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Human Geography, Planning and International Development

Urban issues, issues of globalisation and environmental justice

Research and education focus on spatial-social relations (both within and between the North and South), on urban aspects and on the social, economic and environmental aspects of development and sustainability.

Human Geography, Planning and International Development

The discipline studies the political, economic and cultural entanglement of different parts of the world and the local impact of globalisation. The discipline also has a substantive focus on the distribution of natural resources (land, water, energy sources, food, raw materials for industrial production), environmental issues, climate change, conflicts that are related to this and how political and economic actors deal with this.


Research is organized in four research groups (which are part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research):

  1. Urban Geographies: to gain better understanding of the diverse and complex mutual relationships between the development of urban spaces and places, time-space behaviour, individual life courses and life chances. 
  2. Urban Planning: focuses on the relationships between the social, spatial, and environmental dimensions of urban processes, and on ways of purposefully and positively impacting on them.
  3. Governance and Inclusive Development: understanding how changing geo-processes influence the capabilities of actors at various administrative levels and how these actors in turn influence geo-processes. It focuses at local (urban/rural) through to global levels.
  4. Political and Economic Geographies: research into patterns and processes of globalization, with attention for the relationship between socio-economic, cultural and political processes on the one hand and spatial and environmental contexts on the other.


The University of Amsterdam offers various bachelors and masters in Geography, Planning and International Development Studies. The UvA also organizes a number of open and summer programmes in this discipline.



Research Master

Summer programmes

Short and intensive English summer and winter programmes on specific themes are offered to which the discipline also contributes. For example around themes such as Sexuality, Addiction and The Everyday City.


Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam
Phone: +31 20 525 4062 / 4063

Dr. J. (Jochem) de Vries

Department chair

Roeterseilandcampus - building B/C/D (entrance B/C)

Room Location

Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
1018 WV Amsterdam

Scientific staff