Locality Company Profile

Locality is a SME founded in 2019, which explicitly focuses on research, innovation management and capacity building for smart, climate-neutral and sustainable cities. Locality’s mission is to accelerate the transition to climate-neutral, sustainable and smart cities by brokerage and better usage of  researchers’ and practitioners’ knowledge on smart and sustainable solutions, and by better public-private collaboration across different domains and between different stakeholders.

Locality’s main expertise is in the fields of urban development and its sustainability impact, politically functioning and operating of cities, decarbonization pathways for cities and energy systems, smart cities, in particular the integrated development of strategies and portfolios of projects, and lastly replication, upscaling and market development of smart, energy efficient solutions. Important competences of Locality are the supporting evidence-based policy and decision making, setting up learning environments receptive to innovation, stakeholder engagement at scale levels ranging from cities to EU, promotion of innovative initiatives, compilation of knowledge and learning outcomes for the development of guidance materials, capacity building and organising training.

Current business activities of Locality entail the support of learning communities in the fields of smart cities, in-depth analysis of the barriers to and opportunities for upscaling and replication of smart and cleantech solutions in cities, and research on decarbonisation pathways for cities.

The Team

Judith Borsboom-van Beurden: Dutch, Female, Msc Human Geography, director and owner of Locality. She worked for Geo-ICT company ESRI, University of Utrecht, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, research and technology organisation TNO and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has initiated several smart sustainable city projects with local authorities in the Netherlands, Norway, and across Europe, where ICT, modelling and geo-data support policy- and decision making on and investments in smart, local solutions for energy savings, sustainable mobility, closing of resource cycles and urban transformation. Since 2016, Judith leads the initiative “From Planning to Implementation and Replication” in the Action Cluster Integrated Planning, Policy and Regulation within the Smart Cities Marketplace, where she led the development of the Smart City Guidance Package. Judith is member of the Advisory Boards of Smart City Lighthouse project Smarter Together and EU Project ComeEasy, the latter synchronising European Energy Award certification instruments to other EU initiatives on energy and climate policies, to support municipalities. Besides, she is  member of the Dutch Management Committee for COST Action 19126 on Positive Energy Districts European Network, and Dutch representative for International Energy Agency Annex 83, which focuses on charting the preconditions for creating Positive Energy Districts.

Erna van den Doel: Dutch, Female, Msc Human Geography and certified Business Administrator, is a results-driven advisor and project manager for business- and capacity-development, who has worked both in the large corporate business sector and in small scale business development and management. Erna is experienced in organising large-scale training in an international environment. As project manager worldwide rollout education and training in a Hewlett Packard project for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was responsible for the roll-out of IT and office management at more than 150 Dutch embassies, consulates and other locations with a team of more than 20 trainers.  After a successful project management career, Erna has worked several years for international development projects in South Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. She is very effective in working with people from different cultural backgrounds, settings and education. 

Affiliated Partners

Roberta Casapietra: Italian, Female,  Msc Political Sciences. Roberta is a highly experienced project and partnership developer in the field of low carbon transition,  smart cities, nature-based solutions, and urban regeneration, with key competences in communication, replication and capitalisation, capacity building, planning and financing of sustainability actions. She worked for the Regional Agency of Liguria for Energy, Infrastructure and Urban Regeneration (IRE) as manager of the European projects and New Initiatives Unit. Being responsible for local and regional promotion and implementation of the company’s innovative initiatives, such as innovative financing schemes for energy efficiency, Roberta built up strong links with decision and policy makers and gained a good understanding of how cities function. She built up in-depth experience with stakeholder involvement, with liasing academia,  business and public institutions, and with capacity building in and transfer of knowledge on innovations. She helped to create an ecosystem of European cities deploying nature-based solutions, prepared successful application to the EIB ELENA Technical Assistance facility, and coordinated the delivery of 34 Covenant of Mayors cities’ SEAPs in Savona. On behalf of IRE, Roberta was an active player in FEDARENE. Further, as CEO of the Science and Technology Park in Val Bormida, she led the development of a R&I Innovation hub with cleantech companies and research. Lastly, Roberta has developed hands-on experience with local decision making processes on climate-neutral solutions as Councillor and Deputy-Mayor for the Municipality of Albisola Superiore, reponsible for land planning, urban policies, landscape,  environment and energy portfolios.

Sebastian Marx: Swedish, Male, Msc Political Science and Sociology. Sebastian has over 20 years’ experience as strategic project developer in Brussels, with a proven track record of successful advocacy activities, project development and strategic communication campaigns in Brussels and throughout Europe. Sebastian has extensive experience in areas like Transport, Energy, Environment and Smart Cities. In 2008 Sebastian set up a Brussels Office for the City of Gothenburg and worked 10 years as head of the Brussel office and also as Director for International Relations in the City of Gothenburg. He was a driving force to help Gothenburg adopt a Smart Cities agenda across city departments and entities and was heavily involved in the development of Smart Cities projects under FP7 (Celsius, Step-Up, EU-Gugle) and Horizon 2020 (IRIS). Sebastian was involved in Celsius throughout the project as chairman of steering group. Currently, Sebastian works as an independent consultant on Smart Cities solutions, assisting companies and organisations to interact with the European Institutions.