The Global
Forum for

October 3-5, 2022
In-person in New York at the Times Center


Join the who’s who of city-making at WRLDCTY.

WRLDCTY is designed to inspire real urban innovation so you can help change our cities from the ground up.

We are the definitive gathering that brings together a community of catalysts who are leading urban innovation through vision, experiments and projects that are transforming life in communities across the globe.

WRLDCTY exposes the pathways to urban ingenuity by digging into applied projects that are solving urban challenges in ambitious, inventive and collaborative ways.

“What a fantastic

Richard Florida
Professor, Urbanist & Writer

“The Davos of Cities”
“An impressive

Jan Gehl
Founder & Senior Advisor

After two successful editions online, bringing together more than 10,000 leading urban leaders, developers and placemakers, WRLDCTY is excited to welcome you in-person to the Times Center in New York City for an intimate gathering of the world’s leading urban innovators and city-makers for three days of exciting on-site and off-site programming, tours and networking.


WRLDCTY brings together the world’s best ideas about cities from the world’s leading visionaries and practitioners in urban design, real estate and technology.

Featured Speaker:

Andrew Kimball

President & CEO, NYCEDC

An accomplished executive, thought leader, and communicator in the public and private sectors, Andrew Kimball is proud to currently serve as President & CEO of the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). I’m a passionate native New Yorker who is focused on growing a vibrant, resilient and inclusive economy for all.

Speakers include:

Michael Turner

President, Oxford Properties

Helle Søholt

Founding Partner & CEO, Gehl

Jay Cross

President, The Howard Hughes Corporation

Dr. Bahiyyah Maroon

Author & CEO, Polis Institute

Claire Johnston

Managing Director, Lendlease for Google Real Estate Development

Alexa Arena

Senior Director of Real Estate Development, Google

Patrik Schumacher

Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects

Thomas Heatherwick

Founder, Heatherwick Studio

See the full lineup of 2022 Speakers.

Chris Fair

President, Resonance Consultancy

A futurist, facilitator and strategist, Chris holds a Masters degree in Studies of the Future and has married his tourism, economic development, real estate and marketing expertise with futures methodologies to create development strategies that shape the future of places around the world.

Derek Gagne

Principal, EDSA

Derek B. Gagne is a Principal at EDSA. Fueled by his global awareness and personal travels, Derek is inspired by the understanding and application of movement, space, and context. Derek manages the day-to-day operations of the New York studio.

Kate Raworth

Economist, Donut Economics Action Lab

Kate Raworth (sounds like ‘Ray-worth’) is a renegade economist focused on making economics fit for 21st century realities. She is the creator of the Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries, and co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab.

Her internationally best-selling book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st century economist has been translated into over 20 languages and has been widely influential with diverse audiences, from the UN General Assembly to Pope Francis to Extinction Rebellion.

Janera Soerel

Senior Director Global Market Development | Real Estate, IWBI

As Senior Director of Global Market Development for the Real Estate sector, Janera Soerel advises global real estate owners, developers, and operators on the best ways to embark on the WELL journey and achieve optimal health and wellbeing for their communities. She provides her clients with Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) solutions through WELL which meet their reporting requirements. Additionally, she provides strategic direction to the development of the LATAM and Multifamily markets, the execution of sector specific marketing campaigns, and the distribution of WELL thought-leadership.

Before joining IWBI, Janera was VP of Business Development and Client Management at BetterSpaces, a tenant amenities and workplace wellbeing company. Her interest in the wellness space was sparked as the Program Director at Urban Zen, Donna Karan’s foundation. Janera started her career in corporate finance at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam (NL) and Milan (IT). She has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is fluent in English, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.

Kirby Liu

Director of Development, Lovett Commercial

Kirby is a real estate developer focused on creative projects that have city wide impacts. A Fulbright Research Scholar, Kirby previously worked as a leveraged finance banker and before studying architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Kirby graduated with distinction from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature.

Fady Atallah

Creative Director, Moment Factory

As a Creative Director at Moment Factory, Fady spends his days exploring the ways in which cutting-edge technology can capture the magic of light, sound, and movement. With a focus on the transformative power of digital technology, he leads projects that activate urban environments, through groundbreaking multimedia shows and installations that heighten the meaning of urban spaces, and breathe new life into architecture and infrastructure.

