The Randstad Group is concerned with the spatial development and planning of complex urban regions like the Randstad Holland. The increasing significance of the regional scale, globalisation, internationalisation and changing relations between the state, market and civil society call for evaluation of the performance of regional spatial structures and the governance arrangements through regional planning and design. The group investigates its home region, the Randstad, and uses this knowledge in mutual learning through international case studies and cross-national comparison. We work with the Urban and Regional Studies Group of the OTB Research Institute for the Built Environment. We also aim to involve all relevant researchers on spatial planning in TU Delft. The Randstad programme leads on three themes:

–        metropolitan spatial structure;

–        regional planning and design;

–        international planning and developing regions.



This theme is concerned with understanding the evolution of metropolitan spatial structure, and the performance of different regional spatial structures in terms of economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social well-being. It is concerned with linking planning strategy and practice positively with improved knowledge of spatial structure and performance.

Through the twentieth century to today the region has occupied a privileged position in thinking about urban form and process. The emphasis on the region as the critical scale for understanding urban development goes back to Patrick Geddes. He replaced the city as the unit of analysis with an ‘organic’ region whose relations and dynamics included the city and its functional and meaningful surround. Lewis Mumford and Clarence Stein saw the region as context and condition of an organic city and society of the future. Jean Gottmann saw it as an effect of a dynamic process of metropolitan urbanisation and social reorganisation. Today we understand regions as those spaces within which diverse types of agglomeration economies coexist, triggering urban synergies once only a character of the nuclear city.

The metropolitan region is today a complex configuration of places, functions and movements that is by its nature polynuclear. This polynuclearity can take different forms, from the ‘monocentric’ extreme where one centre dominates the others and concentrates power, to more ‘polycentric’ versions where more or less complementary centres distribute power across regions. Today the metropolitan region is the frame for thinking about processes like agglomeration, centrality, sustainability, (auto)mobility and (sub)urbanisation. It is the frame for thinking about transformation under conditions of modernisation, globalisation, new movement and communications technologies, new business organisation, new global and regional economies and other regionally specific conditions of growth and development. It is increasingly the frame for discussion about changing urban localities and identities, social, functional and migration patterns, and scales and institutions of governance. Our concern is with urban form and structure at all scale levels from that of the street and neighbourhood to that of whole regions. The region is however the structure and frame in which smaller-scaled structures such as neighbourhoods are contextualised and understood, often as problems of increasing social and spatial fragmentation.

We develop models of urban and regional structuring and transformation. We use these to research the relationships between regional form and economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social well-being and to model the social, economic and environmental performance of regions. We continuously track and interpret changes in patterns of urbanisation and in regional structure in the Randstad and other regions, and compare different regions using common modelling protocols and indicators. We formulate methods and guidelines for the building of economically and socially advantageous and sustainable cities and metropolitan regions in order to bring the results of this research to planners, designers and policy-makers in usable forms.

Our perspective on the region is, at least partly, a consequence of our situation in the Randstad, an archetypical polycentric agglomeration, from which we derive knowledge that may inform views of other agglomerations.

Track record

We have a strong track record of funded research, for the European Spatial Planning Observation Network (ESPON), the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk (NWO) (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and Zeeland Province. Our previous work also includes a number of PhD projects on metropolitan structure in relation to transport and infrastructure led by Professors Dirk Frieling and Joost Schrijnen. We have a long-running close association with the Space Syntax Laboratory and Space Group at University College London and have recently been conducting research into metropolitan structure using space syntax techniques.

Research has been reported in many journal articles and book chapters including papers in Urban Studies, Environment and Planning B, Progress in Human Geography and Town Planning Review. See for example:

–        Burger, M.J. and Meijers, E.J. (2012) Form follows function? Linking Morphological and Functional Polycentricity, Urban Studies, 49 (5), pp. 1127-1149.

–        Meijers E.J. and M.J. Burger (2010) Spatial Structure and Productivity in U.S. Metropolitan Areas, Environment and Planning A, 42(6), pp. 1383-1402.

–        Read, S.A. (2009) “Another Form: From the ‘Informational’ to the ‘Infrastructural’ City” in: Footprint 5. Special Issue: Metropolitan Form, pp. 5-21.

