The mentors of the 2022 PhD Workshop are as follows:



Kristian Olesen
Aalborg University

My name is Kristian Olesen, and I am an associate professor in strategic spatial planning at Aalborg University in Denmark. I finished my PhD thesis on the changes in strategic spatial planning in Denmark in 2011. One of the main findings in my PhD research was that Danish planning increasingly was influenced by neoliberalism, and I have been interested in researching the relationship between planning and politics since. I am currently leading a research project on how housing associations in Denmark are acting as strategic urban developers in transforming socio-economic vulnerable neighbourhoods. I participated in the AESOP PhD workshop in 2010, and I have many fond memories from the little island Seili in Finland, where the workshop was based.





Luca Mora
Edinburgh Napier University

Luca is Professor of Urban Innovation and Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Subject Group at The Business School of Edinburgh Napier University. In addition, he has also been appointed Professor of Urban Innovation at the Academy of Architecture of Urban Studies of Tallinn University of technology. His work has been published in top academic journals, such as Journal of Urban Technology, Journal of Cleaner Production, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Cities, Government Information Quarterly, and Regional Studies. Luca has also contributed to generating more than €40 million through research and consultancy projects, mainly supported via European funding schemes (7FP, H2020, EAFRD), and he has worked as an academic consultant for the European Commission, United Nations, and Development Bank of Latin America. In addition, Luca serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Urban Technology and IET Smart Cities, and he has been invited to edit Special Issues on smart city transitions for Organization Studies, Regional Studies, Journal of Urban Technology, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and International
Entrepreneurship and Management Journal.

Lily Song
Northeastern University

Lily Song is an Assistant Professor of Race and Social Justice in the Built Environment at Northeastern University. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California — Los Angeles, and BA in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley.

Song’s research interests lie at the nexus of race, class, and gender politics of space; infrastructure-based mobilizations and experiments; and reparative planning and design in American cities and other decolonizing contexts.

Prior to coming to Northeastern, Song was a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she was Founding Coordinator of Harvard CoDesign.

From 2013-2015, Song was a Provost Fellow at University College London, where her postdoc research informed urban infrastructure planning and governance with “informality” in the decolonizing, multiethnic, climate vulnerable Indonesian context.



Andres Sevtsuk

Andres Sevtsuk is a Charles and Ann Spaulding Career Development Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where he also leads the City Form Lab. His work bridges city design, active mobility and spatial analytics. Andres is the author of the Urban Network Analysis toolbox, used by researchers and practitioners around the world to model pedestrian flows along city streets and to study coordinated land use and transportation development along networks. He has recently published a book entitled “Street Commerce: Creating Vibrant Urban Sidewalks” with Penn Press and "Urban Network Analysis: Tools for Modeling Walking and Biking in Cities" with Tianjin University Press. Andres has collaborated with a number of city governments, international organizations, planning practices and developers on urban designs, plans and policies in both developed and rapidly developing urban environments, most recently including those in US, Indonesia, Estonia and Singapore. He has led various international research projects, published in planning, transportation and urban design journals, and received numerous awards for his work. Before joining MIT, Andres was an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He holds a PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and
Planning and an SMArchs in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT.  



The co-mentors are the following:



Kadri Leetmaa
University of Tartu

My name is Kadri Leetmaa, and I am the Director of the Centre for Migration and Urban Studies and an associate professor in human geography at the Department of Geography, University of Tartu. My academic interests have been always closely related to inequality studies, both on urban and regional scale. My main research focus has been residential mobility and preferences, neighborhood change, residential segregation, affordable housing, diverse neighborhoods, urban and regional governance and planning, participative approaches in planning and neighborhood governance. I combine quantitative and qualitative methods in my research in order to understand how various inequalities emerge, combine, and are transferred from one domain of daily life to another, from one generation to other, and what have been the experiences of cities and regions to intervene.



Kristi Grišakov
Tallinn University of Technology

Kristi is a researcher at FinEst Centre for Smart Cities and lecturer at the Academy of Architecture and Urban Studies in Tallin University of Technology. Kristi has 12 years experience in academic research in both Finland and Estonia and has studied urban planning and urban culture in Netherlands, UK and Belgium. She is an expert in future thinking methods and has produced trend analysis and scenario reports for different spatial development contexts, most notable she edited the future living environment chapter for the latest Estonian Human Development Report. In recent years Kristi has worked with numerous urban planning and research projects that integrate big data analysis and data visualisations with scenario planning methods, in order to have a wider understanding about the long-term impact of trends on urban lifestyles and spatial development. Currently she is the project manager of „Green Digital Twins for Tallinn and Helsinki“ that addresses the issue of urban greenery and how it can be better taken into account in collaborative planning processes for sustainable and
more democratic cities.  


Helen Sooväli-Sepping
Tallinn University
Tallinn University of Technology

Dr. Helen Sooväli-Sepping is Vice-Rector for Green Transition at Tallinn University of Technology. She is active in research, studying life quality in the urban environment and countryside. Helen is currently involved in the Horizon 2020 project GoGreen Routes. She is the Editor-in-chief of Estonian Human Development Report "Spatial Choices of an Urbanized Society" 2019/2020, which analyzed the urban and regional development in Estonia and proposed spatial development scenarios for future. The Estonian Human Development Report is a biennially published collection of articles reflecting and interpreting the current socio-economic situation in Estonia and possible future developments.
She holds Ph.D. in human geography from University of Tartu.






Evelin Jürgenson
The head of the Local Organising Committee
Estonian University of Life Sciences

Evelin Jürgenson (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the Estonian University of Life Sciences (at the Chair of Forestry, Land Management and Food Processing). She has experience in property law and land administration issues, including land governance, land use planning, sustainable land use, land-use changes, and land take. She has worked as an adviser on land issues at the Local Government (1995-2000) and as an adviser on land administration and head of the Real Estate Department at the National Land Board (2000-2016). It has deepened her understanding of the respective activity in the public sector. Notably, it has given an in-depth insight into the functioning of public authorities in the field of land administration. Internationally active, she has been invited to participate in several international projects (RURALIZATION, Climate change in security perception, SURFACE, Public Value Capture, Land Grabbing, Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure).


Writing workshop:

Roger Yallop has recently started a two-year postdoctoral project researching Academic Writing pedagogy at the Ohio State University (the US) as a research fellow at the Centre for Academic Writing (Tartu University). This project furthers the work described in his PhD thesis where he designed a pedagogical framework to support the long-term English writing skills of university students based at Estonian Institutions. Throughout his PhD studies, Roger contributed to the teaching and development of academic writing courses at the University of Tartu. Before embarking on his PhD, he had worked as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) Lecturer in Libya, Estonia, Finland, and Turkey. After obtaining his PhD, Roger worked as an Academic Writing Lecturer at Coventry University in the UK.