Thomas Gerlach – General Consul, Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany

(b. 1951)

Thomas Gerlach, the General Consul at the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sibiu has studied English and history in Bonn and Munich. After the first and second state examination for the higher teaching positions, he has entered the department for foreign affairs in 1981. He has occupied several positions in the Foreign Office in Bonn and Berlin and positions abroad – in Colombo/Sri Lanka, Tripoli/Libya, Boston/USA, Strasbourg/France and Prague/Czech Republic. From 2005 to 2007 he was for the first time General Consul in Sibiu. After spending two years in Milan, Italy as Vice-Consul, he now occupies for the second time the position of General Consul in Sibiu.

Stela Matioc – City Hall of Sibiu

Stela Matioc is currently leading the Promotion and Development Section of the Culture and Tourism Department at the City Hall of Sibiu. With a wide experience in the field of cultural management, she coordinates the cultural activity and tourism promotion of Sibiu by implementing the strategy the city has committed to, which is the marketing of the tourism destination through culture.

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Răzvan Marcu – Moderator
Radu Drăgan – City Hall of Arad

Chief Architect

Prof. Dr. Tim Coles – University of Exeter

(b. 1970)

Professor of Management at the University of Exeter Business School, Tim Coles is also the Director of the Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research. Over the past decade, he has conducted a series of projects that examine the ability of tourism-related policy interventions to deliver beneficial changes in regional economic development. His work focused on place marketing, post-socialist tourism transitions and the exporting of regional tourism expertise. His current research, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, examines sustainable business policy and practices, looking at how travel and tourism enterprises innovate in smart ways in response to climate change.

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Norela Constantinescu – European Commission DG Energy

An engineer with post graduate studies in economics, Norela Constantinescu has both private and public experience at national and EU level. Since 2008, she is working with the European Commission DG Energy on developing the EU energy technology policy and implementing the lines of action for the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (European Industrial Initiatives). She initiated and is responsible for Smart Cities and Communities Initiative to which she contributed starting from 2009. At the moment, she is working on the development and implementation of the energy technology and innovation strategy of European Commission. Between 2001 and 2008, she worked with Euroheat and Power – the international association for district heating and cooling and cogeneration.

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Nora Groșan – City Hall of Arad

Project Manager, Cultural Activities Department

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Mihai Pocanschi – Agency for Regional Development, Centre Region – ADR Centru

Director – Department of Regional Policies

Michael Engel – Heritas Foundation

(b. 1975)

An architect and engineer born in Dresden Germany, Michael Engel has been active in Romania since 2005, within several GIZ projects for urban and rural development. Since 2010 he acts as Director of the Heritas Foundation. He also continues his collaboration with GIZ, working as an expert on several projects dealing with urban development and the preservation of cultural heritages in Ukraine and Serbia.

Lars Loebner – City Hall of Halle

(b. 1970)

Between 1991 and 1997, Lars Loebner studied architecture at both the Technical University Berlin and ETH Zürich, following with a postgraduate degree in CAAD at ETH Zürich (1998). After completing an internship at the Saxonian State Ministry of Interior and the Bavarian Board of Building and Public Works, in 2000 he took his Final Sate Examination in public building administration and urban planning. Between 2001 and 2002, he worked as a Deputy Section Leader at the Urban Planning Office, City of Regensburg and as a GTZ consultant in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 2002 until 2012 he served as Chief Officer Public Space Design for the City Planning Office of Leipzig. Since 2012 he is Head of Urban Planning Department, City of Halle (Saale)

Klaus Johannis – Mayor, City Hall of Sibiu

(b. 1959)

Klaus Johannis has been the mayor of Sibiu since 2000, on behalf of the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. He graduated from the Faculty of Physics, Babeș – Bolyai University of Cluj Napoca in 1983 and worked as a physics professor before entering politics, in 2000.

Julian Petrin – nexthamburg

Julian Petrin is urbanist and founder of the participartory think tank Nexthamburg. In 1998 he founded his Hamburg based urban planning office urbanista. In 2009 he founded Nexthamburg as collaborative incubator for urban strategies and projects. With Nexthamburg, Petrin has created a comprehensive toolset for urbanistic crowdsourcing. Since 2013, Nexthamburg has started to transfer its participartory think tank model to other cities like Belgrad and Bangalore. Petrin is member of the German Academy of Urban Design and Planning and member at the German Foundation for Building Culture. His work, at the intersection of urban design and participation, received several awards.


Jochen Gauly – bgh Leipzig, GIZ consultant

(b. 1967)

Jochen Gauly has over 20 years of experience in working as a planner both in Germany and abroad. Since 1999, his activity takes place within the office partnership Gauly & Heck (bgh.). His main focus points are: development of historic urban centres, integrated urban development and participatory processes.

Jelena Velevski – Karamatijevic – GIZ, Berlin

Mrs. Velevski – Karametijevic has a substantial work record in managing complex international multi partner projects in the field of sustainable local development, urban development and architecture. This experience is based in the coordination of EU, EIB Programmes within the EU and its neighbouring countries. Through her professional background as an architect and city planner, Mrs. Velevski-Karamatijevic combines the knowledge concerning the development of historic centres with new financing instruments from EU institutions and managing methods of the German International Cooperation (GIZ).

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Ioana Urdea – City Hall of Sibiu

Chief Architect

Ilie Stoiță – City Hall of Sibiu

Service for the Administration of the Private and Public Domain

Eugen Pănescu – Planwerk Cluj

Guest teacher at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca – Urban Planning department for Urban Design Studio. Delegate of the Romanian Architects Chamber (OAR) in the Architects Council of Europe (ACE). Member of the Council of Romanian City Planners Register (RUR), the planning commission of  the Cluj Napoca City Hall and of several juries for architectural contests. Invited member for the preparation of Cluj as future candidate for European Cultural Capital. Consultant for the World Bank in reviewing the Romanian planning system.

Eugen Pănescu is one of the founding partners of the Romanian-German office Planwerk in Cluj. With Planwerk he has won several prizes from the Romanian Chamber of Architects, the Romanian Union of Architects, the Ministry of Public Works and the Planners Register. His work mostly addresses the cities in Transylvania, for whom Planwerk developed strategic master-plans, urban development concepts, public space strategies or implemented projects for the rehabilitation of public spaces.

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Dr. Stelian Alexandru Gal – Romanian Energy Centre

Following his graduation from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Polytechnic University of Timișoara in 1970, he worked as an electrical engineer project designer between 1971 and 1979. He then moved on to work as Head of Department for Protection and Automation, PRAM between 1979 and 1990. From 1990 until 2000 he was Technical Manager and Branch Manager of the CN Transelectrica SA – Sibiu Branch and then General Manager of CN Transelectrica SA Bucharest. Currently, he is the President of the Romanian Energy Centre (CRE), in both Bucharest and Brussels.

In 1995, Stelian Alexandru Gal obtained his Ph.D. in the field of Protection and Automation from the Polytechnic University of Timișoara. In 1998 he obtained the university degree of lecturer at the “Lucian Blaga” University from Sibiu – ULBS, “Hermann Oberth” Faculty of Engineering. He is the owner of two patents. At the same time, he authored or co-authored over 50 scientific presented at national and. Stelian Alexandru Gal also published several books on the topic of electrical energy. He is a member of different Energy Associations – CIGRE, LWA, SIER, ALSTR CNR-CME etc.

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Dr. Oliver Weigel – German Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development

(b. 1962)

After completing his studies in urban and economic geography at the Universities of Mannheim, Loughborough (GB) and Gießen in 1991, Oliver Weigel worked as research assistant at the Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig. In 1997, he completed his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) at the Faculty of Physics and Geosciences of the University of Leipzig. From 1994 until 2000 he served as Head of the Urban Development Planning Section, for the City of Leipzig. He then became the Head of the Urban Planning Department, at the City of Leipzig, also coordinating the Olympic planning Unit of the City of Leipzig. Since 2006, he is leading the Urban Development Policy Division at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development.

Dr. Oliver Weigel is a Member of the following boards: Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development, Dresden // Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning, Erkner // Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig //Institute of Urban Design and Housing, Munich // Institute of Urban Design, Berlin // German Academy for Urban Development and Regional Planning (DASL)

He is also co-author of the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities within the framework of the German EU Council Presidency in 2007 and a member of the “Urban Development Group” within the framework of cooperation of EU Member States.

Dr. Nicolae Țarălungă – Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies Romania

Nicolae Țarălunga has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Bucharest, a master in Urban Management from the Urban Management Centre, Rotterdam and a Ph.D in urban planning from the University of Architecture and Urban Planning “Ion Mincu” in Bucharest. He has over 29 years of experience in the field of urban planning and architecture design. For 10 years he has been working in the field of urban management, urban land management, institutional development, development of capacity and training, as well as project management.

Since 1994 he is the Director of IHS Romania, the Bucharest office of IHS Rotterdam. He worked as a consultant for a variety of international projects in Romania, financed by the World Bank, PHARE, USAID, DFID, GTZ, MATRA, as well as projects in countries such as Moldova, Albania, Serbia, financed by the UNDP, SNV and SDC. He is teaching topics related to Urban Management at master’s level at both the University of Architecture and Urban Planning and Academy of Economic Studies from Bucharest. At  the same time, he is working with specialized institutions in training the public administration staff, such as National Institute of Administration, teaching subjects related to the field of urban development.