–        Read, S.A., & J. Gil (forthcoming) “Amsterdam and its region as a layering of socio-technical systems” in: Environment and Planning B; Planning and Design.


PhD research

Recent promotions

–        Patterns of urbanisation in the Randstad-Holland (1200-2000), Nikki Brand (2012)

–        Conditions for re-conceptualising the contemporary urban local scale: considering communication networks to attain conditions for space appropriation, Marta Mendonça (2012)

–        Timespace matters: exploring the gap between knowing about activity patterns of people and knowing how to design and plan urban areas and regions, Jeroen van Schaick (2011)

–        Changing centralities under urban configurational ‘scale-structure’, Qiang Sheng (2011)

–        Urban dispositif: an atlas of spatial mechanisms and the contemporary urban landscape, Gerhard Bruyns (2011)

–        Synergy in polycentric urban regions: complementarity, organising capacity and critical mass, Evert Meijers (2007)

–        Station – the new centrality, the effects of urban form on the live ability of the area around the railway station, Camelia Mulders Kusumo (2007)


Current PhD candidates

–        Urban form and the multi-modal mobility network structure: evaluating the sustainable accessibility of urban areas in the city-region, Jorge Gil

–        Transformative planning systems and peripheral housing developments in Shanghai, Jinghuan He (Hebe)

–        Centrality and sustainable city policies in contemporary urban regions, Fabio Hernandez

–        Transforming the future: an empirical study of the modernisation and regionalisation of the Tehran metropolis, Azadeh Mashayekhi

–        Public visibility of Anatolian immigrants in Istanbul and Amsterdam, Ceren Sezer

–        Complex adaptive systems and urbanism, Sharon Ackerman

–        Formation of centralities as a result of infrastructure building: transformation of small towns in the Yangtze Delta region, China, Jung Ying

–        Territories-in-between: European permeability in territories between urban and rural, Alexander Wandl


Key research projects

Finalised projects

Networks, agglomeration and polycentric metropolitan areas: new perspectives for improved economic performance (NAPOLEON), a Kennis voor Krachtige Steden project, 2012 to 2014

Planning for energy-efficient cities (PLEEC). This is a European 7th Framework project running from 2012-2015 that will explore the link between metropolitan spatial planning and energy-efficiency.

Please look below for Cohesify, COMPASS and Repair projects (ongoing)

Research agenda

The aim for this theme is to create a substantial regional research and modelling project involving a number of PhD candidates focussing on the Randstad and other regions around the world as a foundation for regional comparisons. What makes this theme distinctive is that we do not just describe and explain the evolution of metropolitan spatial structure, but we also shed light on how spatial structure influences metropolitan competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social well-being. Moreover, we translate these findings into models and designs that can assist in planning and designing cities and metropolitan regions for all. Our future research agenda is strongly centred on this triangle of understanding spatial structure, evaluating its performance, and applying this knowledge to improving planning and design.

PhD candidates will be recruited in the following topics as spaces become available:

regional and metropolitan urbanisation, form and structure; models of regional form and transformation;

urbanisation and development of metropolitan regions; the evolving functional geography of regions;

the performance of regional forms; indicators of performance.


The research theme of metropolitan spatial structure has a strong relationship with the Urbanism MSc graduation studio Complex Cities which builds on experience of such studios from 2001. More than 50 students have graduated since 2008  studying almost an equal number of cities around the world. Graduation projects provide a resource for comparative overview of, and a methodological approach to, metropolitan structure and performance in different global contexts. We see teaching as a way to open and articulate research questions and refine and test methods. Projects address parts of the triangle ‘spatial structure – performance – planning and design’. They develop better understanding of linkages between built urban form and interpretations of performance, and make recommendations for the planning and design of metropolitan regions.


This theme is concerned with the governance of metropolitan regions in the context of the increasing complexity and fragmentation of spatial relationships. It investigates the role of spatial planning and regional design in managing regions, especially the Randstad.

