Evert Meijers

Welcome to my website!

I am an associate professor in urban studies/geography/urban planning at TU Delft. Here I present my research activities, next to more information about myself and how to reach me. You can also glance through my publications.

Feel free to have a look and please don't hesitate to contact me if you share the same research interests, or think my research is of added value to your organisation. I am happy to discuss research cooperation. 

Latest news

Posted by Evert on November 27, 2017

New article in Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie!

It took some time, but my article in Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie has finally been published online. It is co-authored by Marloes Hoogerbrugge (Erasmus University Rotterdam, but at TU Delft previously) and Rodrigo Cardoso (TU Delft). The title is Beyond Polycentricity: Does stronger integration between cities in Polycentric Urban Regions improve performance? and I am glad to say that it is open access! I think the paper really innovates, by identifying all PURs in Europe and by presenting the first cross-sectional quantitative analysis of PURs in Europe. We are able to statistically demonstrate the importance of functional integration and institutional cooperation between cities. If you like to continue doing research on PURs in Europe, then I am happy to share the dataset, just send me an email in that case.

Here’s the abstract:

A quarter of the European population lives in ‘polycentric urban regions’ (PURs): clusters of historically and administratively distinct but proximate and well-connected cities of relatively similar size. This paper explores whether tighter integration can increase agglomeration benefits at the PUR-level. We provide the first comprehensive list of European PURs (117 in total), establish their level of functional, institutional and cultural integration and measure whether this affects their performance. ‘Performance’ is defined as the extent to which urbanisation economies have developed, proxied by the presence of metropolitan functions. In this first-ever cross-sectional analysis of PURs we find that while there is evidence for all dimensions of integration having a positive effect, particularly functional integration has great significance. Regarding institutional integration, it appears that having some form of metropolitan co-operation is more important than its exact shape. Theoretically, our results substantiate the assumption that networks may substitute for proximity.

Posted by Evert on October 25, 2017

New article published in Planning Theory & Practice

New journal article out! Together with my colleague Dr. Rodrigo Cardoso I published an article in Planning Theory & Practice. The title is “Secondary Yet Metropolitan? The Challenges of Metropolitan Integration for Second-Tier Cities”. It is open access and can be found by clicking here.


This paper discusses whether the areas where metropolitan integration can be beneficial for cities in general corresponds to the typical areas of disadvantage of many second-tier cities in Europe, and explores the implications of that convergence. Metropolitan integration entails functional, institutional and symbolic dimensions, whose potential advantages include exploiting the agglomeration benefits emerging from the metropolitan scale, efficiently deploying shared metropolitan resources, and acquiring political-institutional influence over higher-level policymaking. Research shows that many European second-tier cities face persistent disadvantages in comparison to first-tier cities in these areas, and this article contributes to the discussion of new strategies of second-tier city development by exploring the potential effect of metropolitan integration in overcoming these setbacks. We empirically assess the gains in demographic and functional mass experienced by second-tier cities by aggregating the metropolitan scale, and draw from various examples to illustrate their interest in increasing institutional and political capacity. Metropolitan region formation seems indeed a promising strategy for many second-tier cities, especially those embedded in large and dense urban territories, and located in countries with a dominant first-tier city. To mobilise this potential, the paper further discusses the planning and governance strategies that can best manage the opportunities and hurdles of a metropolitan integration process.

Posted by Evert on October 18, 2017

Milestone: 1000 citations for smart cities report

Wow! A publication reaching 1000 citations is absolutely exceptional, but the report  and derived congress paper I co-authored with Rudolf Giffinger, Christian Fertner, Hans Kramar (all at TU Vienna) and Nataša Pichler-Milanović (University of Ljubljana) back in 2007 managed to do just that. Reason: it was one of the very first documents conceptually discussing and measuring the concept of ‘smart cities’ that became hugely popular in the scientific and policy domain in the last decade. Great to see that it inspired the work of so many others after us!

The website we launched in 2007 is still online and updated by the TU Vienna team: http://www.smart-cities.eu/

My google scholar profile with citations can be found here.

Smart city model




Posted by Evert on October 12, 2017

Speaker at European Week of Cities and Regions

Yesterday, upon invitation by the European Committee of the Regions, I presented my views on the ‘Metropolitan phenomenon of the 21st Century’ during a workshop in Brussels, as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels. This workshop focused on the theme of ‘Towards the 2030 Agenda: a territorial foresight approach’ and together with other panelists, we tried to sketch the challenges for European cities and regions in the coming decades. In my talk, I stressed that a further concentration of urbanisation in a handful of large metropolises is an unlikely future, and that the European metropolis of the future will be a ‘networked metropolis’ because agglomeration economies are increasingly substituted/complemented by network externalities.

European week of cities and regions 2017


Posted by Evert on September 11, 2017

New course ‘Metropolitan Challenges’ in Amsterdam

After a long period of preparation, we finally got green light to start the new master ‘Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering’ at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS institute). This institute is a collaboration between TU Delft, Wageningen University and MIT. Together with Dr. Bas van Vliet (Wageningen University), I am coordinating the starter course of this master:’Metropolitan Challenges’.

Profile of the course ‘Metropolitan Challenges’

In this course on metropolitan challenges, students are introduced to various typologies of metropoles throughout the world, with the city of Amsterdam as a real life example. The course covers all aspects of what makes a metropolis. It integrates technical systems and networks, from the point of view that each system is open, and influences the other. It gives an historical-critical overview, with reasons for the existence and emergence of cities, and the technological challenges they face today. The emergence of the metropolitan landscape forces us to rethink, redesign and plan the environments we live and work in. The metropolis is approached as a web of interrelated socio-technical systems in which professionals are challenged to integrate knowledge and analytical, design and engineering skills. The course presents a range of conceptual views on technologies and practices in the cycles and spheres of urban mobility, water, healthcare and well-being, food, waste, and energy. All of these processes are intertwined in chains and cycles: the metropolitan metabolism. We have come to understand most of the individual chains or cycles but we do not yet fully understand their interconnectedness, nor are we able to optimise these connections to ours and the planet’s benefit. By understanding cities  and urbanisation, and by putting together domain-specific knowledge on contemporary and future challenges in metropolitan areas, this course provides the basis for understanding the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary dimensions of metropolitan challenges.

AMS Amsterdam Students discussing Metropolitan Challenges

AMS is located in the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam (KIT), Mauritskade 62, Amsterdam.

For more info, see http://www.ams-institute.org/