Thomas Stellmach

Thomas Stellmach Portrait


Thomas is a thought leader for sustainable urban development. He is best known as the founder of TSPA Making Cities, and as a planning expert for UN-Habitat.

CV Thomas Stellmach

Thomas Stellmach is the founder and director of TSPA in Berlin. Born in Freiburg, Germany, he studied Architecture at TU Berlin and UPC Barcelona, graduating in 2003. His focus of interest is a sustainable urban development in a transforming world.

Since 2001 Thomas teaches and researches sustainable urban planning in an international context. He taught as an assistant professor for urban planning at the renowned Berlage Institute and as a guest professor at the University for Science and Arts in Aleppo, Syria, and RISEBA University in Riga. He conducted design studios and lectured at institutions such as Tsinghua University in Beijing, Technische Universität Berlin, Academie voor Bouwkunst in Rotterdam, Strelka Institute in Moscow, and UPC in Barcelona.

Thomas conceived Europe’s then-largest city extension project, “project a101” in Moscow, and supervised London’s 110 ha Barking Riverside neighbourhood development for Maxwan a+u in Rotterdam. He worked on the strategic plan for the 8 million people of Germany’s challenged Ruhr region, the plan for Astana’s Expo 2017 and city transformation projects in Baghdad and Moscow, as well as a spatial concept for Paris’ precarious banlieue districts and the competition-winning concept for Berlin’s central library and adjacent neighbourhood.

Recent examples of his work are developing plans for resilient neighbourhoods in Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as proposals for Berlin’s largest urban expansion and the strategic regional vision for Berlin-Brandenburg 2070.

He supports UN-Habitat as an expert for sustainable urban development and has coordinated city extension and infill projects in the Philippines, Rwanda, and Mozambique, with a focus on urban resilience towards climate change. He is a sought-after facilitator for planning workshops and has recently trained planning professionals and city leaders in Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Rwanda. Thomas has advised the Aga Khan Foundation, The French Development Agency AFD, and the German Development Service GIZ in matters of best practice in urban development and spatial planning. He conceived an urban vision and strategic development plan for the 2.6 million people of Aleppo, Syria for GIZ and the Cities Alliance.

Thomas is a member of the international organisation of planning professionals isocarp, the smart city network Berlin and has recently been appointed by the governing mayor of Berlin as a member of the strategic advisory board of Berlin’s Smart City project. In 2016 he founded the housing cooperative urban coop Berlin to develop affordable housing solutions for the city.