Regional planning and design – at least in the Netherlands – is caught in a seemingly paradoxical situation: on the one hand spatial planning loses political influence, whereas on the other hand the availability, abundance and quality of urban and regional design methods is increasing. At the same time it is at the regional level where many territorial issues come together. In the Netherlands this is especially the case in the Randstad which forms our key research area.

This situation arises in a wider spatial development context that is changing fundamentally. New patterns of interaction and movement are emerging from locational choices made by people and enterprises. The result is increasing spatial fragmentation. Also, there is increased complexity in the spatial pattern of activities and their relationships at various spatial scales with new forms of clustering in patterns of networked regions. Sustainable accessibility is however under enormous pressure as the result of a lack of integration between transport networks and between these networks and the urban fabric. These developments create enormous challenges for politics and planning and the governance of territories.

Classic forms of government based upon clear-cut divisions in terms of administrative levels, policy sectors and the public and private domains are less relevant. One outcome is a rapid accumulation of consultation, coordination and partnership structures. Another outcome is the emergence of more flexible forms of governance working around traditional arrangements and formal jurisdictions which do not coincide with actual spatial relationships and levels of functional integration. The result is a complex pattern of overlapping governance regions characterized by fuzzy territorial boundaries and interrelationships between public and private actors, combined with an increasing influence of the European Union through environmental and territorial cohesion policies. And although some examples of these new governance arrangements seem promising there are concerns about their effectiveness as well as their accountability and legitimacy.

The investigation of these developments follows three lines:

the role and political position of spatial planning amongst other policies including the changing conditions for deliberative spatial policy making under the influence of EU policy and legislative frameworks;

the emergence of new ‘metropolitan regions’ and the potential for integrative policy making in the territorial domain, with a particular emphasis on sustainable accessibility;

the role of regional design tools, instruments and methods.

Our principal research question is:

To what extent can urban and regional planning and design methods serve as a catalyst for territorial transformation in general and transit oriented development in particular?

Track record

The track record of the theme group is based on a combination of past and ongoing projects and the expertise of key team members.

The Europeanisation of (regional) spatial planning has been a focus of research for  some time. Wil Zonneveld, Bas Waterhout, Andreas Faludi, Vincent Nadin and Dominic Stead have all published on this subject. It is supported through post-doc and PhD candidate research together with a number of contract research projects and high level publications.

The legacy of the chair of Niek de Boer is important in relation to ‘integrated policy making’ in the Randstad. What would make the Randstad or alternatively its ‘wings’ relevant spatial entities. (New) forms of regional policy integration making use of such concepts as ‘soft spaces’ and ‘multilevel governance’  have been taken up in papers by Bas Waterhout, Dominic Stead and Wil Zonneveld.

There is a strong record of work on networked regions through the work of Paul Drewe (scenario methodologies), Joost Schrijnen (Randstad as a design arena and transit oriented development), Maurits de Hoog (regional and supra-regional design) and Ina Klaasen (research by design).

There is also a relationship with the chair ‘Design and politics’ (Wouter Vanstiphout) where future research activities will focus on democratic legitimisation in design and planning and the changing relationship between citizen and government in design and planning.

Recent projects include:

ESPON RISE which is identifying and exchanging best practices in developing regional integrated strategies and policy making in Europe.

ESPON TANGO examining the governance of territorial development in Europe.

Several projects (ESPON as well as projects commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment) on the territorial impact of European directives and policies.

The following publications give insight in the topics covered by the theme:

–        Balz, V. & Schrijnen, J. (2009) From Concepts to Projects: Stedenbaan, The Netherlands. In: Curtis, C., Renne J., Bertolini, L. (ed.) Transit Oriented Development.Making it Happen. Farnham: Ashgate.

–        Jong, J. de & Spaans, M. (2009) Trade-offs at a regional level in spatial planning: Two case studies as a source of inspiration. Land Use Policy, 26(2), 368-379.

–        Stead, D. & Waterhout, B. (2008). Learning from the application of the ESDP: influences on European territorial governance. DISP, 2008/44(1), 21-34.

–        Zonneveld, W.A.M. (2010). Governing a Complex Delta. In: Delta Urbanism. The Netherlands (pp. 100-113). Chicago/Washington: APA Planners Press.

