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Dr. M. (Mendel) Giezen

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Urban Planning
Fotograaf: Mendel Giezen

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Kamernummer: B4.15
  • Postbus 15629
    1001 NC Amsterdam
  • Profiel

    Mendel Giezen is universitair docent in duurzame stedelijke ontwikkeling en infrastructuur. Zijn onderzoek- en onderwijsfocus is op klimaatbestendige steden, stedelijke CO2 mitigatie en de integratie van nieuwe technologieën in stedelijke planning.

    Recente projecten

    Momenteel begeleidt Mendel Giezen twee promovendi:

    • Didi van Doren over het opschalen van stedelijke CO2 mitigatieprojecten - Afgerond 2018
    • Jetske Vaas over invasieve plantensoorten op de Nederlandse Cariben

    Zie het tabblad 'Research projects' voor meer informatie over recente projecten.

    Zie het tabblad 'Publicatielijst' voor een volledig overzicht van publicaties.

  • Research projects

    C.U.RES: Circular Urban Responsibilities 

    The rising concerns with environmental quality, over consumption of resources and excess of urban waste are putting stress on the institutionalized forms of governance in cities. Discourses on circular economic development are increasingly mobilizing metaphors for new institutional and political set ups of urban development processes. Citizens are becoming prosumers of their own waste and resources. Industrial corporations are being increasingly (de)responsibilized for their environmental impact. Local governments are playing double roles of enabler of new economies as well as regulators of urban investments against the environmental degradation of the city-regional ecosystem. National governments are increasinly relocating responsibilities to lower tiers in order to, arguably, promote more responsible economic systems. It is within this highly changing and dynamic political context that our research investigates the changing social, political and environmental responsibilities of urban stakeholders. It does so by analyzing the emerging mismatch between formal regulatory frameworks and the self-perceived roles of actors in the development process. The project team at the University of Amsterdam is made of Federico Savini, Mendel Giezen and Ena Zametica.

    SURFING: Shifting Urban Food Systems in Global Perspective

    In the transition to a Circular City, i.e. a city that focusses on limiting its use of resources through the 4Rs of Reduce, Re-use, Repair and Recycle, there is a change in the institutional configuration and practices surrounding waste. In order to develop a successful circular approach to waste, organic and non-organic streams have to be separated. This requires a changing pattern of interaction between a multitude of actors.  This reorganisation of the Food and Wastescape  leads to a shift in governance that moves from a centralised planning approach to a decentralised one where there is a co-management trajectory between private, public civil society and academic actors  (Mikkelsen, 2013; Moore, 2013) . This research looks at these shifting food/waste scapes in Amsterdam (Netherlands)- Santiago (Chile) -and Kampala (Uganda) to get an understanding of the institutional dynamics that goes beyond a North-South divide and to generate lessons that are generalisable with contextual understanding. This research takes an institutional work approach (Bergsma et al., Lawrence  et al., 2013) in combination with Social Practice Theory (Shove et al., 2012)  to analyse the changing interaction between actors, institutions and practices. Data gathering will consist of narrative interviews, participatory observation, and desk research on policy and discourses. 

    Sense-Up: Spatial and Ecological Remote Sensing for Environmental Urban Planning

    Within the Dutch planning research and practice, the usage of remote sensing data has been very limited. The usage of spectral imagery has been the domain of the natural sciences and physical geography which often focusses on the possibilities of the software for modelling or determining climatic and land use change. However, it is rarely ever combined with a thorough understanding of environmental planning policies and interventions. In responding to climate change, cities often operate under the assumption that green measures will have an impact on the urban climate. Testing of this assumption is often limited to small scale measurements or modelling. However, for instance Amsterdam invests 20 millions a year in climate adaptive interventions and it would be of great value if the actual policy impact on the whole city could be measured and that a relation is found between policy and environmental impacts. Yet, the open data renaissance of remote sensing data offers possibilities to measure impact on a urban or regional level. It might actually also give insight into what spatial development patters offer the greatest cooling potential. This research projects wants combines knowledge of urban climatic planning interventions with spectral and thermal remote sensing data to analyse the impact of planning interventions. This project will start with a proof of concept by applying the method to the city of Amsterdam. 


    PhD Projects

    Didi van Doren on Upscaling Low Carbon Urban Initiatives (Funded by Climate KIC)

    In pursuance of mitigating climate change and the transition to low carbon cities, innovative sustainable low carbon initiatives are implemented in many European cities that aim to fulfill societal and development demands, with no or limited GHG emissions. While different strategies can contribute to the mitigation climate change (energy conservation, renewable energy, enhanced natural sinks, nuclear energy, fossil carbon management), this research will focus on mitigating climate change through energy conservation in the building sector at the urban scale, one of the key sectors contributing to GHG emissions in cities. In order to achieve local, national and international objectives pertaining to energy conservation, initiatives need to ‘go to scale’ and become accepted common practice. The central research problem of this four-year PhD research project is on how the scaling-up of low carbon urban initiatives can be promoted.

    Jetske Vaas on Invasive Plant Species in the Dutch Caribean (Funded by NWO)

    Successful establishment of exotic plant species on the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba) has profound negative and positive ecological and social  consequences. Through a Social Ecological Systems approach  the knowledge will be generated that is needed to assess the feasibility, as well as ecological and socio-economic costs and benefits of future nature conservation and management scenarios. Inference of invasive species’ spread from single image in time will be linked to potential responses of stakeholders and governance institutes to hypothetical management scenarios. Integration of the two sub-projects will lead to the development of a Decision Support System that enables optimisation of social and ecological benefits through appropriate management of invasive plants.

