Formal & informal mouvements, Initiatives

Co-Design and Co-Build For Impact



Placemaking MENA supports local communities in transforming their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, using community potentials and serving common needs. Joining the platform would be great opportunity to share experiences and collaborate together for stronger impact.




Placemaking Mena is open to collaborate, work with and to support  other organisations that share our values and our beliefs to co-create and co-build public spaces for all.

Formal & informal mouvement

Placemaking Mena is open for all, wether it is a registered entity or not. Placemaking MENA Plateform is an inclusive hub across MENA Countries, where it is possible to join forces to build better cities and inclusive public spaces. 



Reem Bou Hamdan - Architect

Reem Bou Hamdan is a Lebanese architect, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Academie Libanaise des Baux Arts, and a master’s degree in Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Design from Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Reem believes in a holistic approach towards sustainable architecture for the people and public space design to regain human connections. This has led her to develop her master thesis project in south Italy about Placemaking and Rebuilding Collective Identity, which was developed through a workshop done in south Italy along with local and international organizations, architects, stakeholders and academic institutions. Currently, she is based in the Netherlands, working on projects targeting sustainable architecture that can adapt to the fast changing needs of the users as well as wood construction and CO2 neutral buildings. Lebanon

Rania Halawi - Curator & Art Manager

Rania Halawi Curator & Art Manager Rania is a marketing and events specialist, with considerable experience delivering campaigns in Lebanon, MENA, and globally. She was one of the leading forces behind Lebanon 2000, a flagship event for the new millennium that put Lebanon in the international spotlight. Rania’s passion is to bring art to public spaces in Lebanon. She is a veteran of Beirut Art Fair, and a co-founder of Art in Motion, which brought visibility to Lebanese artists and made their work accessible to the public in 2016. Rania’s work comprises discovering new talents, maintaining relationships with established artists and project managing fairs and exhibitions, from logistics to PR. She is experienced at working with governmental and non-governmental organizations and facilitating workshops, and delivering lectures on using art in public spaces. Lebanon

RONY JALKH - Founder & placemaking expert

As an activist and practitioner of Placemaking, Rony has developed a Curriculum for University course and workshops and provides courses, lectures and workshops throughout Lebanon, MENA region and abroad and transfer the learning through hands-on activities using different participatory design tools. Using Placemaking approach, his work aims to increase the provision of public space through joining the efforts of different local actors. Rony is a PhD candidate in Sociology/Anthropology, holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, Bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Political Science. He is a Senior Advisor, Leader, and Regional Network Leader (MENA region) in Palcemaking X, a Senior Fellow at PPS (Project for Public Space organization) and Leader in Placemaking Europe Network. Lebanon

FRANCESCO POLESELLO - Architect & Urban Designer, Associate Professor

Graduated at IUAV in Venice and holding a Master Degree in Urban Design from USC Los Angeles, PhD candidate at La Sapienza University in Rome. During the professional activity of more than 30 years, he developed many architectural, urban design and urban planning projects in Europe and MENA region. He also participated in many architectural and urban design competitions worldwide receiving prices and mentions, published in international magazines. In this long period of activity he also worked in Africa, Kazakhstan and Lebanon. The academic activity started at IUAV in Venice, saw him participating in seminar and workshop between Italy and Lebanon where he has pluriennal experience in local universities teaching architectural and urban design mainly, but also theory of architecture and urbanism. He wrote a series of articles and papers on the team of public spaces and the relation between architecture and the city continuing his main interest in the domain of urban design. Actually he lives in Lebanon since 2015. Lebanon

Insaf Ben Othmane - Co-Founder PlacemakingMena Platform

Insaf is the founder of Oecumene Studio, SCS Resilience and Sharnaqa. She is  a Tunisian architect, urban development strategist. Her main research interests revolve around (i) Architecture in Development, (ii) Urban Resilient projects, Sustainability and (iii) empowerment of communities through holistic integrated projects and strategies. Working for over ten years internationally in the area of community development, urban governance and strategic planning, urban technologies in Egypt and Tunisia led her to initiate several projects ‘Urban Catalyst’ in partnership with local communities and various stakeholders, organizations and institutions in search of real and effective solutions to urban challenges of this century. Tunisia

KARINA ZOUEIN - Interior Architect & Landscaper

Karina Zouein is an Interior Designer and a Landscape architect with a particular focus to public spaces. She is an activist of Placemaking within the Mena region where she contributes in Placemaking workshops in Lebanon. She practices Urban Design consultancy for municipalities and the civil sector, and coordinates projects with international organizations. She graduated in Interior architecture from Alba University – Beirut (1997) and began practicing as an interior designer in Lebanon, the U.A.E and the UK. In 2014, she obtained an additional master’s degree in landscape and Environment Architect from the Lebanese University – Beirut. For her research, she focused on the form and use of public spaces which are considerably lacking nowadays in many cities, especially in her region. She immediately recognized the benefits to develop those desperately needed public, meeting, recreation, and outdoor leisure places which has become imperative in modern cities. She believes that by creating these spaces we promote social integration and economic development, more livable and sustainable cities as well as promote tourism. In addition to her work in urban design and landscape, she teaches various courses in Interior Design in several reputable universities where she combines her solid academical background and broad professional experiences in her daily interaction with her students. Karina is a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher who constantly strives to make a positive impact on her students She made several workshops and took part in many exhibitions and conferences about design, landmarks, environmental architecture and Placemaking in Lebanon and internationally, mainly in Amsterdam and Italy. She recently earned a Certificate in Social psychology and in Modern and Contemporary Art and Design specialization from MoMA, NY. Karina is a true believer that the design of an open space must address a broad range of interrelated factors and, to be successful, it must express the delicate balance among function, climate, style, budget and culture, Lebanon

