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Meet Dr Orna Rosenfeld

Award-Winning Urban Strategist 

Housing Expert and Advisor

Research Scientist and Author 

BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Orna Rosenfeld B.Arch. (Hons) M.A. PhD is an award-winning urban strategist, housing expert and advisor, research scientist and author with global reach and presence. Her expertise lies in international comparative housing and urban policy, knowledge and investment, inclusion, just trnaision, governance and strategy as prerequisites for inclusive urban development and social and territorial cohesion.

 

Her work covers 56 countries, where she supports leaders of governments, cities and international organisations such as the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Bank, the Council of Europe Development Bank and the United Nations to shape the visions of the national, global and European housing and urban policies.

 

In her recent role as the advisor for the EIB, Dr Rosenfeld examined the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the housing sector in the European Union and advised on the future investment in the sector and the design of the first social impact bond to support affordable housing.

 

As a key expert for the European Commission, Dr Rosenfeld advised the DG REGIO on matters related to housing policy, funding, and regulation and was instrumental in the implementation of the EU Urban Agenda Partnership for Housing, particularly its governance strategy and the development of the Housing Partnership action plan.

 

Most recently, she designed a pioneering methodology linking and assessing the contribution of all 14 EU Urban Agenda Partnerships and their 132 actions to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda in Europe.

 

At the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (2013-17), Dr Rosenfeld supported the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management by researching the housing trends and challenges in the Global North. In that capacity, she contributed to Habitat III New Urban Agenda preparatory process and addressed ministers of 56 countries.

 

In addition to her advisory work, Dr Rosenfeld is committed to scientific research and education. She is the Cities. Housing and Real Estate Chair Committee Member and adjunct professor at Sciences Po – The Paris Institute of Political Studies. Before Sciences Po she taught at the University of Westminster in London and is a frequent visiting lecturer worldwide.

 

Dr Rosenfeld is the author of numerous strategic and scientific articles, reports, book chapters and books published internationally and translated into 27 EU languages, as well as Russian and Korean. Among them is the flagship study ‘Social Housing in the UNECE Region: Models, Trends and Challenges’ published by the United Nations.

 

Her work has won research excellence awards from the Association of European Schools of Planning, the University of Westminster and the Town Planning Review, among others.  In 2014, Dr Rosenfeld was awarded the title of World Cities Summit Young Leader in Singapore for her contribution to sustainable urban development internationally. In 2021, she was honoured as a Global Social Impact Award Winner by the British Council.

 

Known as a dynamic and ocial impact advocate dedicated to inclusive, just and sustainable urban transformation, development, and affordable housing, Dr Rosenfeld has presented at over 100 conferences in over 30 countries, including at the United Nations, European Parliament and Capitol Hill. She keynoted the International Housing Forum in Singapore, the European Housing Forum in Berlin and the INTBAU World Congress in London, among others. Over the past two decades, she has served numerous expert groups, including at the ESPON, UN-Habitat, OECD, ELTI and CNBC.

Dr Rosenfeld’s dedication to housing and urban policy began with her work in the real estate sector. An architect by training, Orna designed and helped deliver over 6,000 homes before committing herself to international housing policy research and counsel.

​Dr Rosenfeld holds a Doctorate in housing, urban regeneration and development from the University of Westminster in London. A Chevening Scholar, she holds an M.A. in Planning Research and Theory from the University of Sheffield and a magna cum laude degree in Architecture from the Technion – IIT.

 

A national of four countries, Dr Rosenfeld is based in Paris, France. Besides English, she is fluent in Serbian, Croatian and French, speaks Hebrew and Hungarian and has also studied Ukrainian and Spanish.

AWARDS

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THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Dr. Rosenfeld's scientific work on housing and urban development has won awards from the Association of European Schools of Planning, University of Westminster, British Council Chevening and Town Planning Review, among others. In 2014, she was awarded the title of World Cities Summit Young Leader for her contribution to sustainable urban development internationally. In 2021, she was awarded the Winner of the UK Alumni Social Impact Award for Europe among over 1400 global candidates.  She was subsequently honoured as a Global Social Impact Winner of the Study UK Alumni Awards among the finalists from all seven global regions. 

 

She is the Cities. Housing and Real Estate Chair Committee Member and adjunct professor at Sciences Po - Institute for Political Studies in Paris, where she teaches new generations of metropolitan policymakers. In addition, she is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy in the United Kingdom. Before moving to Paris, she taught at Westminster University in London and is a frequent guest lecturer at European universities and overseas. 

 

Orna also chairs international advisory boards for housing that are reformulating their strategies, policy and investment.

PHILANTHROPY AND HUMANITARIAN WORK

Orna regularly supports and contributes to selected global philanthropic campaigns. Among important missions, she helped a network of global charities raise over 100 million US dollars for emergency rescue actions, housing and education of migrants as a speaker in Israel, the UK and USA in the 2000s. In this capacity, she spoke along with the world’s most known and celebrated personalities, among them Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King and James Rubin then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

Orna continues to support various humanitarian causes today including gender equality and refugee rescue and inclusion.

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