PhD research

Recent Promotions

–        The Institutionalisation of European Spatial Planning, Amsterdam/Delft: IOS Press/Delft University Press, Bas Waterhout (2008)


Current PhD candidates

–        Urban Form and Protest Behaviours, Nurul Azlan

–        Polycentricity and energy transition: dimensions of discourse on multiscalar urban systems, Verena Balz

–        Re-use of military facilities, Malkit Soshan

–        Mobility patterns of students groups in greater Valparaiso, M. Soto

–        Spatial Planning Concepts for Effective Planning, Jan Vogelij

–        Territories-In-Between: A European Cross Case Study on the Planning of Areas Between Urban and Rural, Alexander Wandl (also theme 3)

Key research projects

The theme group are pursuing two key projects:

The Randstad Reader: the preparation of a definitive textbook on the Randstad to be published by Routledge in association with the Regional Studies Association: and

Transit oriented development and network integration, facilitated in part through NWO sponsored research on the ‘sustainable accessibility of the Randstad’.

Research agenda

The three lines of research mentioned in section 1 serve as the primary guidance for the recruitment of PhD candidates. Examples of specific research topics include:

An ex durante evaluation of the change of governance philosophy in Dutch planning in a number of areas particularly sensitive towards changes, such as buffer zones and national landscapes, potentially in partnership with IPO and provinces.

In depth research in policy integration in one of the Randstad wings/MIRT areas as a follow up of the ESPON RISE project, compared with a similar (spatially; governance structure) metropolitan region elsewhere, potentially in cooperation with the metropolitan regions Amsterdam or Rotterdam-The Hague.


The research theme underpins domain courses within the Faculty of Technology, Policy and management’s SEPAM programme (System Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management) at the bachelor and master’s levels. Two courses are provided: the role of spatial concepts in planning and integrated regional development. The theme is also related to the Urbanism Complex Cities Studio and other parts of the MSc programme such as Analysis & Design of Urban Form and Spatial Strategies for the Global Metropolis.



This theme undertakes comparative analysis of varying forms of intervention through spatial planning and territorial management in Europe and developing regions in the world. There is an emphasis on building valid methodology for international case studies, comparison and policy transfer.

There is a continuing demand for international comparison and cases as countries and regions seek to learn from other places in a context of increasing global integration. The need for more effective intervention through spatial planning and broader territorial governance has never been greater, whether tackling fragmented metropolitan development in Europe or the needs of widespread informal settlement in developing regions.

International cases and comparisons have an important role in providing theoretical insights through the deeper examination of culture-bound concepts (such as ‘plan’) and thus the avoidance of overgeneralisations and domination of western theory. International comparisons can reveal the importance of national conditions otherwise taken for granted and to establish conceptual equivalence. Many researchers need to address the methodological and ethical questions arising from international working.

Three broad geographical areas are of particular interest: Europe, South-east Asia and Latin America. The international planning theme is closely connected to the other urbanism research themes where they involve international comparisons and case studies. The theme brings a particular specialism in comparative methodologies and the understanding of the cultural context for urban development and spatial planning, especially in developing regions.

Research in this theme concentrates on three sets of questions:

How are approaches and tools changing to deal with critical territorial challenges, particularly risks associated with climate change, the spatial dimension of the knowledge economy and the networked metropolitan region? To what degree are approaches converging?

How well do spatial planning concepts travel? To what degree are planning concepts equivalent (or universal) and to what extent are they culturally-bound locally?  How does this affect the policy transfer process and learning process, especially from west to east and south.

How can integrated territorial management be provided in more difficult contexts where there is rapid urbanisation weak governance, or urban emergencies following environmental and other disasters?

Track record

The international nature of the Urbanism research group with staff from more than 20 countries provides a strong basis for international case studies and cross-cultural comparison. The group is involved in numerous active international research collaborations in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The European dimension of the theme benefits deeply from the extensive work of Professor Andreas Faludi (Spatial policy systems) of the OTB Research Institute.

Recent projects include

RUFUS: Rural Futures: European Union 7th Framework Project led by Leibniz University comparing the interaction of sectoral policies on rural territories TU Delft led on the multidisciplinary conceptual framework.

