Speakers’ Profiles


Dr. Kongjian Yu
Dr. Kongjian Yu received his Doctor of Design Degree at The Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1995. He joined the SWA Group from 1995 till 1997 in its Laguna office at California. He has been a professor of architecture and landscape architecture at Peking University since 1997, and the founder and dean of the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University. He is the founder and president of Turenscape, which is an internationally awarded firm with about 600 professionals and is one of the first and largest private architecture and landscape architecture practices in China. Dr. Yu is visiting professor of landscape architecture and urban planning and design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He has won numerous international awards in the past years for his ecologically and culturally sensitive projects; the 2009 ULI Global Award for Excellence, the World’s Best Landscape Award of the World Architecture Festival (2009) and 8 ASLA Awards including the 2010 award of excellence. Dr. Yu won the National Gold Medal of Fine Arts (2004, China) and in 2004 was awarded the Oversea Chinese Pioneer Achievement Medal by the Chinese central government for his overall contribution to the nation. He serves as consulting expert for the Ministry of Housing, Rural and Urban Construction of China, Ministry of Land Resources, and The City of Beijing, Suzhou..



Nicole Collomb CMLI
Parks and public space specialist
Nicole Collomb is a chartered landscape architect and independent parks and public space specialist with over 20 years experience of working in the public, private and voluntary sectors. As former head of public space management and skills at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, (CABE), in London, Nicole is a powerful advocate for high quality public space and was responsible for producing national guidance on open space strategies and green infrastructure planning. Prior to joining CABE, Nicole was principal landscape architect at Groundwork West London managing a team of landscape architects working on public space improvements with the involvement of local communities. Nicole has been a Green Flag Award judge since 2007 and has recently been appointed as a Built Environment Expert at Design Council Cabe.


Dr. Gerry Clabby
Gerry Clabby is an ecologist working in the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Department of Fingal County Council. He was a member of the team which worked on the preparation of the Fingal Development plan 2011-2017 contributing in particular to the development of the green infrastructure approach in the Plan. He also provides advice on heritage issues for the preparation of Local Area Plans and in relation to planning applications, as well as advising departments across the Council on heritage issues. He is a member of the steering committee of the Green Infrastructure Network (GreenInfraNet) – a partnership of 12 regions across Europe working together to promote the development and implementation of green infrastructure in EU regions.


Jim Mituzas RLA
Jim Mituzas has been with City of New York Parks & Recreation’s Capital Projects Division since 1993 where he started as a Landscape Architect for the boroughs of the Bronx and Staten Island. Jim was promoted to all  the various levels of a landscape architect until he reached the Senior Designer position for the Bronx Team in 2003.  In this position as a Senior Designer he took on the role of managing a staff of landscape architects, and project managers. Jim has worked on an impressive portfolio of projects in his time at Capital, most notably including the development and implementation of Bronx River Greenway capital projects. Through his work on the Bronx River Greenway (BRG), Jim has developed a specialized expertise in coordinating successfully with a number of federal, state and city agencies, and community partners to establish a continuous bikeway, improve water quality, and enhance public access to the Bronx River. He has supervised project managers on over 10 BRG capital projects, as well as coordinated and reviewed over 25 projects with multiple agencies totaling nearly $65M. Jim was the lead designer of Concrete Plant Park, a BRG project that transformed a derelict Concrete Mix Plant into a nine acre waterfront park. The project was recognized for a number of awards, including a 2010 “Designing the Parks” Merit Award in the Site Design category, where the project was recognized on a national level at the Federal Hall National Memorial. Concrete Plant Park was also the recipient of a 2010 Masterworks Award from the New York City Municipal Arts Society.   Jim currently serves the role as the Landscape Architecture Design Director for the Borough of Queens.  In this position Jim is responsible for supervising Landscape Architects and provides oversight of the implementation of the borough’s capital design program. Prior to coming to Parks, Jim worked as a Landscape Architect and Construction Supervisor at Bruce Kelly/David Varnell Landscape Architects, NY,NY in where he did extensive work on Olmsted designed parks around the country.

Jim has a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a Master’s Degree in Urban Design and Planning from the City University of New York – City College, and is a New York State Registered Landscape Architect.


