Core Team

Frank D’hondt

Frank D’hondt is founder and managing director of the Territorial Capital Institute. Frank is an independent free-lance territorial planning consultant, currently working with mainly United Nations agencies in different places around the world. Frank is long-standing member, ambassador and member of the board of the Journal of ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners).

MSc. Frank D’hondt is an independent free-lance territorial planning consultant and has master’s degrees in urban Geography (1985) and Spatial Planning (1988), both obtained at Gent University in Belgium. He started as researcher at the Brussels Free University, worked 13 years on cross-border and transnational planning in Benelux/European Union, and founded and managed O2-planning-consultancy dealing with a large variety of spatial planning processes and projects. Since 2015 Frank is mainly working internationally with UN-Habitat, UNDP and UNOPS, in multiple countries including Belarus, Kosovo, Palestine, Nepal, Afghanistan, China, Kenya and the Caribbean. With UN-Habitat he co-published a first handbook on Participatory Visioning and a second handbook to implement the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning, an acknowledged instrument for the implementation of the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda, with guided applications and training in Latin America, Caribbean, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia. Frank is a founding member of a Belgian Association for Territories and Planning, was vice-president of the European Council of Spatial Planners and currently ambassador and member of  the Editorial Board of the Journal of the International Society of City and Regional Planners.

Sebastian Goethals

Sebastien Goethals is founder and director of Citylinks, an urban planning and mobility consultancy mainly active in China and Africa. Sebastien is currently vice-president of ISOCARP.

Sebastien is an Architect, Urbanist and Urban Transport expert from Belgium. After having worked as an architect and urban consultant in Europe and Africa with a focus on transport infrastructures, Sebastien started to conduct research on urbanism and mobility in 2009 with Tongji University and ULB (Université Libre de Bruxelles) in Shanghai. In 2010, he established Citilinks together with Anastasia Velnidis, and organized the exhibition « Kinshasa, Vision 2025 » in the African Pavilion of the World Expo of Shanghai. He created then one of the first African Urban Labs, Congonext, with his partner Methode Mateso. In 2012, he won the international urban design competition « Rosemont 2040, Morph My City Challenge » in Regina, Canada. Sebastien has been leading several large scale architecture and urban planning projects, such as the Nsele African Garden City (Kinshasa, Congo), the Warehouse District regeneration plan of Regina (Canada) and the Strategic Master Plan of Chengdu Longquanyi (China.) In 2011, he was the urban planning leader of the Transport Plan of Kinshasa. He’s permanently involved in the implementation of integrated urban solutions for mixed-used and dense communities, public spaces, transport and urban agriculture. He has also been lecturer at ULB (Brussels), Tongji University (Shanghai), Sichuan University (Chengdu) and IBTP (Kinshasa).

Sebastian curates his own website

Nicholas Karachalis

Nicholas Karachalis holds a PhD in Economic and Regional Development and is Lecturer Culture/Tourism Development – URBACT Validated Lead Expert.

Nicholas Karachalis works as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Planning and Regional Development of the University of Thessaly in Volos and as a lecturer at the post-graduate programme in Cultural Management at the Greek Open University. Since 2001, and after finishing his military service obligation, he has been active as an independent advisor and associate researcher at the Regional Development Institute of the Panteion University of Social and Political Science of Athens. He holds a PhD in Economic and Regional Development (Panteion University of Social and Political Science of Athens), a Master in European Urban Cultures (Joint programme by the Free University of Brussels, the University of Tilburg, the Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Arts and Design of Helsinki) and a BA in Urban and Regional Development (Panteion University of Social and Political Science of Athens). In 2010 he completed his post-doctoral research in tourism impact measurement of urban festivals. He has a strong interest in analysing the trends and dynamics between culture, tourism and spatial development processes, using an interdisciplinary approach and perspective (drawing on cultural economics, place marketing and branding, urban tourism, cultural planning, etc.). He has collaborated to several research projects and studies related to regional and local development, marketing, cultural economics and tourism planning. Alongside with his academic research, he has worked as an advisor for public bodies (Municipalities, Regional Authorities, City Tourism Offices, etc.) on matters of marketing, funding, tendering practices, entrepreneurship, change management etc. He is fluent in Greek, English and Dutch.


Selected publications can be found at