Comparative European Spatial Planning Systems and Housing: providing comparative information on the role of spatial planning systems in the delivery of new housing in five European countries, funded by the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) of the UK Government in collaboration with Leicester De Montfort University, UK.

Innovation in area development in England: Lessons for the Netherlands: providing recommendations on the private sector led development process in England for Bouwfonds MAB in collaboration with Real Estate and Housing.

Track record

The team has a good record of publication with papers published in Disp, European Planning Studies, and Ruimte & Maatschappij. Examples include:

Fernández-Maldonado, A.M. and Bredenoord, J., (2010) Progressive housing approaches in the current Peruvian policies, Habitat International, 34(3): 342-50

Fernández-Maldonado, A. M. (2011) Trends toward Urbanization in the Americas, in H. Tarver (ed.) World History Encyclopedia, Era 8: Crisis and Achievement, 1900-1945, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA.

Nadin, V. and Stead, D. (2012) Opening the compendium: an eveluation of international comparative planning methodologies, European Planning Studies.

Nadin, V. and Stead, D. (2011) Nationale ruimtelijke ordening in het Verenigd Koninkrijk [National spatial planning in the United Kingdom], Ruimte & Maatschappij [Space and Society], Vol. 3: 49-72.

Stead, D. and Nadin, V. (2010) Planning cultures between models of society and planning systems, in Othengraften, F. and Knieling, J. Planning Cultures in Europe: Diversity and Convergence, Ashgate: 283-300.

Phd research

Recent promotion

–        Organisatorische condities voor een wendbare overheid: de case van het ruimtelijk ontwikkelingsbeleid, Roy Mierop (2011)

–        Timespace matters: exploring the gap between knowing about activity patterns of people and knowing how to design and plan urban areas and regions, Jeroen van Schaick (2011)

–        The significance of public space in a divided city: concepts for an urban design strategy in the slums of Buenos Aires, Flavio Janches (2010)

–        Globalisation and the Andean urban systems of the south of Peru: marginalisation or resistant spaces?, Amerigo Villegas (2009)

–        Urban peace-building patterns and future scenarios: the case of Jerusalem, Rami Nasrallah and Amin Amin (2009)

–        Urban sprawl and planning: confronting the challenges in a context of inequality, Cecilia Marengo (2008)

–        Structures for the displaced: service and identity in refugee settlements, James Kennedy (2008)

–        Tansformation of cities with a colonial past, Devisari Tunas (2008)

–        ICT related spatial development in Latin American cities, Fernández Maldonado (2004)


Current PhD candidates

–        A spatial quality platform for city competitiveness, Che Sheng (Jason)

–        High-tech space, the organisation of space and spatial planning: a comparative analysis, Wei-Ju Huang (Astor)

–        Deltas in transition: territorial management across planning cultures, Suwanna Rongwiriyaphanich

–        The spatialisation of civic participation: an international comparison of Western Europe and the US, Gabriela Rendon

–        A comparative analysis of approaches to resilience in coastal metropolitan regions, Peiwen Lu

–        The role of spatial planning in climate adaptation: the potential for policy transfer between Europe and Taiwan, Yutzu Lin (Keats)

–        Conditions for re-conceptualising the contemporary urban local scale, Marta Mendoca

–        Urban revolution: the correlation between metropolitan evolution and cultural revolution, Alexander Vollebregt



There are many international projects in the urbanism programme. This theme is concentrating on two projects:

Models of spatial planning – a project to update the fourfold typology of spatial planning in western Europe (CEC 1997) to embrace territorial management practices across the world and provide a basis for international comparisons.

Global Compendium/Atlas of Spatial Planning: using many international cases to explain the role of spatial planning/territorial governance in the transformation of metropolitan regions.

Future research

Our priority questions for new PhD research are

What is the comparative effect of neoliberal politics on territorial governance and what is the role for strategic planning in a context where the market plays a dominant role in the development process?

What is the meaning and role of ‘spatial planning’ in the context of extensive informal settlement and poverty?

How can comparative typologies or classifications of spatial planning and territorial management assist in evaluating the operation of planning?


