Jesse Shapins

Jesse Shapins

Head of Urban Strategy & Design, Urban Partners

Copenhagen Denmark

As Head of Urban Strategy & Design at Urban Partners, Europe’s leading sustainable urban investor & developer, Jesse focuses on putting into practice new models of urbanism that align people, cities and capital. His current work spans multiple scales, from establishing an inclusive community hub in an old railway building within central Copenhagen, to overall vision & strategy for Jernbanebyen, the largest urban regeneration project in the city, to leading NREP’s Urban Academy, which builds and shares knowledge about cities with global research partners. All of this work is united by the belief that urban development is a key platform for societal transformation, where diverse communities can imagine the futures we aspire to and tangibly materialize them together.

Jesse has a multi-disciplinary background that has always pushed the boundaries of urban practice. In 2002, he ran the design studio Stadtblind out of a vacant storefront space in Berlin; in 2004 he invented Yellow Arrow, a global, participatory public art project that remains a touchstone for the integration of technology into public space; and in 2005 he co-founded UnionDocs, one of North America’s leading documentary arts centers now based in Ridgewood, Queens. Before NREP, Jesse was Senior Director, Urban Development at Sidewalk Labs where his work focused on new models for inclusive development from Toronto to Tulsa to Detroit. He holds a PhD in Urbanism and Critical Media Practice from Harvard and a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia.

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