndong, YOU Foundation
  • Ronak B. Patel, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  • Walter Timo de Vries, Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  • Silja Tillner, Politecnico di Milano / Architekten Tillner & Willinger
  • Eva Maria Kühn, TU Wien

14:30-14:55  Roundtable discussion and Q&A session

14:55-15:00  Conclusion and closure

Join us!

Accelerating resilient and sustainable housing programmes is a matter of urgency which will require a great deal of cooperation and collaborative thinking. We look forward to receiving your questions and contributions.

Webinar on Zoom:    Register here!

After registration, you will receive the link to join the session.

Please, send your questions or comments to Ana Hernández Chamorro:

To know more about the COVID-19 Urban Thinkers Campus Series #1 and #2, please follow this link: