Rethinking Cities: Smarter, Sustainable, more livable Communities

According to the United Nations – Habitat, World Cities Report “…sustainable urbanization remains central to overall sustainable development by creating economic, social and environmental value that supports the fight against inequality, climate change and other global challenges.” It is critical, especially against the backdrop of the 2020 pandemic, to rethink and revisit the path forward to harness the power of cities as sustainable ecosystems that can create value towards building resilient communities, societies and economies at scale.

Event Recording

Event Recording

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The rapid development of cities pose unique challenges at a time when urban areas worldwide are threatened by climate and environmental change. Given the current landscape – what are the varying technological, political and governance structures that cities need to explore in order to pave the way for sustainable growth? Will shifts in social and cultural behaviors be accounted for and ingrained in this growth? How can we make cities smarter and more sustainable using the latest technologies from renewable energy to smart grids? Be it moving towards more green mobility spaces, creating more walking and cycling paths, building public-private partnerships, development of local urban farms, crowd sourced solutions or increased accountability and transparency across funding and implementation.

In our one-hour live web-talk, Rethinking Cities will contribute to this ongoing dialogue by addressing issues of sustainability, smart technologies, governance, and design from the perspective of the communities that inhabit these spaces.


Lutz Becker is Program Director of “Master Sustainable Marketing & Leadership” and Head of the Business School at Hochschule Fresenius in Cologne/Germany, which he joined in 2014. Prof. Dr. Becker started his professional career in the marketing department of Wilkinson Sword GmbH. He then spent several years with the Philips Corporation, working in consulting, product management and key account management. He was co-founder and board member of TradeWheels International S.A., Brussels, as well as co-founder and Managing Director of Norman Data Defense Systems GmbH, a leading European provider of data security solutions and smart card applications. 1995 saw the founding of the Data and Network Security/eCommerce Panel of the Federal Association for Information and Communications Systems (BVB -  Bundesverband Inforformations- und Kommunikationsysteme, today: BITKOM), of which he was Chairman until 2000. In addition, he was a member of the German Internet Media Council (“Internet Medienrat”) for several years. In 2007 he was appointed Professor at Karlshochschule International University, Karlsruhe/Germany, where he led the programs “International Marketing Management” and “Master Leadership.” His current research focuses on sustainable business development and strategies for a sustainable transformation
Prof. Dr. Becker, Graduate Program Director of Sustainable Marketing & Leadership Head of the Business School at Hochschule Fresenius
Natalie Eßig is a practicing architect and a professor for architecture and building climatology at the Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) since 2013. Additionally she serves as auditor for the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and as an energy advisor. In her teaching and professional work, Prof. Dr. Eßig advocates for sustainable, climate-conscious architecture and construction to become mainstream. In 2019 Prof. Dr. Eßig won the B.A.U.M – an environment and sustainability prize, in the category of “science” for her engagement in sustainable architecture.    
Prof. Dr. Natalie Eßig, Professor of Architecture at MUAS
Thorsten Schneiders is Professor for Energy Storage, Integrated Energy Systems and Smart Technologies at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, as well as the Chair of the Virtual Institute Smart Energy. Prof. Dr. Schneiders has over eleven years of professional experience in the energy sector. After completing degrees in mechanical engineering with a focus on energy plant engineering, he went on to receive a PhD. From the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany specializing in gas turbine systems. Prof. Dr. Schneiders worked at the utility company E.ON Energie for many years, later serving as the Head of Energy Policy for Climate & Renewables, responsible for the international framework and strategy for investment projects and new energy markets. His research interests include Smart Energy, Smart Homes, Smart Cities, energy systems and energy efficiency.
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schneiders, Professor for Energy Storage at CIRE at TH Köln (Cologne University of Applied Sciences)


Christopher Iu joined New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) in 2018 and was appointed Acting Chief Compliance Officer in 2019.  Prior to NJ TRANSIT, Iu was and Assistant Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and an Assistant Prosecutor in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.  Iu specializes in providing advice and counsel on policy issues and compliance matters.  The NJ TRANSIT Compliance Department is tasked with tracking and reviewing changes in Federal and State laws, rules, regulations impacting the transportation, infrastructure and safety of New Jersey’s Public Transportation system.  NJ TRANSIT is the United States’ third largest transportation agency operating buses, trains, light rail and other vehicles for customers facing mobility challenges.  In addition to providing transportation, NJ Transit has multiple infrastructure projects to support transportation from building bridges, to rehabbing train stations, to outfitting existing facilities for sustainable energy.
Christopher Iu, NJ Transit Acting Chief Compliance Officer

Event Information

December 1, 2020, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Organizer(s): Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, UAS7