Andre Brumfield

Cities & Urban Design Leader, Design Director & Principal, Gensler

Andre Brumfield is a Principal and Design Director in Gensler’s Chicago office and serves as the firm’s Global Cities + Urban Design Leader, applying his 23 years of experience in revitalizing and repositioning urban environments to shape equitable, accessible communities. His extensive portfolio comprises city-wide master planning and high-density, urban-infill to emerging urban district redevelopment, mixed income housing, and neighborhood and community revitalization. Andre’s visionary, yet realistic revitalization plans have been successfully implemented in economically challenged areas throughout the world. Andre is a member of the Chicago Plan Commission and on the Board of Trustees for Chicago Architecture Center.

Kristina Lao

Actor & Advocate

Kristina (she/her), is an Artist-Advocate from Hong Kong with over 15 years working internationally as a creator, connector, host and curator in Entertainment. A nationally touring actor, singer-songwriter, and co-founder of podcast Bombshell Brunches, Kristina champions sustainable creative, accessible careers on a local, national and international level.

Cara Eckholm

Head of Growth, Nabr

Cara is on the executive team at Nabr, a sustainable urban housing company backed by Bjarke Ingels Group. Cara joined Nabr from Zigg Capital, the largest real estate tech venture fund in New York and the lead of Nabr’s seed round. Cara previously worked at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, and she began her career in Copenhagen working on LEGO’s five-year R&D plan. Cara graduated from Princeton where she wrote the best thesis in architecture and she was at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business before dropping out to join Nabr. In 2014, Cara was a National Geographic Explorer, and her writing about cities has been featured in numerous media outlets. Outside of work, Cara serves on the Mayor and Governor’s “New” New York Blue Ribbon Panel, focused on revitalizing New York’s central business districts.

Jorick Beijer

Director, Blossity

Jorick Beijer is an urbanist and co-founder of Blossity. Blossity turns trends into tactics for pioneering corporates, consumer brands and city governments. Ongoing work includes the EMEA HQ for Nike, the Global HQ of Siemens Healthineers and Brainport Smart District.

Gabriel Metcalf

CEO, Committee of Sydney

Gabriel Metcalf is the CEO of the Committee for Sydney, a research and advocacy organisation whose mission is to make Sydney the best city in the world.

Previously, he served as the President and CEO of SPUR, an urban policy think tank for the San Francisco Bay Area. Gabriel led SPUR through a major expansion of its work, staffing, funding, geographic footprint, and impact.

Gabriel has led initiatives on housing, transport, economic development, and climate adaptation, among other topics.

Gabriel earned a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design. From 2016-2018 he held the Cornish Endowed Chair in City and Regional Planning at U.C. Berkeley, where he taught “Cities and Social Change.”

A frequent speaker and writer on planning and policy topics, some of his publications include Sand Castles Before the Tide: Affordable Housing in Expensive Cities; Four Scenarios for Year 2070; Learning from Tokyo; The San Francisco Exodus; and The Great Dithering. He is also the author of Democratic by Design (St. Martin’s Press).

Jeff Shapak

Founder & CEO, Shapak Partners

Jeff Shapack has been developing real estate in Chicago for 20 years. He is the founder & CEO of Shapack Partners, a leader in the creation of Chicago’s Fulton Market District with projects including Soho House Chicago, Hoxton Chicago, Knoll-anchored 811 W. Fulton, 167 N. Green and The Parker Fulton Market. Jeff graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is a board member of the Chicago Artists Coalition and of TPIRC (Translational Pulmonary & Immunology Research Center)/SoCal Food Allergy in Long Beach, California. Jeff lives in Glencoe with his wife and three daughters.

Gary Pooni

President, Pooni Group

In his role as president, Gary drives the firm’s growth and guides major client projects as strategic lead. With over twenty years of planning-related experience, he has spearheaded some of the country’s most significant projects throughout Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Sea to Sky corridor, Alberta and Ontario. His expertise includes strategic guidance, policy planning, public consultation and entitlement negotiation. Often recognized as the man behind the Lower Mainland’s most complex projects, Gary was listed as a “change-maker and power player shaping our world” in Vancouver Magazine’s 2022 Power 50 List.

Marion Waller

Advisor to Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris

Marion Waller is Deputy Director of the Cabinet of Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of urban planning, architecture, attractiveness, economic development and Greater Paris projects.

