Jens Aerts is an urban planning and policy expert, currently assisting the Division Data, Research and Policy at UNICEF HQ to develop a Global Urban Strategic Framework. He works on the cross-section of practice, policy and research, with 18 years of experience in the Benelux, Spain and New York. He trained as civil engineer and architect at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and later as urban planner at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain).
His professional experience focuses urban policy advice in resilient city development planning and assistance in implementation through stakeholder-management, capacity building, concrete strategic public space interventions and community based neighborhood planning. His work includes the renewal of the Place Flagey in Brussels (2004-2008), the technical draft of the Sustainable Regional Development Plan for the Brussels Capital Region (2011-2013) and capacity building for urban planning administrations and young planners in Brussels, Halle, Waregem, Shanghai and Mitrovica (2009-2016).
Prior to joining UNICEF, he was partner at BUUR – Bureau for Urbanism, in charge of several resiliency plans for the sustainable transformation of the capital and several secondary cities in Belgium. Before that he assisted both Governments of the Flemish and the Brussels Region as urban policy expert, to build urban design capacity in public agencies and to direct key strategic public space and mobility interventions.
Jens Aerts is author of many articles and publication, such as Genk, Network City (2015). He is also guest Professor at the Master in Urbanism and Spatial Planning, in The Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB).