Jan Nijman is a Professor of Urban Studies and the founding Director of the Centre. He spent more than two decades of his professional career in the United States and has over 15 years of research experience in India. His expertise is in urban theory and comparative urbanism with special interests in Amsterdam, Miami, and Mumbai.
The author of five books and more than a hundred other scholarly publications, his current research projects focus on suburbanization and metropolitan transformations in North America; the historical origins and future prospects of Amsterdam’s 400-year old designed Canal District; and the place and role of slums in modern Indian cities.
Nijman’s research has been funded by various grants from the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He was a recipient of the Nystrom Award for best doctoral dissertation in Geography in the United States (1991) and the J.B. Jackson book award from the Association of American Geographers (2011). He is a former Guggenheim Fellow (2003).
At the University of Amsterdam, he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Cities in Time & Space and Social Challenges of the City and contributes to various other courses including Advanced Urban Studies, Introduction to Human Geography, Home and Housing in International Perspective and the India Lecture Series.
Nijman was a member of the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society from 2001 to 2011 and presently he is the Chair of the Society’s Global Exploration Fund in Europe.
Jan Nijman is part of a team of 50 researchers and 18 partner organizations, involved in this seven-year research project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Major Collaborative Research Initiative program. Housed at the City Institute at York University (CITY) , this is the first major research project to take stock of suburban developments around the world and attempt to alter the dialogue around suburban life.
This research project aims to analyze recent forms of urbanization and emerging forms of (sub)urbanism as well as the dilemmas of aging suburbanity. It broadly focuses on the governance of suburbanization, that is, efforts to guide and regulate its development. It involves state, market and civil society actors and implies democratic deliberation and social conflict. Examination of Canadian suburbanization and suburbanism will serve as a basis and comparative "control" case to understand suburbanization in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.
J. Nijman (2014). “India’s urban future: Views from the slum.” American Behavioral Scientist (in press).
J. Nijman & T. Clery (2014). “Rethinking suburbia: A case study of metropolitan Miami.” Environment & Planning A (in press).
J. Nijman & M. Shin (2014). “Megacities” In: Paul Knox (ed.) Atlas of Cities. Mapping the Origins, Development, and Impacts of Urbanization. Princeton University Press (in press).
J. Nijman & T. Clery (2014). “The United States: Suburban imaginaries and metropolitan realities.” In: P. Hamel & R. Keil (eds.), Suburban Governance: A Global View. University of Toronto Press, (in press).
J. Nijman (2013). “The American suburb as utopian constellation.” In: Roger Keil (ed.), Suburban Constellations. Jovis Publishers, Berlin, pp. 159-167.
J. Nijman (2013). “India in the urban revolution.” The Indian Anthropologist 42/2: 1-17.
J. Nijman (2013). “Cities – Mumbai.” In: China, India, and East and Southeast Asia: Assessing Sustainability. Berkshire Encyclopedia of Sustainability.
J. Nijman (2012). “India’s urban challenge.” Eurasian Geography and Economics 53/1: 7-20.
J. Nijman (2012). “Mumbai as a global city. A theoretical essay.” In: B. Derudder, M. Hoyler, P.J. Taylor & F. Witlox (eds.), International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities. Edward Elgar.
J. Nijman (2012). “A study of space in Mumbai’s slums.” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 101: 4-17.
J. Nijman, (2011). Miami: Mistress of the Americas. University of Pennsylvania Press. Winner of the J.B. Jackson Book Prize of the Association of American Geographers, 2012.
J. Nijman (2008). “Against the odds: Slum rehabilitation in neoliberal Mumbai.” Cities 25: 75-87.
J. Nijman (2007). “Comparative Urbanism.” Urban Geography vol. 28: 1-6.
J. Nijman (2007). “Place-particularity and deep analogies: A comparative historical essay about Miami’s emergence as a world city.” Urban Geography vol. 28 (2007): 92-107.
J. Nijman (2007). “Locals, exiles, and cosmopolitans. A theoretical argument about identity and place in Miami.” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie vol. 98: 167-178.
J. Nijman (2006). “Mumbai’s mysterious middle class.” International Journal for Urban and Regional Research vol. 30: 758-775.
R. Grant & J. Nijman (2006). “The rescaling of uneven development in Ghana and India.” In: W. Moseley, D. Lanegran & K. Pandit (eds.), The Introductory Reader in Human Geography. London: Blackwell, 2006. Pp. 297-308. [Reprinted from TESG 2004].
R. Grant & J. Nijman (2006). “Globalization and the corporate geography of cities in the less-developed world.” In: N. Brenner & R. Keil (eds.), The Global Cities Reader. New York: Routledge, pp. 224-237. [Reprinted from The Annals of the AAG 2002].
J. Nijman (2005). “Cultural globalization and the identity of place: The reconstruction of Amsterdam.” In: N. Fyfe & J.T. Kenny (eds.), The Urban Geography Reader. New York: Routledge, pp. 93-102. [Reprinted from Ecumene 1999].