FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, URBAN DISCOVERY HONG KONG
Ester van Steekelenburg (MSc Urban Planning, University of Amsterdam, PhD Urban Economics, University of Hong Kong) has over 15 years of international experience in urban regeneration and heritage revitalization. Ester lives in Hong Kong where she heads Urban Discovery a Hong Kong based social enterprise that works with NGO’s, city governments and developers to capitalize on the economic value of heritage in Asian cities. Ester’s has worked as an advisor, trainer and facilitator for a variety of agencies including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the United Nations.
Recent signature projects include repurposing an old Fort in Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), an urban regeneration plan for a historic district in Istanbul (Turkey), a heritage management plan for the UNESCO-listed imperial city of Hue (Vietnam), plans for adaptive re-use for historic buildings in Semarang (Indonesia) and setting up a PPP for investment in renovation of historic properties in Yangon (Myanmar).
In 2014 Urban Discovery launched a smart phone application for heritage tours in Asian cities (including Hong Kong): iDiscover City Walks.