Jassim AlNashmi - Architect and Furniture Designer

Architect and Furniture Designer,  Jassim F. AlNashmi holds degrees in Architecture and Urban Design from ETH Zürich and Iowa State University where he spent a semester at London’s AA, and has practiced architecture and curated/exhibited artwork in the USA, UK, Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, at galleries/museums like Jameel Arts Centre and Future Perfect NY, with two collectives, namely “What’s Your Location?” and “Desert Cast”. His works are published on platforms like Dezeen, Design Boom, Wallpaper, Design Milk, and Herskhazeen. AlNashmi now runs “manmade studio” which operates at the intersection of art and design for bespoke and collection pieces in which he collaborates with local/Arab designers and craftsmen. The studio takes from the designers’ globalized experience to imbue the contested image of what is Arab. Kuweit

Adel Ali Hammas - Environmental Systems Engineer

With more than 10 years’ Experience in Environmental Engineering, planning, and management, Adel has extensive experience managing relating Development and Reconstruction Sector, Planning & Urban Development Sector, Environmental & Energy, Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings, Sustainable Green Cities and Sustainable development. As the Environmental Studies Manager at Madinah Development Authority (MDA), Adel has acquired an extensive knowledge working with local authorities on supervision of Madinah Green Master plan project, preparing guide lines of the green building, preparing study of establishing solid wastes management facilities, conducting hydrology studies, coordinating various landscape design projects, and working on renewable energy. Adel is member of many committees and councils such as the Environmental Higher Committee for Madinah Region 2019, Healthy Cities Program, the Saudi Council of Engineers and Saudi Green Building Council. His objective is to get engaged in multi-disciplined working environment that help to have a better Saudi living conditions and participate to a high quality lifestyle. Adel holds a Master of Environmental Systems Engineering and Management Engineering and Baccalaureate in Urban Regional Planning. Saudi Arabia

Sara Nowar- Architect and urban developer & researcher

Sara is an architect and an urban developer and researcher, who strongly believes in design and planning that cater to human needs and contribute to improving the quality of life. Sara holds a master’s degree in urban development, a professional diploma in social work and refugee studies, and a bachelor’s degree in architecture. After completing her master’s studies and engaging in multiple projects, workshops, and research projects in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Germany Sara aims at utilizing her knowledge and experience in working on and creating Inclusive, engaging, and self-sustaining public spaces in Amman. Jordan

Tareq Nasser - Architect and urban planner

Tariq is an Architect and Urban planner, was born in 1984 and grew up in Ras Al-Amoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He is the co-founder of Sinsila center; It’s a new model for urban sustainability in East Jerusalem. Has worked as a freelance architect and an urban planner working on several projects in East Jerusalem and other areas focusing on Placemaking, master plans and community development. Through his experience as a community architect, he has developed methods to work with communities to design, implement and activate projects, applicable in areas with limited, or no master plans as well as a toolbox for designing in contentious places. A recognized expert in his field, he has presented in conferences and workshops worldwide. Palestine

Layla Zibar Urban Researcher and PhD Candidate

Layla Zibar,  Urban Researcher and  PhD Candidate. Interests: Forced Migration, political geographies of space and place. BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg (Germany) – Urban and Regional Planning Department KU Leuven (Belgium) – OSA (Research unit Urbanism and Architecture). Syria

Billy Aboujaoude - Architect

Architect by trade with 17 years of experience in Weddings, Events and restaurant interior design. Accustomed to working with multi-million dollars budgets for clients varying from royalty to high-end corporate companies. My expertise range in the following:

  • Creative design: starting from the brief, to brainstorming to an elaborate presentation.
  • Production and execution including supply, follow-ups and technical drawings.
  • Onsite implementation and site management. Lebanon

OLFA BEN MEDIEN SAKKA - University of Carthage ISTEUB, Tunisia

Olfa BEN MEDIEN is an Architect ENAU (National School of Architecture and Urbanism of Tunis) graduated since 2000. She held a master degree in Urbanism and Regional Planning 2003, and a PhD in Urban Planning. 
She is a member of the research laboratory “sustainable city and built environment” ISTEUB, University of Carthage since 2017
She is Assistant Professor at ISTEUB Tunis, elected Member of the Scientific Council of ISTEUB since 2008 and Director of the Urban Planning Department from 2008 to 2014. Olfa Ben Medien is Secretary General of the Africa Middle East section of APERAU International ( the Association for the Promotion of Education and Research in Planning and Urbanism) since 2014 and member of the national committee for the drafting of the Tunisia Habitat III report, Quito – Ecuador. 2017. Tunis

Heba ElHanafy - Urban researcher, planner and developper

Heba is an urban researcher, planner and developer with a master’s degree in urban development from the Technical University of Berlin and a bachelor’s degree in architecture and planning from Alexandria University. Currently, Heba is working a main associate at OEcumene Studio. Her centre of interests lies in particular in human settlements, arts, culture, spatial inequalities, placemaking and community and urban development. Egypt

Hassan Elmouelhi - architect, urban planner

Hassan Elmouelhi is an architect and urban planner by training and works since 2014 as a senior researcher and project leader at the department of Urban Development, Campus El Gouna, and the Habitat Unit International Urbanism and Design at the TU Berlin, Germany. His academic interests within international urbanism include culture and urban informality in relation to aspects of urban development and governance in the global South. In partnership with several universities, and international cooperation organizations, he is involved in projects with interdisciplinary topics, mainly urban management, public space, refugees and migration, urban mobility, new settlements, and management, in addition to the localizing global agendas. He participated as a consultant for international cooperation organizations and academic research projects in Egypt, Germany, Tunisia, Tanzania, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and India.