Jannes Willems is an assistant professor in urban planning at the University of Amsterdam. His research is motivated by a desire to explain how urban environmental planners and water managers are preparing cities and regions to cope with climate change through the creation of new water infrastructures, and their impact on communities and ecosystems. Jannes researches how and why infrastructures enable sustainability transformations, focusing on the techno-politics of infrastructure provision: a low-salience, yet highly complex policy domain with profound implications on cities and regions. He has worked in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams and conducted empirical fieldwork in Western-European cities.
Jannes teaches in the bachelor programmes Human Geography & Planning and Future Planet Studies, and the master programme Urban and Regional Planning. He is one of the editors of the Dutch professional magazine Rooilijn and the European online platform In Planning. He also co-hosts the Dutch podcast Onder Planologen.
Previously, he was affiliated with Erasmus University Rotterdam as a postdoctoral researcher (Department of Public Administration & Sociology). He was involved in the European Interreg project BEGIN and the KIMA research programme Marker Wadden. In 2019, he has started with Jitske van Popering a NWO SURF research into the platforms Amsterdam Rainproof and Water Sensitive Rotterdam. Jannes defended his dissertation in at the University of Groningen (Department of Spatial Planning & Environment) in 2018. His dissertation entailed institutional change in the Dutch waterway sector, in the light of replacing major ageing infrastructure assets.
Jannes obtained his Research Master in Regional Studies (cum laude) and his Bachelor Environmental & Infrastructure Planning at the University of Groningen. In 2015, he was a 'visiting student' at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (Environmental Policymaking & Planning group). During his master, he conducted fieldwork in Brazil as part of a research project of the Federal Universidade de Pará.
Qualitative methods: interviews, focusgroups, workshops, participatory observation
2023 Driving Urban Transitions partnership grant (€1.5M): GREEN-INC (a European consortium with 6 universities and 5 local partners)
2023 Centre for Urban Studies seed grant (€10k): "Extended urbanization in the Bolivian Amazon"
2022 Centre for Urban Studies seed grant (€5k): “Urban Food Commons”
2020 Contract research with three infrastructure providers (€110k): “Invitational Asset Management: improving participation in the renewal and renovation of infrastructure assets”
2019 NWO VerDuS SURF Pop Up grant (€50k): “The New Normal: Mainstreaming urban climate adaptation in Amsterdam and Rotterdam”