Dr. Evert Meijers
I study urban and regional development from a multidisciplinary perspective, combining insights from economic and urban geography, urban planning, environmental studies, regional science, cultural geography and policy sciences. I strongly believe that this multidisciplinarity is key to innovation and essential to fully understand the evolution of cities and regions, their spatial layout and spatial structure, as well as how these cities relate to each other. Moreover, I consider it essential to establish a link between the way we spatially organise our cities and territory and their performance in terms of economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social well-being. Much of my research aims to provide empirical findings addressing this link and to translate these findings into empirically underpinned development strategies and spatial designs with a focus on promoting more competitive and attractive urban regions. Next to generating knowledge, I am also committed to its dissemination in order to make cities and regions better places to live and work. In doing so, I actively seek co-operation with communities, governments, and industry, and of course, with other scholars. I was granted close to 2 million research funding, including the prestigious VENI and VIDI grants for innovative research by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), as well as receiving funding from ESPON, Platform31, Interreg, the European Commission (FP7), Dutch national, provincial and local governments, the Flemish government, as well as private companies in the Netherlands and abroad.
I am an associate professor in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, where I lead the ‘Urban Systems and Dynamics’ research group, which is part of the broader Urban and Regional Studies research programme. Urban Systems & Dynamics’s key focus is on how relationships and flows between cities develop, and how these affect the fate and fortune of cities, their inhabitants and the firms they host. This knowledge base on spatial structure, dynamics and performance is translated into (metropolitan) planning strategies. I also co-lead the research on ‘Metropolitan Spatial Structure’ in the Urbanism department. Next to research, I am coordinating two master courses, one is a new elective ‘Urban Geography’ in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, the other is ‘Metropolitan challenges’, the starter course of a new master ‘Metropolitan Analysis, Design and Engineering’ at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, a co-operation between Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University and MIT.
My own educational background is in policy sciences and urban planning. I have a bachelor in policy sciences (‘beleidswetenschapen’ in Dutch) and hold a master in Urban and Regional Planning, both obtained from the Radboud University Nijmegen. I successfully completed a postgraduate research training in Housing, Urban and Transportation Studies at Delft University of Technology in 2002. In 2007, I finished my PhD in Urban and Regional Development at Delft University of Technology, with a dissertation on ‘Synergy in Polycentric Urban Regions; complementarity, organising capacity and critical mass’ (available here).
I started my research career at Radboud University Nijmegen, moving afterwards to Delft University of Technology. I was a visiting scholar at Orkestra, the Basque Institute of Competitiveness (San Sebastian, Spain; 2008) and at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY, USA; 2010), and lectured geography at the University College Roosevelt (part of Utrecht University; 2013). I also was involved as a programme manager with the European Metropolitan network Institute in The Hague (2011-2012). I currently act as director of the UK-based Urban Studies Foundation, a charity that aims to advance postgraduate education and research in the field of urban studies and promotes and supports institutions engaged in these activities.