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 February 7, 2018

Tolweg of tol weg? Scenariostudie Westerscheldetunnel

Gisteren heb ik een scenariostudie gepresenteerd aan de gemeenteraad van Terneuzen waarin verkend wordt wat de ruimtelijke, economische, demografische en maatschappelijke gevolgen zouden zijn van a. het continueren van de tolheffing voor de Westerscheldetunnel en b. het afschaffen daarvan. Het toont dat de tol een rem zet op de ontwikkeling van wat toch al een krimpregio dreigt te worden en dat de tolheffing in de Zeeuwse context niet te rechtvaardigen is. Het rapport kan hier worden gedownload: Rapport TOLWEG of TOL WEG – TUDelft ZB


In English:

Yesterday, I presented a study into the spatial, economic and societal effects of removing the toll that is levied for using the Westerscheldetunnel to the municipal council of the city of Terneuzen. The study shows that the toll has a negative effect on the development of the Zeeland region, and that the toll is unjust.

Posted by Evert on December 20, 2017

Keynotes in Florence

Of course, any excuse to visit the beautiful city of Florence is always welcome, but last week I even had two. First I gave a talk Wednesday at the IRPET institute (Regional Institute for Economic Planning of Tuscany), which is located in the beautiful Villa La Quiete (see picture below). My talk was about ‘Small and medium-sized cities in the age of the ‘urban triumph’. I had the honour of having Prof. Roberto Camagni as discussant. Roberto Camagni’s work has been a true source of inspiration in my research for a long time.

On Thursday and Friday, I joined the conference ‘New Sciences and Actions for Complex Cities: Social and institutional innovation in self-organising systems‘. This conference was organised by several institutes, with Dr. Camilla Perrone taking a leading role. The conference brought together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines – economic geography; planning; big data science; complexity theories; etc. – providing for a very fruitful exchange of knowledge. I was invited to discuss the lessons learnt these days in the final wrap-up round table. Also this conference was organised in a magnificent place: the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Needless to say that the evenings were well spent in great company!

Villa La Quieta where IRPET is located
The conference room in the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Wow!
Friday evening dinner company: Chiara, Chiara and David
Unfortunately no time to visit the interior of the Duomo…




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