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The housing shortage, the transition to sustainable energy, but also the pleasant coexistence of different groups in a small area: in the coming years, cities and regions will have to deal with a considerable list of spatial challenges. All these issues combined with a complex administrative setting at the local level mean local urban planning professionals will have some complicated challenges ahead of them in practice. That is why Dr Stan Majoor, lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) wants to achieve a better connection between theory and practice. On 1 April, he was appointed professor by special appointment of Local Planning Professionals. The special chair is a collaboration between the UvA and AUAS.
Fotograaf: Kirsten van Santen

Local urban planning professionals are faced with the task of resolving issues around planning and mobility. Majoor: 'These professionals in municipalities, housing associations or grid operators are the focus of my chair. We can analyse various spatial and social challenges of our time at an abstract level, but they ultimately only become concrete at the local level.'

Complicated puzzles

One example in which Majoor clearly sees this happening is the energy transition. 'This is going to have a spatial impact in every neighbourhood, district and building block. That's where residents and business owners will really take notice. In that environment, local professionals are on the front line and face complex puzzles: in participation with residents, in their own organisations and in cooperation between parties.'

Working with professionals to find solutions

'We find that professionals at the local level encounter many problems, so I want to use this chair to work with them to find solutions. It is great to do this with the combined strength and specific expertise of a research university and a university of applied sciences. The UvA trains future urban planning professionals, so this is a great opportunity to also give them early exposure to these challenges at the local level, as well as possible ways to deal with them.'

Fotograaf: Kirsten van Santen