In particular, she piloted “Réinventer Paris” and the calls for innovative projects that followed. In parallel, she is involved in environmental philosophy and in 2016 published “Artefacts naturels” (Editions de l’Eclat), a book on ecological restoration and the possibilities of human re-inhabitation of the environment. She teaches at Sciences Po Paris and at the University of Paris Est-Créteil and is passionate about environmental ethics applied to territories.

Arsha Cazazian-Clement

Director of Global Real Estate, Shearman & Sterling

Arsha Cazazian is a seasoned real estate executive with over 2 decades of experience planning, executing and leading teams for large-scale public and private development projects.

In her current role as Director of Global Real Estate for Shearman & Sterling, LLP., she is responsible for the firm’s workplace strategy, CRE technology integration, delivery and management of the partnership’s 1 million sq.ft global real estate portfolio spanning 23 offices across 5 continents.

Prior to joining Shearman & Sterling, Arsha managed growth for JLL’s Project & Development Service line maintaining a deep focus and passion for sustainable, scalable and impactful development with particular concentration in underserved areas in the US and abroad.

Eran Chen

Founding Principal and Executive Director, ODA Architects

Eran Chen is the founding principal and design director of ODA. Since establishing the office in 2007 he has become one of the most prolific architects in New York. Chen has gained a reputation for delivering designs that are innovative as well as socially and fiscally responsible. His work has been widely published around the world and recognized amongst others by the American Institute of Architects and the Society of American Registered Architects. Chen graduated with honors from the Bezalel School of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where he serves on the board and as guest lecturer. He is a frequent speaker at design and development forums, as well as architecture schools including Columbia University, Clemson University, Syracuse University, Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture, and The Technion in Haifa.

Recent projects include the renovation of the former Postkantoor in Rotterdam, the conversion of the Arbuckle Sugar Refinery at 10 Jay into offices and the forthcoming 416-4120 Kent Ave towers in Williamsburg’s Waterfront. His writings on architecture have been published in ODA’s latest book, Unboxing New York.

Dr. Bahiyyah Maroon

Author & CEO, Polis Institute

Dr. Bahíyyah Maroon is CEO of the social research & engagement firm, Polis Institute. A nationally recognized thought leader on equity and social change, Dr. Maroon has provided strategic insights to Fortune 50 companies, Harvard University, the Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Labor, and a host of philanthropic, business, and municipal entities. She is the author of the forthcoming book Black LIves, American Love (Chicago Review Press), and has appeared in Women’s Health, Self, Bustle, and the NY Times.

Andrew Kimball

President & CEO, NYCEDC

An accomplished executive, thought leader, and communicator in the public and private sectors, Andrew Kimball is proud to currently serve as President & CEO of the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). I’m a passionate native New Yorker who is focused on growing a vibrant, resilient and inclusive economy for all.

Mary Rowe

CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. Mary comes to CUI with several years of experience as an urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment. A mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans where she worked with national philanthropy, governments and local communities to support rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Prior, Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs.

Mary has been a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN Habitat and the World Urban Forum. She brings an extensive international network of practitioners from government, industry, community activism, and the city-building professions to strengthen CUI under her leadership.

Jay Cross

President, The Howard Hughes Corporation

Jay Cross leads the Howard Hughes Corp. in developing some of the most innovative planned communities in the country, with decades of experience delivering large-scale, mixed-use real estate projects.

Cross joined HHC in 2020 from the presidency of Related Hudson Yards, where he led development of the $20 billion project that redefined lower Manhattan. As president of the New York Jets, he spearheaded the development of MetLife Stadium in a joint venture with the New York Giants to build the $1.3 billion dual-team NFL stadium.

Cross served as president of business operations for the NBA’s wildly popular Miami Heat. He led the development of the $213 million American Airlines Arena—creating a public-private partnership with Miami Dade County, a $185 million bond offering and downtown Miami’s rebirth. Mr. Cross also developed the $265 million Air Canada Centre that houses Toronto’s NBA and NHL franchises in one of North America’s finest arena sites.

Thomas Heatherwick

Founder, Heatherwick Studio

Thomas Heatherwick is a British designer whose prolific and varied work over two decades is characterized by its ingenuity, inventiveness and originality. Defying the conventional classification of design disciplines, Thomas founded Heatherwick Studio in 1994 to bring the practices of design, architecture and urban planning together in a single workspace. Based in London, Heatherwick Studio focuses on designing for the human experience and is currently working on approximately 30 projects in ten countries, including new headquarters for Google in Silicon Valley and London (in collaboration with BIG); Toranomon-Azabudai — a six-hectare mixed-use development in the center of Tokyo; and Airo – an electric car that cleans the air as it drives. The studio has recently completed Little Island, a park and performance space on the Hudson River in New York; the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town; and Coal Drops Yard, a major new retail district in King’s Cross, London. His forthcoming book, Humanise, will be published by Penguin.

