The Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy has a new guest – Esther González-González from the University of Cantabria. Esther came to TU Delft to work, among others, with Dominic Stead on automated vehicles and planning. She will present her research as part of the SPS Seminar Series on 6 March 2018, so stay tuned for that. Below are a few words on Esther from Esther.


“I am Assistant Professor of Urban and Spatial Planning at the School of Civil Engineering of the University of Cantabria (Spain) since 2016 and member of GEURBAN research group since 2008.

My research interests have been mainly focus on the interaction between transport planning and urban and spatial planning, with a major focus on the assessment of long-term impacts of high capacity roads and high-speed rails on socio-economic, environmental, land-use and accessibility related changes, especially in peripheral areas. Within such studies I mastered not only the analysis and calculation of indicators using Geographical Information Systems, but also the evaluation of the relationship between these impacts applying a variety of statistical techniques and multi-criteria assessments. On the other hand, in regional projects and as a lecturer, I have been involved in areas related to the relevance of infrastructures and services in urban and regional planning, with a major focus on sustainable urban development and mobility. Currently, I have the great opportunity to spend 8 weeks as visiting researcher at the Urbanism Department of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, working together with Dr. Dominic Stead. During the next weeks we are going to explore the diversity of opportunities and challenges that cities and regions would have or face in their planning due to the implementation of Automated Vehicles (AV), such as higher availability of large urban spaces, changes on mobility and urbanization patterns, etc.

I was born in Zamora but raised in Cantabria (both in Spain). I graduated in Civil Engineering (BEng) in 2004 and obtained a Master in Civil Engineering in 2007 at the University of Cantabria. During my Master studies I spend a semester in Politecnico di Bari (Italia) under the guidance of Professors Dino Borri (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica- Section Ingegneria civile e Architettura) and Carmelo Torre (Department of Ingegneria civile e Architettura).

In 2013 I completed my PhD at the University of Cantabria, supervised by Professors Soledad Nogués (Urbanism) and Luigi dell’Olio (Transportation), with a dissertation thesis on the selection between conventional and High-Speed Rail (HSR) alternatives in a regional context (Territorial impacts within railway system decision-making: the case of Cantabrian connections). The thesis proposes a GIS-based multi-criteria decision model, which evaluates the territorial impact of these infrastructures ex-ante and in an integrated way, in order to identify the alternative that achieves the best territorial cohesion of the region. The model considers three criteria: socio-economic cohesion, environmental sustainability, and polycentric development, the latter involving aspects of hierarchy, morphology and connectivity between the entities that constitute the region.

During my PhD studies, I also had the opportunity to spend four months as a pre-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Transport Studies of the University of Leeds (UK), under the supervision of Professors Greg Marsden and Andrew Smith, working on the revision of the environmental assessment of HSRs within the decision-making processes of UK and Spanish planning and appraisal practices.”


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