2019 Advisory Board

Benjamin Heydon

Technical Landscape Consultant - Abu Dhabi City Municipality

Benjamin Heydon is a Technical Landscape Consultant to the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and has worked in the specialist field of landscape architecture for over 13-years. A graduate from the University of Canberra and currently completing a Masters with Heriot Watt University; his experience has been generated through extensive exposure to unique environments which has seen him work in sectors in Canada, Middle East, Australia and Africa. Past large projects include, Ceremonial Walk; Australian War Memorial, Atlantis Hotel; Palm Jumeriah, Yas Island Street Landscape and Racing Circuit and Sheikh Zayed Street (Salam Street).

His technical work includes developing Landscape Standards, Specifications and Technical guidelines in line with best practices. Through coordination with other government body stakeholders and driven by sustainable design he has been successful in introducing a focal shift for the use of native landscape planting within public realm projects.

Marlon van Maastricht

Senior Manager, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning & Design Departments - Khatib & Alami

Marlon van Maastricht is Khatib & Alami’s Senior Manager Landscape Architecture; Urban Planning & Design Departments. He spent 13 of his 17 years working experience in the Middle East, and 2019 is his 5th year in the UAE. With a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture and a soon to be completed Master in City Sciences, Marlon is as much a landscape architect as an urbanist, and it is exactly this interface where he seeks and finds his challenges and passion.”

Mark Sutton Vane

Director - London 2012 Learning Legacy Ambassador for Lighting

Mark Sutton Vane took an Honours degree in Architecture and then moved into lighting design. He first designed laser shows and was commissioned by Kate Bush, Jean Michel Jarre and commercial clients to design and produce laser light shows.

In 1988 Mark Sutton Vane moved into Architectural and open space lighting design. In 1995 Mark started Sutton Vane Associates. This independent lighting practice works in all fields of lighting design and consultancy.

Mark has designed the lighting for schemes all over the world, including the Parklands and Public Realm areas of the London 2012 Olympic Park, which is over 100 hectares, using energy efficient LED lighting and renewable energy sources. It was so successful that Mark was appointed the London 2012 Legacy Ambassador for lighting. Mark lit the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre in Kuwait, the National Museum of Oman, and is currently working on the lighting design for the Great Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Mark is also accomplished in creating lighting schemes for a variety of landscapes, ranging from tiny London terraces to huge country estates and parks as well as urban public spaces. Landscapes that Mark has lit include the public gardens of Muncaster Castle, several palaces in the Middle East and landscapes all over the UK. Many of the clients for the private projects expect confidentiality so cannot be named.

Public realm projects include Portsmouth, Hastings, Bexhill-on-Sea, the centres of Liverpool and Leicester and many other cities and areas. These have all been adopted by the relevant authorities and successfully implemented. The Liverpool strategy led to Sutton Vane Associates lighting over thirty buildings in the centre of the city.

Mark has worked on photovoltaic based lighting system for public spaces for which he was presented a Millennium Award. The practice has designed alternative energy lighting for English Nature and wind powered lighting. The practice provides advice on energy saving and all schemes are designed to be environmentally friendly.

Mark regularly lectures about lighting design and its importance. He supports lighting design education. The practice places emphasis on sustainable lighting, telling the story of the project through light and meeting the needs of the client and users.

Nadine Bitar

Managing Director, Placemaking, UAE and Middle East Communications Chair - International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)

Nadine Bitar is currently the CEO of Placemaking.me focusing on innovation in design for sustainability, and Place sourcing – a social enterprise to design for livability in the MENA region. Nadine worked in the public sector as an advisor in Abu Dhabi Municipality and the private sector as director in multinational and semi-government organizations. She lead and participated in the design development of more than 30 large scale flagship projects including Leisure and entertainment clusters, Commercial complex, mixed use developments, Golf and residential Communities, Hospitality projects and branded destinations in the Middle East and North Africa .Nadine has been a jury member in Index awards, a keynote speaker of major regional and global design forums and summits and a researcher on sustainable design and Innovation in Arab Cities. She is active in Dubai community as the chairwoman of the advisory board –Interior design at the American University in Dubai , an executive council member of Ellevate international and is an international associate in the American Institute of Architects. She has completed an innovation and management program at Insead business school and obtained her masters in Architecture /Urban Design from the American University of Beirut.

Geoffrey Sanderson

Senior Associate - AECOM

Until recently Geoff was seconded from AECOM to Ashghal, Qatar as an advisor on public realm. He is now with AECOM Dubai as Specialist Landscape Architect and Horticulturist/Design Manager for  World Expo 2020 public realm.

 Geoff has more than 40 years professional experience both  in Australia where he won many design awards and 23 years in the GCC region  involved with significant projects including Expo 2020, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi; Al Ain Landscape Strategy; Sh Zayed Museum Abu Dhabi; Islamic Art Centre Park, Doha; several aspects of the Lusail project, Qatar; Airport City, Doha; Oman Cultural Complex, Muscat; KSA landscape strategy and Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, Public Realm Design Manual.

 Geoff has a particular interest in horticulture, landscape management, public realm design philosophy and cultural landscapes. He has chaired many conferences and presented papers on his favorite topics at conferences in Australia, GCC, Istanbul, Japan, Holland and UK

Hrvoje Cindric

Associate and Senior Master Planner - ARUP

Hrvoje is an experienced, confident, committed and passionate Urban Planner and Designer. He has a proven track record as a designer, planner and project manager and has lived in the UAE for past five years.

Hrvoje has extensive experience in projects across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and South America, working for public and private sector clients alike. He has worked on a wide range of projects from strategic frameworks to large greenfield master plans down to brownfield regeneration, urban design and place-making projects.

Hrvoje is fluent in Croatian, English and German.

Laila Alawneh Soila

Senior Architect & Master Planner - Arada, UAE

Laila is an award winning Architect and Urban Planner with 15 years of experience. She worked in Scandinavia, the Middle East and the Gulf for renowned firms specialising in Smart and Sustainable City Planning and Architectural Design. Her integrated design method aims to provide a holistic approach toward the design of cities and buildings. Laila obtained a Masters of Science in Architecture from Aalborg University in Denmark and an MA from University of the Arts London. Laila’s work was presented at UK construction week in Birmingham in 2016 and at the The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen.

Laila is passionate about sustainable urbanisation and continuously promotes lifting the quality of life for dwellers and commuters. She and her family continue to cycle/walk and use public transport to stand as an example of active sustainable living individuals.

Rayya Jawhar

Senior Sustainability Consultant - Burohappold

Rayya joined the Sustainability Team of Buro Happold Dubai in 2013. Prior to this she has worked on sustainable building research and design with various environmental organizations including the United Nations Environmental Department. Rayya's main area of expertise is resource management and providing strategic integrated resources guidance within the built environment:

informing building and masterplan design for resources reduction and developing walkable places that reduce the dependency on car and vehicle fuel. She has worked on a variety of Middle East and international projects. Rayya provided sustainable design guidance to project scaling from villas , buildings , communities development to master planning. Rayya is also a LEED AP and has led the delivery of LEED projects in Qatar and Dubai.

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