Scientific Committee

Ernst Drewes, South Africa

Ernst Drewes is a professional, registered Urban and Regional Planner with 25 years’ experience in the industry. He specialises in strategic spatial frameworks, property development and project management and obtained the degrees: B. Art et Scien. (Urban and Regional Planning), M. Art et Scien. (Regional Planning), and PhD (Regional Planning). He is a member of the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN); the South African Planning Institute (SAPI) and the International Society for Urban and Regional Planners (ISOCARP).  Ernst is also an accredited commercial mediator specialising in property development mediation. He has been appointed as a senior lecturer at the North-West University for the past 18 years and is the Head of the Department since 2012. At this time, he also chairs the Council for Heads of Planning Schools (CHoPS) in South Africa. As a rated researcher (C3) with the National Research Foundation (SA), his research is focused on strategic spatial planning, regional resilience, and planning legislation.

Eric Huybrechts, France

Eric Huybrechts is a senior Architect and Regional/Urban Planner, member of Isocarp (France representative) and Icomos, Officer in the royal order of Sahametrey (Kingdom of Cambodia). He is in charge of the International and European affairs for the Urban and Environmental planning Agency of Greater Paris Region ( He has developed a large experience in the field of Urban and Regional Planning as an expert and team leader on Algiers, Beirut, Cairo, Ethiopia, Istanbul, Mongolia, Mumbai, Paris region, Phnom Penh, Rio de Janeiro, Saudi Arabia, Tripoli-Libya. He has prepared projects at local level, sub metropolitan, metropolitan, regional and national scales. He represents IAU-IdF to the UNESCO and the World Urban Campaign of UN-Habitat. He PhD an academic experience as a scientific researcher and as a lecturer in several universities in France and abroad, mainly on Planning in the Global South.

Nasim Iranmanesh, Iran

Nasim graduated from the Azad University of Tehran in architecture and graduated from the University of Tehran in urban design. She works for Bhrc (building & housing research centre) as a researcher; as well as in Sazvareh no consulting engineers in Tehran as an architect & urban designer. Furthermore, she teaches architecture and urban planning at the Azad University in Tehran. Nasim has experience in researching projects in architecture & urban design, as well as in painting and holding individual exhibitions with watercolour & oil technique. She wrote several articles about urban design & architecture which are published in professional magazines; and presented several lectures about architecture and urban designing in various congresses.

She is a member of ISOCARP since 2005, as well as of the Society of Iranian urban planners, and of the Institute for Promotion of Contemporary Visual Art in Painting. Previously, she worked in the municipality of Tehran and in the organisation of Tehran Beautification.

Awais Piracha, Australia

Dr Awais Piracha is a Sydney-based researcher and trainer in the areas of sustainable urban development and use of spatial analysis/techniques in land use and transport planning. Awais was trained as a civil/environmental engineer as well as a town planner. He has served at University of Western Sydney as urban planning academic since 2003. He currently serves as Director Academic Programs for Geography, Urban Planning, and Heritage and Tourism at that institution. He previously worked as a researcher with the United Nations University (UNU) in Tokyo, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Bangkok and University of Dortmund Germany. In his professional career spanning over two decades, Awais has participated in numerous projects as urban planning spatial analyst. Some of his recent work is: Establishing City Planning Labs in large Indonesian cities, The World Bank (2015-16); Developing methodologies for measuring unmet transport needs in Western Sydney, Transport for NSW Australia (2014-15); Evaluation of 2049 strategic plan and 2030 comprehensive plan for Jiangbei Region, Nanjing, China – Nanjing Urban Planning Bureau (2013-14); The impact of delivery systems on homelessness in the Nepean/Blacktown Region – Western Sydney municipalities Australia (2012-13).

Benjamin Scheerbarth, Germany

Benjamin was educated at Harvard University. Professional experiences range across grassroots urban development, commercial master planning, municipal capacity building and research.

Benjamin’s work has been published by, among others, Hatje Cantz, LAF and Black Square Press and exhibited at the 2016 Venice Biennale. He is Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Society of City and Regional Planners and serves on the board of Berlin’s Harvard Club.

Eva Vanista Lazarevic, Serbia

PhD in Architecture & Urbanism, Eva Vanista Lazarevic is a Full Professor of Urbanism and Urban Planning at Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade and has over 25 years of experience in teaching Urbanism, Urban design & Urban regeneration and planning and as a practitioner architect. She was engaged as Head of Department for Urbanism and Urban planning at Faculty of Architecture, Member of City Council Commission for Urbanism of Belgrade and Councilor for Architecture and Urbanism at Ministry for Urbanism, Planning and Environment of Serbia.

Founder and responsible for design and project management of the design firm: Atelier Eva Vanista Lazarevic she provides design solutions for a variety of projects in regions of Serbia and abroad. She is honoured for dozens of architectural-urbanity competitions (  Organizer and Director of The International Conference: “Places & Technologies“, which takes place annually in Belgrade and SE region of Europe. ( Author of over 30 scientific papers concerning Urban Design and two books, both awarded. Actually, she is an Editor of two Scientific Monographs, by Cambridge Public Scholarship, and International Magazine of Oxford’s Elsevier – Energy& Buildings, Special Issues: Places&Technologies. As a Councilor for General Plan of Belgrade, she participated in the area of Brownfield Investments in the Spatial Plan of Serbia.  Member of ISOCARP from 2014. Her areas of expertise include: Urban Design, Renewal and Regeneration, Urban planning, Brownfields, Regeneration of Waterfronts, Architectural Design and Contextual Architecture.

Hongyang Wang, China

Hongyang Wang is a professor of urban planning and design at Nanjing University, China. He researches and teaches planning philosophy and methodology, comprehensive planning, urbanization and urban-rural integration. He has been chair for preparing more than 40 plans, including regional, strategic and master plans for over ten major cities and regions/provinces in eastern, middle and western China with five to forty million inhabitants. Many of these plans were awarded provincial, national and international planning prizes including 2012 ISOCARP Awards for Excellence. As the Co-director of the Sino-French Centre for Urban, Regional and Planning Studies by Nanjing University and University Paris-Est, he is active in international cooperation between Chinese and international planning communities of both academics and practitioners. He was the Chinese chair for European FP7 project Europe-China Urban and Regional Bi-continental research Scheme (FP7-230824 ECURBS) and a member of UN-Habitat Ad-Hoc Expert Group for International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning.

ISOCARP’s Scientific Committee keeps the Society at the forefront of professional thinking in planning. The Committee monitors developments in society and the planning profession and presents these to ISOCARP in periodic reports. The Committee contributes actively to ISOCARP conferences by linking the conference theme and content to global planning issues and debates and to the planning preoccupations of the host country/region.

The current Scientific Committee (2016-2019) was inaugurated in Durban, South Africa, during the 52nd ISOCARP Congress.

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