Urban Greenhouse Challenge: The Jury

The Jury of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge consisted of five renowned experts with deep understanding of the building-blocks of a successful urban greenhouse concept. The jury members came from academia, banking sector, creative industries, public sector and social impact business. They had international work experience and came from countries as diverse as Sweden, USA and The Netherlands. While bringing diverse professional perspectives, they shared passion for growing food in the cities. The jury critically examined all the Challenge submissions and presented their verdict at the finale on August 28th.

Members of the Jury

Aart Oxenaar (chair)

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Dr. Aart Oxenaar is architectural historian and critic, specialised in 19th and 20th century architecture and urban development. He was founding coordinator of CAST, centre for architecture and urbanism in Tilburg; director of the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture - combining masterprograms in architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture - and, most recently, director Monuments and Archeology for the city of Amsterdam. As an advisor he chaired the comittee for spatial quality (Welstand) in Amsterdam and Haarlem. He was a member of the tendercommittee responsible for the selection of plans for the redevelopment of the Bajes Quarter and Bijlmer prison. 

Beatrix Alsanius

Beatrix Alsanius

Beatrix received her PhD at Bonn university. Soon after she became assistant professor at SLU Alnarp, dealing with microbiological stabilization of closed hydroponic cropping systems. During that period she also did guest research on bacteria antagonistic to root pathogens at INRA (Institut de phytobactériologie et pathologie végétale) in Angers, France, and at USDA-ARS/Washington State University, USA. She became associate professor in horticulture in 1999 and seven years later (2006) also in plant protection ecology. In 2007, she was employed as senior lecturer in horticulture, particularly horticultural production systems and was appointed professor within the framework of this position. Since 2009, she was appointed chair professor in horticulture at SLU Alnarp and from 2010 to 2013, she also acted as an adjunct professor in crop science (phytologie) at Université Laval, Québec, Canada. During 2008-2014 she headed also the postgraduate school "Microbial Horticulture", funded by the Swedish research council Formas, and served during 2012-2016 as a vice chair of the EU COST action 1105 "BioGreenhouse". Beatrix Alsanius is one of three Swedish national representatives within the International Society of Horticultural Sciences (ISHS). In 2011 she was appointed member of the Royal Physiographic Society.

Nona Yehia

Nona Yhenia

Nona is uniquely positioned in the Vertical Farming sphere as she is at once a practicing Architect, the Co-Founder, Owner, and CEO of a cutting edge greenhouse, Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole. This combination has cultivated expertise in both the design, implementation and operation of innovative systems and programs that position Vertical Harvest to be an impact model for communities around the globe.

Nona studied architecture at University of Michigan and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.  In 2009, after 10 years of being a partner in the architecture firm E/Ye Design, Nona started work on Vertical Harvest Jackson Hole. Following her passion for local food and experiences growing up with a brother with developmental disabilities, Nona conceived of a three story hydroponic greenhouse that employs people with developmental disabilities while producing local food for the community year round. In 2016 Vertical Harvest opened its doors as a social impact business that can do good while doing well. This flagship project embodies Nona’s efforts to pursue projects that are able to have a profound impact on communities based on architectural, economic and social innovation. This flagship project embodies Nona’s efforts to pursue projects that are able to have a profound impact on communities based on architectural, economic and social innovation. In the beginning of this year, Nona formed GYDE Architects with Peggy Gilday. By incorporating the brightest minds in architecture, engineering and interior design, GYDE builds a comprehensive and collaborative team that blends art, architecture, science, and technology.

Jago van Bergen

Jago van Bergen

Jago founded Van Bergen Kolpa Architects with Evert Kolpa in 2000. They focus on Architecture for Food. The office has an international scope and engages with clients, stakeholders and innovators that aspire sustainable buildings and cities for today and tomorrow. Van Bergen Kolpa's working methodology is the making of a balance - a natural ecology - between program (economy), landscape (space) and natural resources (social relevance).

The office works in multidisciplinary teams of experts on projects such as the Greenport West-Holland, the Metropolitan Food Valley and demo centre Beijing China, Food Expo building Doha Qatar(33.000m2) and Europe’s largest Rooftop Greenhouse Agrotopia (10.000m2).

Their work is exhibited and published world-wide including CNN World News and the Architecture Biennale of São Paolo Brazil. In the past few years the office and its partners have received several awards and nominations, including the Prix de Rome for urban design and landscape, Charlotte Köhler Prize, World Architecture Award, the Rotterdam Architecture Prize and the Hedy d’Ancona Prize for excellent health Architecture.

Jago worked as project Architect for Anderson Architects in New York USA and Neutelings Riedijk Architects Rotterdam NL. Van Bergen teaches and sets up research projects together with the Academies of Architecture in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Berlage Institute and the Universities of Delft, Wageningen and Eindhoven and Universities worldwide.

Michiel Klompenhouwer

Michiel Klompenhouwer

Michiel graduated from the Wageningen University with a degree in Environmental Economics. Michiel has since had various roles within the Rabobank in the field of Food & Agri Business. Between 2014 and January 2017 Michiel led the Dutch corporate market team within the F&A sector and was responsible for strengthening the local F&A teams and more importantly the challenge to create a point of contact for innovative companies in Rabobank. As of March 2018 he is heading a team of 25 sector specialists in different industries across the F&A chains and on specific topics like Innovation and Climate. He has also been a jury member for the Rabobank Innovation Award and the Accenture Innovation award for several years now and since March 2018 also member of the supervisory board of Startlife.