Urbanism research on comparative planning and international cases provides a rich source of knowledge for masters students and particularly the graduation studios on Complex Cities and Urban Regeneration, and the metropolitan regions semester of the European Masters in Urbanism. Students from many countries contribute to the stock of cases and apply methodological lessons on comparative planning.

For our research programme, please click HERE.



The COHESIFY project funded by the Horizon2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation is investigating whether people in Europe are aware of the EU’s Regional Policy programmes or projects in their regions and in how far they identify with the EU. In particular, the project investigates how, on the one hand, (1) the ways in which the funding is used and its results communicated, and, on the other hand, (2) the characteristics of the regions where it is used (territorial, socio-economic, institutional), affect the ways in which citizens perceive the EU.

For two years, a consortium of 8 partner universities across Europe and 2 SMEs – among them a team from the TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (Urbanism and OTB) – is conducting multi-disciplinary research on the topic. In the current context of Brexit and discussions on the future of Cohesion Policy at European level, the project is very much needed to give orientation and guidance to politicians and policy-makers at the European, national and regional levels. One of the main objectives is to better understand the relationship between the levels of EU-funding received in certain regions and the level of support to the European Union achieved. For example, Wales and Cornwall in the United Kingdom, is a relatively peripheral region that lags in economic development, and thus also one of the so-called “net-beneficiary regions”, receiving more money from the European Union’s Cohesion policy funds than what it pays. Despite this, the Welsh and Cornish citizens have voted “leave” this summer. Why? Has the use of the EU funds been ineffective or perhaps have the results gone unnoticed by the wider public? With nationalism on the rise in many European countries, there is a growing concern whether the European Union is still reaching its citizens today and whether the money is well spent in this respect. Therefore, one of the fields of interest will also be to analyse the communication campaigns on EU Regional funding that were conducted in numerous regions.


TU Delft COHESIFY team: Marcin Dąbrowski, Ana Maria Fernandez Maldonado, Bardia Mashhoodi (Chair of Environmental Technology & Design), Prof. Vincent Nadin, Roberto Rocco, Marjolein Spaans (OTB), Dominic Stead, Prof. Wil Zonneveld. )






COMPASSThe first comprehensive comparative analysis: the EU Compendium of Spatial Planning Systems and Policies was published by the European Commission in 1997. Subsequent studies have to a greater or lesser degree updated the findings of the Compendium. Since then the number of EU member states has nearly doubled, the territorial dimension of EU sector policies has deepened, and there have been many, sometimes radical, reforms of systems territorial governance and spatial planning across Europe. To some extent these reforms have been stimulated and informed by EU initiatives, notably the European Spatial Development Perspective the Territorial Agenda 2020 and other EU sectoral policies, such as EU Cohesion Policy, environmental policy or the Common Agricultural Policy. Territorial governance and spatial planning systems have been changing in response to wider global trends, from the dominance of neoliberal policies, societal shifts towards individualism replacing collective action in societies; the growing awareness of climate change risks to the fallout from the financial crisis and austerity programmes unfolding since 2008. As a result of all these trends and reforms, the relationship between EU policies and territorial governance and spatial planning in the member states remains uncertain, even though there is arguably strong demand for more effective territorial governance and more place-based EU interventions in line with the specificities and needs of the different territories across the EU. In other words, there is a particular need to review the relationship between territorial governance, spatial planning and EU policies with a territorial dimension, especially EU cohesion policy. Spatial planning should help to combine actions in particular places to achieve more effective results. Is this happening in practice however? How these linkages vary across the very differentiated and changing planning contexts in Europe?

ESPON Applied Research project Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe (COMPASS), coordinated by Prof. Vincent Nadin, seeks to address those issues. It takes stock of the trends in territorial governance and spatial planning systems across Europe and explores the linkages and cross-fertilisation potential between them and EU Cohesion Policy. The COMPASS Consortium has been constructed so as to provide expertise in all relevant aspects of territorial governance and spatial planning, and ‘hands-on’ experience of spatial planning in all the countries under study. The Consortium comprises 8 partners and 17 sub-contractors.

