Core Team

Dr. Ing. Pietro ELISEI

Founder and managing director

(+40) 731 159 785

Town and regional planner, senior researcher and policymaker. He collaborated, as consultant, with ministries, cities and towns all over Europe, holding important positions in international organizations dedicated to urban planning (PLANUM, ISOCARP).

International expert in urban regeneration policies, integrated planning for small-medium sized cities and topics related to smart cities. A collaborator with EU universities and research centers, he works with international institutions (European Commission: URBACT and UIA Secretariats, UN-Habitat, UNECE) for important planning research. Dr. Elisei also routinely holds keynote speeches in international conferences and publishes a number of scientific articles on topics related to urban planning.


Strategic Planning Expert

sabina.dimitriu [at]

(+40) 773 702 216

Urban Planner and EU Project Manager for Transnational / EU R&I projects. PhD in multilevel governance as an instrument for integrated strategic planning at metropolitan level. University Assistant at the „Ion Mincu” University for Architecture and Planning in Bucharest, Romania. President of the Romanian Professional Association of Urban Planners (APUR),  ISOCARP member and URBACT Ad-Hoc Expert.

Worked on several integrated urban development strategies for small and middle-sized cities as well as metropolitan areas in the EU, SUMPs, sectoral / SC strategies. Designing and implementing projects on Horizon2020, Interreg DTP, former FP7, URBACT, recently UIA. Certified trainer.


Urban, territorial & landscape planner

Strategic urban and territorial planning expert currently enrolled as a PhD candidate (FU UAUIM), where she is working as an associated teaching assistant. Former Erasmus student at Faculty of Architecture from University of Lisbon (FAUL). Her research study is mainly oriented towards methodologies, tools and policies for spatial planning at the level of functional urban areas.

She is particularly focused on urban and territorial pressing challenges, being actively engaged in European-funded cooperation projects (Horizon 2020, UIA, INTERREG Danube, URBACT III), paying particular attention to mobility-related topics, cultural heritage as a catalyst for urban development, governance frameworks and collaborative actions of multiple actors, as well as systemic and circular approaches for urban regeneration processes.

Prof. Dr. Nicoleta Silvia IOANA

Executive director

Holding a degree in Philology and a Post-Degree in Communication and Public Relations, Nicoleta is currently involved in projects with a strong social dimension, being responsible for education and continuous professional training and works as a trainer and evaluator of FPC competences. Within Urbasofia, she is responsible for the internal management and project coordination, being involved in overseeing financial, administrative and communication activities.


Urban Planner 


Strategic urban planner, Natalia holds a MSc in Urban Management for Competitive cities, and is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest. Her research study focuses on instruments for revitalizing the former industrial small cities as clusters of autonomous urban systems.

By combining her analytical approach, creativity and a profound passion for urban and societal challenges, Natalia is currently involved in several applied research and cooperation projects in programmes such as HORIZON, Urban Innovative Action and Interreg Danube. Her fields of interest are related to sustainable and resilient urban systems, paying special attention to the ecological and social challenges cities are confronting with.





Oana Emilia BUDĂU

Urban Planner 


Strategic urban planner holding a bachelor degree in Urban and Territorial Planning, currently enrolled in a Master programme in “Environment planning and resilience” at IUAV – Venice, Italy. Within URBASOFIA, Emilia holds the role of Junior Project Manager of EU projects, being actively involved in both implementation and design of European-funded cooperation projects (Horizon2020, Interreg Danube, Urban Innovative Actions (UIA), Urbact and Erasmus plus projects), covering different fields: from sustainable development through the implementation of nature based solution, to cultural heritage and governance urban planning frameworks.

She is particularly interested in sustainable planning methodologies, focus on climate change issue, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation, on which she intend to deepen her studies and specialization.


International Strategic Planning Expert

With a master degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences, specialisation in development policies and in pre-accession processes of Eastern European countries (in particular, Romanian case), Gloria has 14 years of professional experience in writing and implementing development and capacity building projects under EU and international organisations’ funds. Included in the DG Regio database of experts, she has been implementing projects and territorial development strategies and plans for local authorities, while also being involved in several projects at central government level, for the formulation and evaluation of public policies (i.e. Labour law) and programmes (SAPARD and POR 2014-2020). She is certified trainer and Green Belt Lean Six Sigma, for process analysis and improvement. Within Urbasofia, she is currently involved also as an ad hoc expert in support of Horizon 2020 Build-in-Wood, with the main role of facilitating the capitalisation of research result into cities’ development strategies, procedures and practices.

Dr. Pietro L. VERGA

Urban Researcher & Local Development Advisor

Born and raised in Milan, Italy, he holds an MS in Urban Planning & Policy Design from Milan’s Polytechnic and a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Gran Sasso Science Institute and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. He has been a Visiting Scholar at CUNY’s Hunter College in New York (2012), at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space in Berlin (2015), and at the Institute for European Urban Studies of the Bauhaus University in Weimar (2016).

Pietro L. Verga is an urban researcher and advisor with a focus on the development and regeneration of cities and neighbourhoods through participatory/collaborative approaches. His most recent work includes nature-based regeneration solutions, circular ecosystems, and innovative urban regeneration governance instruments. He is also an URBACT III Validated Lead Expert for Urban Strategic Planning, as well as a Board Member of LDnet.