  • Publicaties



    • Giezen, M., & Pellerey, V. (2021). Renaturing the city: Factors contributing to upscaling green schoolyards in Amsterdam and The Hague. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 63, [127190]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127190
    • Vaas, J., Driessen, P. P. J., Giezen, M., van Laerhoven, F., & Wassen, M. J. (2021). Moving from Latent to Manifest Problem: Trajectories Across Scientific and Public Salience of Invasive Alien Species. Environmental Management, 67(5), 901-919. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-020-01404-3





    • Vaas, J., Driessen, P. P. J., Giezen, M., Van Laerhoven, F., & Wassen, M. J. (2017). Who's in charge here anyway? Polycentric governance configurations and the development of policy on invasive alien species in the semisovereign Caribbean. Ecology and Society, 22(4), [1]. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-09487-220401 [details]



    • Giezen, M., Bertolini, L., & Salet, W. (2015). Adaptive capacity within a mega project: a case study on planning and decision-making in the face of complexity. European Planning Studies, 23(5), 999-1018. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2014.916254 [details]
    • Giezen, M., Salet, W., & Bertolini, L. (2015). Adding value to the decision-making process of mega projects: Fostering strategic ambiguity, redundancy, and resilience. Transport Policy, 44, 169-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.08.006 [details]
    • Salet, W., Bertolini, L., & Giezen, M. (2015). Complexity and uncertainty: problem or asset in decision-making of mega infrastructure projects? In G. Grabher, & J. Thiel (Eds.), Self-induced shocks: mega-projects and urban development (pp. 155-176). (Perspectives in metropolitan research; No. 1). Jovis. [details]



    • Giezen, M. (2013). Adaptive and strategic capacity: navigating megaprojects through uncertainty and complexity. Environment & Planning B : Planning & Design, 40(4), 723-741. https://doi.org/10.1068/b38184
    • Priemus, H., Bosch-Rekveldt, M., & Giezen, M. (2013). Dealing with the complexity, uncertainties and risk of mega-projects: redundancy, resilience and adaptivity. In H. Priemus, & B. van Wee (Eds.), International Handbook of Mega-Projects (pp. 83-110). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781781002308.00011 [details]
    • Salet, W., Bertolini, L., & Giezen, M. (2013). Complexity and uncertainty: problem or asset in decision making of mega infrastructure projects? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(6), 1984-2000. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01133.x [details]



    • van Gent, W. P. C., Ntarladima, A. M., van Vulpen, B., Hochstenbach, C., Giezen, M., Boterman, W. R., Pinkster, F. M., Harris, V., & Stenvers, D. J. (2023). Gezond wonen in de regio Amsterdam: Woningmarkt, omgevingskwaliteit, gezondheid, en ongelijkheid in de metropoolregio.


    • Giezen, M., Brouwer, S., & van Vliet, B. (2017). De impact van duurzame decentrale infrastructuren: Een analyse van contextuele veranderingen in de water en energiesector. Kennisactieprogramma Water. [details]
    • Giezen, M., Brouwer, S., Roest, K., & van Vliet, B. (2017). De Energiesector als Lichtend of Verblindend Voorbeeld? H2O, 1-5. [details]


    • Nabber, I., de Geus, T., Segrave, A., Brouwer, S., Hessels, L., Hordijk, M., ... van der Grijp, N. (2016). Programma-aanpak voor Vernieuwing in Watergovernance. [details]


    • Giezen, M., & Roemers, G. (2015). Metabolism in Context: The Metabolic Planner: Reflection on urban planning from the perspective of urban metabolism. In F. Savini, S. Verschuuren, W. Salet, & K. Raats (Eds.), Master studio urban planning 2014-2015: urban metabolism (pp. 14-27). Amsterdam: Department of Human Geography, Urban Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam. [details]
    • Giezen, M., Bertolini, L., & Salet, W. (2015). De paradox van open en gesloten besluitvorming: onzekerheid, complexiteit en grote projecten. In W. Salet, R. Vermeulen, & R. van der Wouden (Eds.), Toevoegen van ruimtelijke kwaliteit: ruimtelijke kennis voor het Jaar van de Ruimte (pp. 180-190). Den Haag: Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu. [details]



    • Giezen, M., Bertolini, L., & Salet, W. G. M. (2010). Country Synthesis Report: The Netherlands. London: OMEGA CoE on Transport.


    • Giezen, M. (2009). Met volle vaart vooruit: de besluitvorming rond de HSL-Zuid. In W. Salet, & L. Janssen-Jansen (Eds.), Synergie in stedelijke netwerken: tussen competitie en complementariteit (pp. 213-219). Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers. [details]


    • Giezen, M. (2008). Drie hoofdsteden en hun zustersteden. Agora, 24(1), 37-39. [details]
    • Giezen, M. (2008). Organizing infrastructure: building infrastructure projects in the Netherlands. Territorio, 46(10), 21-31. [details]

    Prijs / subsidie

    • van de Kamp, L., Hordijk, M. A., Grin, J. & Giezen, M. (2017). CUS Seed Grant XL: Co-creatietraject ‘Kennisdeling in Living Lab Buiksloterham’.
    • Giezen, M., Bertolini, L. & Salet, W. G. M. (2016). Joint paper nominated by European Planning Studies as best paper of the journal in 2015 and selected by AESOP Academic papers award 2016 (Rio).



    • Salet, W. G. M. (invited speaker), Giezen, M. (invited speaker), Bertolini, L. (invited speaker) & Dinitriou, H. (invited speaker) (2014). kick-off seminar on Decision-Making in Mega-Infrastructure Projects, The Year of Spatial Planning 2015, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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