Professor Ares Kalandides, a director of the IPM had the opportunity to meet Chen Jining, Mayor of Beijing, during the latter’s first visit to Berlin, September 13, 2018. Chen Jining, met with Ares, who introduced the main challenges of urban planning, development and management in Berlin. They discussed the task of adequately organising inner city centres, the rapid changes in the High Street as well as the importance of landscape planning to provide better inner cities.

“The Mayor was very interested in our research on High Streets, especially the BDSU project and the 25 factors of Town Centre vitality” commented Ares. “It was surprising for me that Beijing seems to face similar challenges with the structure of retail changing rapidly. We also shared the conviction that city centres will survive if they manage to remain or become vibrant hubs, designed for a broad range of activities – entertainment, culture, social interaction”.

This is not the first time IPM director Ares has introduced an international delegate to the city of Berlin, in the last 25 years, Ares has greeted multiple international guests in the Germany capital. Notable persons Ares has greeted include, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Prince of Wales.

Following the one-hour introduction with our director, Chen Jining was officially welcomed by the Mayor of Berlin to discuss future cooperation. An environmental engineer by trade, Chen Jining served as the President of Tsinghua University from 2012 to 2015 and Minister of Environmental Protection between 2015 and 2017. In May 2017, Chen Jining was appointed acting Mayor of Beijing.

Professor Ares Kalandides is the CEO and Founder of Berlin based consultancy company In:polis Urbanism. Professor Kalandides is regarded as a highly influential place practitioner having consulted numerous place professionals across the world. Ares has been based in Berlin for over 30 years and is an integral part of IPM’s international community and influence.