Administrative Manager

With a University degree in Economics and a specialisation in management, Anca is expert in administrative management of projects funded under EU programmes. With over 20 professional experience in accounting management, Anca has been involved in more than 15 projects financed under EU funds (especially Phare and Technical Assistance projects), as well as in several projects under bilateral cooperation agreements, funded by the Italian Government in support of Romanian public authorities (at central, regional and local level). Under these assignments, Anca has assisted the team of experts in providing consultancy, training (i.e. addressed to EU funds beneficiaries, such as former Human Resources Development Sector Operational Programme 2007-2013 and Technical Assistance Operational Programme 2014-2020), as well as in the elaboration of studies (i.e. Regional Innovation Strategy for Bucharest-Ilfov Region), local development strategies (i.e. Baia Mare, Dolj County, South East Region), and programmes’  evaluation (ROP 2014-2020 on going evaluation), being responsible of contracts’ management and backstopping coordination, as Project Director. Anca is certified by the National Authority for Qualifications as expert in structural and European cohesion funds, project manager, trainer and turistic enterprise administrator.

Ionela Mădălina Rusen

Urban Planner

Urban Planner

Strategic urban planner holding a degree in Urban Planning and Design at the „Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, being also a graduate of the master’s program specialization Urban Management for Competitive Cities, whithin the same university.

Her areas of interest are related to the resilient and sustainable development of cities (from the architectural level to the urban level) through innovative solutions and principles, in response to current problems related to climate change, as well as the capitalization of cultural and industrial heritage. Madalina is currently involved in the analysis, urban and territorial planning and writing of international articles in projects such as Build-in-Wood (funded by Horizon 2020) and ISTER (Interreg Danube); holding the position of communication manager in the second one.


Adelin Lazăr

Geographer & GIS Specialist

Geographer specialized in territorial planning and GIS

Geographer, territorial planner and specialist in GIS and remote sensing techniques, which he uses in his studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography with a specialization in the field of territorial planning. In the same field of territorial planning and management of urban and rural settlements, he obtained a master’s degree. He has been involved in several projects, urban regeneration, creation of urban plans, GIS applications and maps but also projects of the impact of geomorphological elements on the environment. His main concerns are the process of urban sprawl, urban entropy, urban green spaces, transport infrastructure, land use dynamics, but also social processes such as segregation and gentrification. Cartography, remote sensing, Earth observation and everything related to GIS and geospatial data are also among his interests.



Codruţ Papina

Urban Planner

Urban Planner and Landscape Designer, PhD student

PhD(c) Codruț Papina is an urban and landscape planner, doctoral student and junior researcher, holding a degree in Landscape Design and Planning with a master’s degree in urban management for Competitive Cities. He is a PhD candidate at UAUIM Bucharest with a focus on the development of urban peripheries, biophilic cities, sustainable approaches on how cities can grow and transform. He is holding valuable experience in co-creation processes for strategic planning, urban design and urban regeneration. Currently involved in HORIZON2020 projects proGIreg and STARDUST and Urban Innovative Actions project, SPIRE Baia Mare, exploring and experimenting with nature-based solutions and smart city development.

Serin Geambazu

Urban manager, Governance and Planning Process Expert

Senior urban planner, an expert in strategic planning and megaproject governance, teaching at Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Bucharest for six years. Serin Geambazu is educated at Technical University Berlin ath the Habitat Unit, Urban Management program, and received her Ph.D. from Ion Mincu University with a co-supervision from Istanbul Technical University for her research on governance and urban transformation policies in Istanbul. Recently with the role of co-rapporteur at the ISOCARP Congress on Track 3- Planning for Urban Connectivity, enlarged her interests with urban mobility and smart-green city concepts.

With an experience of almost seven years, she practices urban planning and took part in projects of infrastructure, housing and retail, execution of detail plans, zonal development plans, masterplans and also strategic general development plans in the private and public sector, but also consultancy projects in Berlin, Istanbul, and Bucharest. At URBASOFIA she is engaged in EU funded projects in the Danube Region.






Urban Planner

(+40) 744 862 293

Strategic urban planner holding a bachelor degree in Urban Planning and Design at “Ion Mincu” University for Architecture and Urban Planning and a certification in Project Management.

Urban and regional strategic integrated planner working in Transnational / EU R&I projects. Andrada is currently involved in an applied research project within the Interreg Danube programme (AGORA – Advanced coGeneration Options for Reintegrating local Assets). Worked on several urban plans in Bucharest covering small and middle-sized areas in the city, which enabled her to understand the complexity and connections between different levels of information within an urban settlement of national importance. Has experience in the project management of STEM innovative educational initiatives at local level, through an Erasmus financing. Her areas of interest include urban regeneration and resilience, governance frameworks, the integration of digital tools for a sustainable urban development, having also a passion for urban design.

Laurine Duivon

Urban planner

Born and raised in France, she holds a master degree from Urban planning Institute of Lyon (France) in Urban Planning and Development with a specialization in management and design. Laurine is also a graduate of Fine Arts degree and has studied one year at Bucharest National University of Arts in Space Design (Erasmus+).

Her singular path permits her to combine her analytical approach and her creativity to a profound sensibility for urban and societal challenges.
She is particularly interested in new urbanities, that is resilient and sustainable urban development through innovative solutions and principles. Her main concerns are nature based solutions, participatory tools as well as the capitalization of cultural and industrial heritage as circular approaches for urban regeneration processes.

Yulia Barsukova

Urban planner

Urban planner

Born and raised in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban planning from Siberian Federal University. She’s currently enrolled in a Master programme of “Planning and policies for the city, the territory and the environment” at IUAV – Venice,Italy. 

She was involved in several projects of urban regeneration, reconstruction and territorial planning for which she was awarded in Russian architectural competitions.

Her fields of interest are related to sustainable urban planning, assessment and planning for emergency situations, adaptation and mitigation of climate change effects on the cities and participatory planning tools.