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The Urbanism Hours are virtual lunch time events that explore a given theme through two presentations and a Q&A.

For April's Urbanism Hour, we will be joined by Asier Abaunza Robles from Ayuntamiento Bilbao, and Noema's Lia Ghilardi. 

Lia Ghilardi 

Lia is the founding director of Noema, a UK-based company working to deliver place DNA mapping and strategic cultural planning projects. She is internationally recognized as a leader in this field and has been working for more than twenty years with civic leaders, cultural organizations, and communities to provide creative and equitable solutions to the challenges faced by cities. She studied urban sociology in Italy, then moved to London in the late 1980s to study at the Bartlett School of Planning. A long-standing Academician and a Fellow of the RSA, she lectures across Europe on creative and cohesive cities, and ways of engaging communities in urban regeneration. More info on her website and a selection of her publications is available from

Asier Abaunza Robles

Cllr. Asier Abaunza is Agricultural Engineer and Environmental Impacts Prediction and Assessment Specialist. He has been elected councillor of Bilbao City Council since 2007 (4 terms) representing the Basque National Party. Since 2019 he is the councillor for Public Works, Urban Planning and Strategic Projects. From 2007 to 2015 he was Councillor for Mobility, from 2015 to 2019 he was Councillor for Urban Planning and from 2018 to 2019 he was also Councillor for Public Works, Services and Urban Rehabilitation. He has had too various professional responsibilities in the field of transport, mobility, governance or housing; among others: Chairman of various District Councils of Bilbao, President of the municipal entities Funicular Artxanda and the Society for Rehabilitation SURBISA, Counsellor of the Board of Directors at the municipal Housing entity and at the Central Wholesale Market , Technical Assistance at the Urban Planning Department of the Provincial Government of Bizkaia, Teacher at the Agricultural Technical School of Derio (Bizkaia), Engineer at various private companies and Adviser at the General Secretary of Foreign Affairs (Basque Government).

This event is virtual and will take place via Zoom. The link will be sent to ticket holders in advance of the event.

This session will be chaired by Victoria Whenray, AoU Director and Partner at Conran & Partners.

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The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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