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Dr. Goetz von Thadden – European Investment Bank

Head of Holding Funds & Advisory, JESSICA and Investment Funds Division, EIB, Dr von Thadden was appointed Head of JESSICA‘s Southern and Western European holding funds and advisory business in June 2012. Before this appointment, he was Principal Advisor at the European PPP Expertise Centre (EPEC), which he had joined from his previous position as Head of the European Investment Bank‘s (EIB) regional office in Bucharest at the beginning of 2009. Earlier posts include Senior Project Finance Expert at EIB, Vice President in the Project Finance Department of (then) Dresdner Kleinwort and management consultant. Dr. von Thadden holds a Ph.D in Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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Daniel Kostyal – SMB Reseller, IBM Romania

Working since 2006 with IBM Romania, Daniel Kostyal has an extended information technology experience, relating to both the public and the private sector. He has over seven years of experience in the management of the Business Partner channel, focusing on business opportunity and channel development, win-backs, sales and marketing planning and execution. Prior to IBM, he worked at Nestle Romania as Network Administrator and IT Specialist, reporting to the Country IT manager.


Specialties & skills: Channel Management, Consultative Selling, Negotiations, Information Technology, Business Strategy, Teaching & Training, Project Management. Develop and create business relationship with IT companies in the assigned territory at C-level. Help business partners to plan and execute sales and marketing plans, plus support for sales actions to partners, targeting customers from both the private and the public sector. Participate in larger projects in the pre-sales and negotiation phases with the customer. His work in the Timis County focuses on managing the IBM Business Partner network and all customers in the Western half of Romania, reporting to the Country Business Partner Organization Manager and Country Sale Manager.

Other formal functions: Geo-Expansion Team Leader (2012 – present) – Lead the Geo Expansion team in the task of developing IBM business in the regions of Banat, Ardeal and Moldova and achieving incremental growth.

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Constantin Goagea – Zeppelin, Bucharest

(b. 1970)

Constantin Goagea is an architect, journalist in the architecture field and researcher. His work investigates the relationship of contemporary culture, digital technology and the human environment. He is a licensed architect in Bucharest, an active member of professional organizations, regularly invited as lecturer, consultant and jury member;  also involved in architectural practice – building design for housing, offices, cultural programmes, urban spaces. Founding member of Zeppelin association in 2008 and director of international magazine of architecture Zeppelin | City. Society. Technology. (www.e-zeppelin.ro). He organised and curated the Romanian Biennale of Architecture since 2004 (4 editions) and co-authored the “Remix. Fragments of a country” exhibition at the Romanian pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2006. His interests focus on the smart city and his most notable project on the topic is:  Connected | Things about future, cities and people. The project is intended to foresee the soft collision that is going to occur between the vectors of global technology and the European cities (depositaries of a huge cultural and identity defining patrimony) in order to foster communities’ resilience and ease the overall impact. It is meant to inform people on the present trends and potential technologies and opportunities, thus encouraging them not only to explore their full potential, but also to faster develop them, by using, in creative ways.

Benjamin Auer – Ökoninstitut Südtirol Italy

(b. 1982)

With a degree in Geography from the Universities of Padova (Italy) and Manchester (UK), he has teaching experience in sciences and environmental studies. Since 2010 he is working at Oekoinstitut Suedtirol/Alto Adige in the fields of environmental and mobility consultancy and environmental training. His main focus is on cycling and walking in municipalities, campaigning for cycling. One of his most relevant projects is: Transport Learning – capacity building for enhancing sustainable transport. Other relevant international projects: CHAMP (cycling), REZIPE (e-mobility), Trendy Travel.

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Aurelia Junie – City Hall of Timișoara

Development Manager

Graduated from the “Ion Mincu” Architecture Institute from Bucharest;

Specializations in the fields of city planning, local development planning, project management, public-private partnerships; trainer of trainers.


She has initiated, drafted, coordinated/written policies, programs, studies and documentation materials aiming at the rehabilitation of the protected architectural heritage of the Municipality of Timisoara:

–       Integrated concept of measures regarding the rehabilitation and economical revitalization of the historic districts from Timisoara (collaboration with GTZ);

–       PUZ and Master Plan for the rehabilitation of the Bega Channel banks (collaboration with GTZ);

–       Argumentation study for the protected built areas in Timisoara 2011 (collaboration with CIM);

–       Mapping of the historic monuments from the urban District of the “Citadel” site Timisoara (collaboration with CIM);

–       Mapping of the historic monuments from the historic sites of Timisoara – Iosefin, Elisabetin, Fabric (collaboration with CIM);

–       Guidelines for the interventions on the buildings from the Citadel District and the protected historic areas from Timisoara; Historic shop windows in Romania; leaflets, flyers, other materials (collaboration with GTZ);


She has initiated and coordinated the implementation of the “Prudent rehabilitation and economic revitalization of the historic districts from Timisoara” program financed by the German Government, technical assistance GTZ (2005 – 2010). She has initiated and launched the implementation of the “Rehabilitation of the historic monuments from the historic districts of Timisoara” program financed by the German Government through Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (2008 – 2038). She has initiated and is currently coordinating the implementation of projects co-financed from European funds aiming at the rehabilitation of the protected historic areas.

Adriana Mureșan – Agency for Regional Development, Centre Region – ADR Centru

Director of the Projects and Public Relations Department