Franca Davenport
Franca Davenport is a science writer for Science for Environment Policy, a European Commission service that provides newsletters, briefs and reports on environmental research to policy makers. She has written a wide range of news articles and longer publications on policy-relevant environmental research around biodiversity, sustainable land-use and ecosystem services, and she recently wrote the report ‘The Multifunctionality of Green Infrastructure’ that was published in March 2012. Franca studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and then gained an MSc in Organisational Psychology at the London School of Economics before moving to Brussels to complete an internship at the European Commission in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. She was a research psychologist on a range of NHS projects and then worked as a freelance journalist and writer for several years. She is now based at the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Alongside her work as a science writer she teaches on the MSc in Science Communication and is conducting research on communication at the science-policy interface.


Michael Phillips Engineer, BE MEngSc FIEI FICE FIAE
City Engineer, Dublin City Council
Michael Phillips began his career as an Assistant Resident Engineer on the Grand Tunnel Scheme in Dublin in the mid-70s. After spending a number of years in Calabar Nigeria, working in all aspects of civil engineering on a major harbour complex on a greenfield site, Michael returned to Ireland to work for a major Irish civil engineering contractor on infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on bridges such as the Frank Sherwin Bridge on the Liffey and Rice Bridge on the Suir in Waterford City. From 1987 until 1998, Michael worked in the public sector in local government with a number of local authorities including Dublin County Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Dublin City Council. In 1998, he was appointed City Engineer for Dublin with responsibility for all engineering infrastructures and services, managing approximately 150 engineers. Projects included the Dublin Port Tunnel and Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Works. He has been a member of the Board of Eureau, the Water Suppliers Association of Europe since 1998 and was President of it in 2003.
From 2006 to present, he became Director of Traffic in addition to his role as City Engineer. Additional responsibilities included management of traffic and coordination of all public transport infrastructure projects. In 2003, Michael was elected as a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and in 2004 he was elected Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (London). In 2006, he became a member of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He is currently President of the Engineers Ireland (2012-2013).


Alison Harvey MIPI AILI ILI (Affiliate),
Planning and Development Officer at the Heritage Council, Ireland
Alison is an experienced environmental planner and qualified project manager with a background in economics, who specialises in participative & collaborative planning/regeneration. She has project managed the formulation, implementation and monitoring of city/town and village design and development and regeneration studies/ strategies in Ireland, the UK and the US for almost 16 years. Prior to joining the Heritage Council, Alison was a Senior Consultant with a global environmental management consultancy (Dublin office). Shortly after joining the Heritage Council in December 2004, Alison initiated and developed the All-Island Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN), organised the first IWTN Workshop in Athlone Castle in April 2005, set up the first IWTN Management Committee, and using a collaborative process drafted the first IWTN Action Plan 2006-2008, which secured annual funding of approx €2m for the IWTN from 2007 onwards. Alison set up and manages the Heritage Council’s new Community-led National Village Design Statement (VDS) Initiative (est. 2009), the National Collaborative Public Realm Plan (PRP) Programme for Historic Towns/Cities (est. 2008), and the National Planning Referral Programme. In late 2008, she set up project/managed the Heritage Council’s multi-disciplinary Landscape Character Assessment CPD Training Course (2 days – residential course), which was developed in partnership with 10 professional institutes (north and south), including the ILI. Alison set up and chairs the National Communityled VDS Steering Group, set up the two community-led VDS ‘pilots’ in Julianstown and Sandymount, and is the author of the National Community-led VDS ‘Toolkit’, which was published in October 2012. The Heritage Council publishes an email newsletter that provides monthly updates on events, grants, publications, tenders, news, education opportunities and much more. Register to receive the newsletter through the Council website by visiting www.heritagecouncil.ie/subscribe/subscribe-to-newsletter For further information on the Village Design Toolkit see:


Dr. Shane Colgan
STRIVE Research Programme, EPA

Dr Shane Colgan has a degree in Agricultural and Food Engineering from UCD where he also obtained an M.Eng.Sc and a PhD in Engineering. He has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency since 2001 and works on a range of EPA activities in the broad area of Sustainable Environment – including Environment & Health. Shane also oversees communication and dissemination activities for the research programme. He is a member of the Council of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. http://www.esaiweb.org/council-members/