Simone Pekelsma (1984) was born and raised in Leiden. She went to the same highschool the famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn once attended. Between 2003 and 2013, Simone explored living, studying and working in a wide range of other cities, including Maastricht, Brussels and Istanbul, but in the end she decided to go back to her roots. She loves to travel, read, wander around and get lost in cities and drink red wine. She is currently doing a PhD in human geography at Nijmegen University, studying the global spread of gated communities, but is also involved in some freelance actitivities in the field of urban development, such as Happy Streets, URBACT and RAP Leiden.