COHESIFY TEAMCOMPASS is the first comprehensive research on European spatial planning since 1997 when 15 countries were included in the EU Compendium. It covers 39 countries – the 28 member states of the EU, the four EFTA countries and seven candidate and other countries.The project will produce:

  • A comprehensive comparative analysis of territorial governance and spatial planning systems, including all 28 EU Member States plus the four ESPON Partner States, with a possible extension to the EU candidate countries and other countries of the Western Balkans.
  • Qualitative analysis of the praxis of spatial planning and territorial governance and the relationship, in practice, between strategies and outcomes.
  • In-depth analysis of the role of EU Cohesion Policy and other macro-level EU policies in shaping territorial governance and spatial planning systems and their impacts in concrete practice – and the in uence of territorial governance and spatial planning on EU sectoral policies.
  • In-depth case studies of good practice in cross- fertilising EU Cohesion Policy and spatial planning, including a focus on cross-border/transnational case(s).
  • Pan-European maps illustrating the key findings.
  • Recommendations on the potential role of spatial planning in shaping the future of EU Cohesion Policy and on ways to generate synergies between national territorial development policies and EU Cohesion Policy, as well as other macro-level EU policies.

TU Delft COMPASS team:

Prof. Vincent Nadin, Prof. Wil Zonneveld, Assoc. Prof. Ana Maria Fernández Maldonado, Assoc. Prof. Dominic Stead, Asst. Prof. Marcin Dabrowski, Dr. Nikki Brand, Dr. Kasia Piskorek, Dr. David Evers (PBL), Ir. Xiaolan Lin, MSc.


REPAIRThe H2020 Research & Innovation Action project REPAiR (REsource Management in Peri-urban Areas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism) led by Alexander Wandl and Prof. Arjan van Timmeren of the Urbanism Department, chair of Environmental Design and Technology, shall receive 5 million Euros funding from the H2020 programme.

The project will develop and implement a tool that helps local and regional authorities reduce waste flows in peri-urban areas. As the coordinator of the project, 1.4 million of the fund will befall on TU Delft, of which 1.2 million shall be dedicated to the scientific effort at the faculty, led by the Urbanism Department.

A shift towards a more circular economy is crucial to achieve more sustainable and inclusive growth. The REPAiR project will provide a geodesign decision support environment (GDSE). This environment will assist local and regional authorities in reducing waste flows by helping them create integrated spatial development strategies that are both specific for the place at hand, transdisciplinary and eco-innovative. The GDSE will be developed and implemented in ‘living labs’ in six metropolitan areas, namely Naples, Ghent, Hamburg, Pécs, Łódź and Amsterdam.
REPAIR infogramme

The scientific team, led by Arjan van Timmeren and Alex Wandl, consists of the following members from different departments of the faculty:

Department of Urbanism

  • Prof. dr. Arjan van Timmeren (Environmental Technology & Design)
  • Dipl.-Ing.  Alexander Wandl, MSc  (Environmental Technology & Design)
  • Dr. Marcin Dąbrowski (Spatial Planning & Strategy)
  • Dr. Libera Amenta  (Environmental Technology & Design)

Department of Architectural Engineering +Technology

  • Ir. Bob Geldermans

Department of Management in the Built Environment

  • Dr. Hilde Remoy
  • Dr. Erwin Heurkens

Dr. Ni Yan will be the project manager for financial and legal management and coordination of this project.

Project partners are from academia, industry and public administration, which include: Ghent University (BE), DiARC UNINA – University of Naples Federico II (I), HafenCity Universität Hamburg (D), Institute for Regional Studies, CERS of HAS, MTA KRTK (H), Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences (PL), Joint Research Centre (I), Geo-Col GIS and Collaborative Planning (NL), Delta Development Group (NL), BIOKOM Nonprofit Ltd (H), Gertz Gutsche Rümenapp Stadtentwicklung und Mobilität GbR (D), OVAM – Public Waste Agency of Flanders (BE), Municipality of Haarlemmermeer (NL), Campania Regional Authority (I), Pheno horizon (PL), Bauer Umwelt GmbH (D), IVAGO (BE), Stadtreinigung Hamburg (D).