Zahira Asmal is an urbanist, entrepreneur, and director of The City, a research, publishing and placemaking agency she founded in 2010. Her work addresses inequality in South Africa, and she has published three books that examine the socioeconomic, political and cultural landscapes shaping the country’s big cities.
Her current project, See, draws on emergent transnational solidarity and coalition strategies to fashion more equitable urban futures in the aftermath of colonialism and apartheid. Asmal is founding director of the Designing for All non-profit company and is currently serving on the board of advisors for the International Archive of Women in Architecture.
Duncan Blackmore is a director of Arrant Land, an independent UK-based development company founded with Graham Townsend in 2011, interested in ‘doing property development differently’. Through Arrant Land, Blackmore is focussed on the planning and delivery of high quality buildings on complex and contested urban sites, exploring the tension between doing good work and profitable work, and attempting both. Projects include the Red House in East Dulwich, designed by 31/44 Architects, and Haddo Yard in Whitstable, designed by Denizen Works.
Blackmore recently co-founded, with John Nordon and Lou Dawson, the new development company Neighbourhood, seeking a new form of development that isn’t just less bad, but actually could be good: a collaborative process, with true sustainability and wellbeing at its centre.
Jorge Pérez-Jaramillo is an architect and urban and regional planner, based in Medellín, Colombia. He is currently a member of the Medellín-based think tank MDE Urban Lab, and was the city’s Chief Planner between 2012 and 2015. He participated in the definition of several strategic projects such as the Parques del Río (‘River Parks’) and the Unidades de Vida Articulada (UVAs, or the ‘Articulated Living Units’), among many others.
Pérez-Jaramillo served as dean of the school of architecture at both Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana and Universidad Santo Tomás in Medellín, where he remains a professor, and is a visiting professor at several universities around the world.
He published Medellín: Urbanismo y Sociedad in 2019, about the processes of urban transformation in the city, and writes a+u, Arquitectura Viva, and The Architectural Review, among others.