September 2, 12 – 1pm (EDT) / 7 – 8pm (Ljubljana); CSU Lecture #7 GREEN CITIES 2021: Ljubljana, Slovenia; Virtual event

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The focus of the discussion will be on the challenges of climate neutral transition in the European Union and the development of Ljubljana to become green and resilient. Approximately 3/4 of the City’s territory is green area, with urban forests covering 46% of the City, and reaching into the city center. There is 560 square meters of green area per inhabitant, with accessibility to nature enhanced by green corridors and urban gardening. Transformations in mobility have been achieved through radical increases in public transit routes, use of electric vehicles, and bicycle ways.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to . . .

  1. Participants will be able to describe the challenges of transition to a climate neutral economy throughout the European Union, and, in particular, within the context of Slovenia and its capital, Ljubljana.
  2. Participants will be able to understand the policies, projects and programs that have propelled Ljubljana’s designation as 2016 World Green Capital including the transformation from a city dominated by car transport to one where the focus is now on public transports and on pedestrian and cycling networks.
  3. Participants will be able to illustrate how the City of Ljubljana has been able to preserve and protect nature, biodiversity and green urban areas, including green corridors, urban gardening and forested areas at the heart of the city.
  4. Participants will be able to identify how the City of Ljubljana, with a 55% separate collection rate, has also concentrated on its energy, carbon emissions reduction, water quality, and waste management infrastructure.


Ana Struna Bregar is the Executive Director of CER Sustainable Business Network Slovenia. She was head of the Center for Architecture of the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia. She is the co-founder and former director of the largest Slovene architectural festival and platform, Open House of Slovenia, which is part of the Open House Worldwide festival. She is focusing on Business Sustainability Management and green transition.

Miran Gajšek studied at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Ljubljana as well as at the Faculty for Civil Engineering and Geodetic Survey. He was active in the fields of spatial planning and international affairs at the department of urban planning of the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, and the city administration of the City of Celje. Since 2005, he has been the head of the Department for Urban Planning of the City of Ljubljana. During his professional career, he regularly manages EU projects about regional cooperation and sustainable development. Additionally since 2000, he has also been the representative of Slovenia at the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU).


Rick Bell , FAIA is Deputy Director of the Center for Buildings, Infrastructure and Public Space at Columbia University where he is also an Adjunct Associate Professor. He previously served as Executive Director of Design and Construction Excellence for the NYC Department of Design & Construction (NYC DDC) as well as DDC’s Assistant Commissioner for Architecture & Engineering. On leave from DDC, he served as Executive Director of AIA New York where he helped create and animate the Center for Architecture.


Green Cities 2021 is a monthly virtual lecture program organized by the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization that takes place on the first Thursday of each month starting at noon Eastern Time. The series focused on achievements in sustainability and resilience worldwide. More information about the Green Cities 2021 program including the previous talks on New York, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Paris, Tshwane and Los Angeles can be found on the CSU website:


  • UN-Habitat
  • AIA New York
  • Perkins-Eastman
  • Creative Exchange Lab (CEL)
  • NGO Committee on Sustainable Development NY
  • AIA New York Planning & Urban Design Committee 
  • Habitat Professionals Forum for Sustainable Cities (HPF)
  • Columbia Center for Buildings, Infrastructure & Public Space