Helle Søholt

Founding Partner & CEO, Gehl

Helle is Founding Partner and CEO of Gehl. She started the company with Professor Jan Gehl in 2000. Through her leadership, strategic and organizational talent, the office has developed a knowledge base and experience portfolio that is respected internationally in the field of urban design and urban development. Over the years of its existence, Gehl has been awarded multiple prizes and recognitions for their contribution to making cities more livable and sustainable around the world.

Michael Turner

President, Oxford Properties

Michael Turner is President of Oxford Properties, a leading global real estate investor, asset manager and business builder and Global Head of Real Estate for the OMERS pension plan. Michael is Chair of Oxford’s Leadership team and Investment Committee and is responsible for the overall guidance and strategic direction of the global team and $80 billion*, ~164 million* square foot business.

Lynn M. Ross

Founder & Principal , Spirit for Change Consulting

Lynn M. Ross is a nationally recognized urbanist, strategist, and founder of Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC where she works with multi-sector teams on a mission to create the equitable policies and practices that sustain just places. Lynn believes that everyone deserves a place to thrive and that the best approaches to just places are co-created, rooted in lived experience, equitable by design, and intentionally inclusive.

Brooks Rainwater

Director, National League of Cities

Brooks Rainwater is the senior executive and director of the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Center for City Solutions. Rainwater drives the organization’s research agenda, community engagement efforts, and leadership education programming to help city leaders create strong local economies, safe and vibrant neighborhoods, world-class infrastructure, and a sustainable environment. Rainwater’s expertise is a draw for media outlets, including the TODAY Show, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the New York Times. He also frequently contributes to publications such as Fast Company, Forbes, CityLab, Business Insider, TechCrunch, and Fortune.

Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

Urban Anthropologist, Think.urban

Katrina is a lecturer, researcher, and advocate for humanist cities. She is a consultant through her firm THINK.urban and adjunct professor for the Masters of Urban Strategy at Drexel University, as well as guest lecturer for the Masters in Urbanism program at the Royal Institute for Technology in Stockholm, Sweden (KTH). As an applied urban anthropologist, her work focuses on human behavior in public space and the relationship between behavior and design. Through the use of “spatial ethnographies”, she utilizes principles of user experience research and design to assess the effectiveness of urban form on the human condition, physically and psychologically. Lectures include instruction on qualitative research methods, observation techniques, survey research, and ancient urban history with an emphasis on public space.

William Ruh

CEO, Lendlease Digital

Mr. William Ruh is the Chief Executive Officer for Lendlease Digital. In this role, he is building a new business to help transform the real estate industry. LendLease Digital is developing the world’s first set of Autonomous Building products to automate design, supply chain, construction and operations.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Magna International and CADMakers. He is the Vice Chair of the Board at the American Chamber of Commerce of Australia, member of the board of the Building 4.0 CRC research program in Australia, and is a founder and Chair of the Digital Twin Consortium.

Manish Vora

CEO, Museum of Ice Cream

Manish Vora is Co-Ceo and Founder of Museum of Ice Cream. MOIC believes in creating beautiful and shareable environments that foster IRL interaction and URL connections, providing fun, multi-sensorial expressions of ice cream that cater to the appetites of our generation. MOIC has locations in New York, Austin, Singapore and Chicago.

Claire Johnston

Managing Director, Lendlease for Google Real Estate Development

Claire Johnston serves as Managing Director for Lendlease’s Google Real Estate Development venture, a 15 year, US $15bn (AUD $20bn) joint undertaking of master planning, entitlement and development of Google’s Bay Area landholdings in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Mountain View, California. Lendlease estimates it will develop up to 15 million square feet of residential, retail, hospitality and associated community uses within these four new neighborhoods.

Jason Long

Partner, OMA

Jason Long is a Partner at OMA who leads its New York office and diverse portfolio in the Americas. Since joining the firm in 2003, Jason has brought a research-driven, interdisciplinary approach to a wide range of OMA’s projects internationally. A number of projects under Jason’s direction take a creative approach to adaptive reuse and preservation, including POST Houston, the transformation of a former post office warehouse into a mixed-use hub; the conversion of a historic parking garage in New York City into a new synagogue; the renovation of the historic Fitzgerald Building at University of Toronto into the university’s administration center; the adaptive reuse of Jersey City’s historic Pathside Building into Centre Pompidou x Jersey City; and LANTERN, the reimagination of a former commercial bakery into a community arts hub in Detroit.

Alexa Arena

Senior Director of Real Estate Development, Google

As Senior Director of Real Estate Development, Alexa Arena oversees Google’s entire portfolio of ground-up, mixed-use developments in the San Francisco Bay Area. This includes Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and San Jose, where she leads the strategy and execution of district-scale developments that create inclusive, sustainable places where Google and local communities can thrive. Alexa ensures that each project addresses complex ecological, environmental, and social issues by integrating affordable housing, social infrastructure programs, sustainable designs, and placemaking activities. In addition, Alexa and her team work closely with local city governments, community members, and design and development partners to deliver districts that are truly user-centered, forward-thinking, and built with the future in mind.

Patrik Schumacher

Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects

Patrik Schumacher is principal of Zaha Hadid Architects. He studied philosophy, mathematics and architecture in Bonn, Stuttgart and London and received his PhD at the Institute for Cultural Science in Klagenfurt. In 1996 he founded the Design Research Laboratory at the AA in London where he continues to teach. Since 2007 he has been promoting Parametricism as an epochal style for the 21st Century. In 2010/12 he published “The Autopoiesis of Architecture” in two Volumes and recently guest-edited AD – Parametricism 2.0, emphasizing the societal relevance of Parametricism. His current research and design interest is focused on the metaverse and the integration of real and virtual communication spaces.


3 days of inspirational keynotes, conversations, experiences and networking with the world’s urban visionaries.

See the full detailed 2022 Agenda.


WRLDCTY brings you to the heart of innovation with a series of inspiring off-site tours and experiences presented by some of the world’s leading practitioners.

Tour of Little Island
with Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick will take you on a personal tour of Little Island, created by Heatherwick Studios to reimagine public space through the restoration of Pier 55 following Hurricane Sandy. Little Island boasts dazzling views and rests on 132 concrete columns on the Hudson River.

Tour of Greenpoint
with OMA’s Jason Long

OMA’s Jason Long will take you on a personal tour of Greenpoint Landing, located at the northern tip of Brooklyn. The former site of warehouses and rope factories has been transformed into a new neighborhood. Gaze up at the 745 residential unit Skyscraper, where 30% of the units will be mixed-income offered at an affordable rate.

Tour Tin Building at the Seaport
with Howard Hughes Corp.

Take a personal tour of the soon-to-open Tin Building at the Seaport, an immersive culinary concept curated by acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The 530,000-square-foot culinary marketplace is located on the site of the original Fulton Fish Market and is steeped in nearly 400 years of history.

VIP Reception at the
Museum of Ice Cream

Join 100 of your closest WRLDCTY fellows for a special reception at the Museum of Ice Cream. Enjoy an assortment of cocktails as you tour multiple magical rooms, including the world-famous sprinkle pool and NYC’s highest indoor slide!


WRLDCTY is the only global city event of its kind, bridging the gap between urban design, real estate and technology to shape the cities of tomorrow.

Unmatched networking with the who’s who of city-making

2-days and nights of networking with the world’s leading developers, cities, urban planners, innovators and designers who come together to inspire and roll up our sleeves together towards transformative impact.

Applied inspiration and urban innovation

The on-site program at the Times Center is made even richer with off-site experiences at some of New York’s most ambitious projects hosted by renowned urban experts who are addressing urban challenges in ambitious, inventive, and collaborative ways.

An innovative community of catalysts

Since 2020, WRLDCTY has innovated in so many ways, engaging with the world’s leading cities, developers and urban visionaries and practitioners from all around the world to create a new community of catalysts, leading urban innovation and breaking down silos between disciplines.

See more details on our FAQ page.


Early Bird tickets start at $1,290 and include access to off-site experiences and reception at Museum of Ice Cream.

Limited capacity.

Want to purchase group tickets, speak or sponsor WRLDCTY?
Get in touch with us


WRLDCTY is presented by Resonance, the leading strategic consultancy on placemaking, branding and marketing for the world’s best destinations, developments, cities and communities.

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