While simple curiosity often drives most of my research, it frequently is rooted in urgent societal issues. Making cities and regions better places to live and work is a central aim, and many of my findings translate into empirically underpinned development strategies and spatial designs with a focus on promoting more competitive and attractive urban regions. Such impact is obtained for instance through writing brief articles for professional magazines targeted at a non-academic audience, through giving public talks, through participation in panels, workshops etc. Some of the more substantial activities are listed here.
As member of the 'Karakus committee', named after its chairman Hamit Karakus, I advice the Province of Noord-Brabant with respect to the future urban development strategy in this province.
Director Urban Studies Foundation
Since 2016 I am one of the directors ('Trustee') of the Urban Studies Foundation (USF). The USF was established in 2008 as a charitable company. It's main objectives are to advance academic research and education in the field of urban studies, and to promote knowledge transfer, exchange and mobilisation in the field of urban studies. Using monies gifted from the Urban Studies journal, the USF funds a variety of urban research, exchange and dissemination projects, including:
- PhD Studentships
- Post-doctoral Research Fellowships
- International Fellowships
- Seminar Series Competition
Book on how to plan Energy Efficient Cities
This book, co-edited by me, was published in 2016 and resulted from the PLEEC ('Planning for Energy Efficient Cities') -project. Based on the experiences of 6 European cities, a more general model on energy efficiency and sustainable urban planning was developed, allowing to address energy efficiency issues in a strategic and holistic way. The book, titled 'Green thoughts, green futures' is available here.
Book on the competitiveness of Dutch cities (in Dutch)
Based on the 'knowledge for strong cities' project best known by its acronym 'NAPOLEON', funded by Platform31, NWO and the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Eindhoven, we synthesised our findings in this Dutch-language book for professionals. It addresses the question how the relatively small Dutch cities can remain competitive now that theories on regional development stress the importance of the agglomeration benefits provided by large metropolises for urban growth. I am one of the co-authors, next to Frank van Oort, Mark Thissen, Martijn Burger and Marloes Hoogerbrugge. It was published in 2015 and is available here.