Seminar: Inclusive urban development for future cities and sustainable futures

Tuesday, 02 November 2021
Venue: Online Seminar link:

Time: 12:00 – 15:00

For participation, please contact:

Pheladi.Tlhatlha[at] or Wolfram.Schmidt[at]

Programs at a glance:

12:00-12:15: Welcome by Hochschule Düsseldorf University, FALCONESS and BMBF (PAWS)

Prof. Judith Reitz, The Technical University of Berlin, Germany

Dr. Wolfram Schmidt, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany

12:15-12:45: Towards a sustainable urbanisation: Engineered construction materials perspective  

Prof. David Dodoo- Arhin, University of Ghana, Ghana

12:45-13:05: Adaptable urban space

Prof. Judith Reitz, University of Applied Sciences Duesseldorf, Germany

13:05- 13:20: Coffee break

13:20-14:20: Future cities breakout group Workshop

Introduction: Dr. Wolfram Schmidt, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Germany 

“What are the specifications of a future city that is…?”

  1. Communicative: chaired by Prof. Gesine Schiewer, University of Bayreuth, Germany
  2. Gender balanced: chaired by Dr. Abiodun, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  3. Specifically designed for a female perspective: chaired by Pheladi Tlhatlha, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany
  4. Inclusive: Faudhia Zando, Forward Step Organisation, Tanzania

14:20-14:30 Bio- break/ Results wrap up

14:30-15:00: Results presentation

Presentation by Group members

12:15-12:35: Designing cities for women and children  

Prof. Fatma Mohamed, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

15:00: Closing

Pheladi Tlhatlha, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Germany

About the Seminar


Within the next 30 years, cities will grow dramatically.

The 21st century is the hallmark for sustainable development as a response to the rapid urban migration and the global climate crisis. Rural areas will become new urban centers, and open space will transform into cityscapes. Population growth, demolition of natural landscape and urbanization are impacting ecosystems, interdependent communities and people’s livelihoods.

The UN has highlighted the need for gender sensitive responses to the impacts of climate change –  women and their children are at much greater risk disproportionately impacted.

With the growing awareness of sustainable construction and regional traditions an holistic considerations, one can support inclusive urban development for future cities.


The Seminar “Inclusive urban development for future cities and sustainable futures” gathers high-level experts from materials, architecture and sciences who will give insights on ways in which different research specialisations can centre inclusivity and intersectionality in our efforts to achieve sustainable development.


The seminar takes place with the financial support of Programme Advocating Women in STEM (PAWS) by the German Ministry of Education and Research ( The scientific content has been approved by the RILEM Educational Activities Committee (

About the Speakers

Judith Reitz is “Professor for Design and Interior Planning” at the Peter Behrens School of Arts/ University of Applied Science in Düsseldorf, Germany. Her teaching is concerned with experimental design strategies linked to building typologies. Judith Reitz taught as Visiting Associate Professor at the Texas A&M for the past 8 years and was previously to Düsseldorf employed as an assistant professor at the RWTH Aachen University teaching at the department “Building Typologies and Design Basics”. In 2006 she founded the architecture and research practice “bfr lab”, which is working at the boundaries of architecture, design and research.

Fatma Mohamed obtained her Bachelor Degree in Architecture and Building Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology and her Masters and PhD at the University of Tokyo, Japan. She has been working at the University of Dar es Salaam since 2014 and is the first female Head of Department of Structural and Construction Engineering. She is interested in research involving the construction industry as well as the built environment. She was involved in the Engineering Education for Sustainable Cities in Africa Project under University of Toronto and is the lead researcher in a project looking at the relationship between BRT system and neighbourhoods in Dar es Salaam under the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods.

Wolfram Schmidt is a senior researcher at BAM, where he collaborates with African partners for more than a decade. Besides the rheology focus he has been collaborating in research activities related to sustainable construction materials with partners from Africa for more than 10 years. Besides the rheology focus he has been collaborating in research activities related to sustainable construction materials with partners from Africa for more than 10 years. He is initiator of various educational and scientific networking programmes, among others ISEE-Africa (Innovation Science, Engineering, Education), the ACCTA conference series (Advances in Cement and Concrete Technologies in Africa) and the pan-African interlaboratory proficiency testing scheme PACE-PTS.

Yetunde Abiodun is an academic staff in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Lagos, Nigeria with research interests including Structures, Materials and Sustainable Construction with track-record in notable journal. She is a Corporate Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), a Member of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) and a Registered Engineer with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

Pheladi Tlhatlha is a research assistant at BAM, she has a Master’s in environmental management. Her interests are in interdisciplinary research focusing on sustainable urban development practices on the African continent, from sustainable materials, energy poverty policies and spatial and energy justice. A recipient of the Green Talents Award in 2018 by the German Ministry of Education and Research, recognised for outstanding achievements in sustainability research. Pheladi has worked with various environmental civil society organisations including the South Africa Climate Action Network and Greenpeace Africa, supporting efforts to realise the vision for effective climate change response.

Faudhia Zando has over 10 years of experience in girls and women’s empowerment and development. Currently, she is the Co-Founder, Chairperson, and Board Member at Forward Step Organization (FSO)where her focus is on initiating, designing, planning and implementing girls and women’s empowerment operations. Currently, she is a student at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt Majoring in Business and Engineering. Faudhia holds a Diploma in acrobatic arts from WuQiao Acrobatic Art School in China and has been leading a circus exchange project between Tanzanian and German youths. Faudhia is driven by a keen sense of justice and she looks forward to a day when gender will be mainstream, women liberated and gender equality a reality in Tanzania Mainland.