15.45 - 17.15

Session 9. Washington DC x The Hague

Washington DC and The Hague, best practices for green urban economies

This session invites you to explore evolving best practices for creating green urban economies. The two examples which will be explored stem from Washington DC in the United States and The Hague in the Netherlands. The two speakers have been closely involved in developing the two visions for their cities and will present the processes by which the visions were established. Both presentations will highlight the role of local citizens participation, local innovation, and the role of coalitions and collaborations in establishing a locally rooted, systems aware vision of a green urban economy . While the integrative visions for Washington DC and The Hague have been developed in two different cities on two continents, the session will highlight common elements that may lend themselves to developing similar visions in other cities in different locations. These crucial elements include citizen engagement, the recognition of local expertise as well as credentialed expertise, and the power of stories to share a possible future and pathways toward its implementation.

Speakers line-up:


Sabine O'Hara

Director of Landgrant Programs at CAUSES, University of the District of Columbia, Washington DC

Marian Stuiver

Program lead Green Cities at WUR

Remco Kranendonk

Researcher Regional Development and Governance at WUR

Eric Harris

PhD Candidate at UDC Causes, Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Wiebke Klemm

Senior Policy Advisor at Municipality of The Hague and Owner of UrbanGreenScape

Marianne Vaes

Agricultural Counselor at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Bertram de Rooij


Sabine O'Hara (PhD) is an Agricultural Economist and Ecological Economist known for her expertise in sustainable community development and participatory valuation. Her work has focused consistently on the quality of life and economic opportunity of local communities through multi-dimensional intellectual, social, and physical capacity development. She currently leads an innovative PhD program in Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Washington DC, United States of America. Prior to her current appointment she served as founding Dean of the College of Agriculture Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) and led UDC's efforts to build a cutting-edge model for urban agriculture and urban sustainability.

Marian Stuiver holds her PhD in the social sciences and is currently head of the Program Green Cities at WUR. She advocates that nature inclusive thinking in urban development is crucial for all humans and non-humans, for health wellbeing, for climate adaptation and biodiversity. Her book the Symbiotic City, dives into different voices of nature and how they can enforce nature based urban transformations.

Remco Kranendonk is Researcher regional development and governance at WUR. Remco is working on sustainable regional innovation strategies from concepts of governance, clusters, innovation and social readiness. He advices and facilitates regions, such as The Hague and he is actively building strategic regional partnerships. He is working on Deep Demonstrations of Climate Neutral Landscapes (Climate KIC), on Regional bio–economy Hubs and on Mission Driven Innovation projects on Climate Adaptation within Dutch regions and cities.

Eric Harris (Assoc. AIA, AIAS, NOMA) is PhD candidate at UDC Causes, Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship and PhD Student Washington DC. Emerging professional in the architectural and interior design industry. He has proficiency in Design and other areas of expertise including Administration (Office & Facilities Management), Marketing, Business Development, and Staff Management. He is a post–graduate student of the George Washington University Interior Architecture & Design program (2016) and the University of the District of Columbia Masters of Architecture program (2019).

Dr. Wiebke Klemm is landscape architect and expert in sustainable living environments. She works as Senior Policy Advisor at Municipality of The Hague and is owner at UrbanGreenScape. She works on strategic policy development on integrated urban challenges such as climate adaptation and energy transition; with a focus on the multifunctional benefits of urban green and blue infrastructure in urban outdoor spaces. She is also project leader of the Interreg project 'Nature Smart Cities' Urban Waterbuffer in Cromvlietpark in The Hague.

Marianne Vaes was appointed as Agricultural Counselor to the United States and Canada by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food Quality in July 2018. She has an extensive background in agricultural policy, nature, fisheries and food and health related matters. Marianne started her career as Policy Officer at the Directorate of Fisheries at the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Fisheries. After serving for 6 years as Deputy Director of Fisheries at the Ministry, she served as the Agricultural Counselor at the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, followed by a posting as Agricultural Counselor to France and Algeria at the Netherlands Embassy in Paris. Prior to her assignment at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C., Marianne represented the Netherlands Ministry of Health as Health Counselor at the Dutch Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. She holds a Master's Degree in History from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Bertram de Rooij (Msc) is senior reseacher and landscape architect at Wageningen Environmental Research. He brings in broad experience on strategic integrative spatial planning at different levels, bridging societal changes like climate change adaptation, food security and green cities. Key in his approach is the research by design, participation and a positive attitude towards the future. Besides, he illustrated different chapters in Symbiotic cities.

Session partners