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Dr. M. (Mendel) Giezen

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

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Kamernummer: C4.09
  • Postbus 15629
    1001 NC Amsterdam
  • Profiel

    Mendel Giezen (PhD Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), MSc Urban Studies, UvA/University College London, MSc Political Science, UvA) is universitair hoofddocent Environmental Planning and Governance aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij is mededirecteur van het Centre for Sustainable Development Studies Programme, en PI op het bijbehorende Research Priority Area. Hij is ook directeur van de BSc en MSc programma's in Human Geography and Planning, en coördinator van de minor Rethinking Sustainable Societies. Hij was visiting professor aan de Chinese Universiteit in Hong Kong en de Universidad Catolica in Chili. Hij is nationaal en internationaal aanwezig op het gebied van duurzaamheid en stedelijke studies, wat blijkt uit vele academische publicaties en optredens in de media. Zijn expertise op het gebied van de opschaling van koolstofarme stedelijke initiatieven en circulaire infrastructuren is hier van bijzonder belang.

    Gefinancierde projecten: Hij heeft en neemt deel aan verschillende nationale onderzoeksprojecten over de onderwerpen Upscaling low carbon urban initiatives (2016-2020), Climate KIC; NEWCOMERS project on energy communities (2018-2022) H2020, en JUSTPREPARE: supporting the energy transition in low-income communities (2022-2026) NWO.  Andere gefinancierde projecten zijn The relationship between Housing, Environment and Health Inequality (2022-2023) Inequality Center Amsterdam; Collective Ownership in Community Land Trusts (2022-2023) Universiteit van Amsterdam; NEW GOV on new governance arrangements for decentralised infrastructures (2018-2020) AGV; Exotic plant species in the Dutch Caribbean (2017-2021) NWO. 

    Projecten die binnenkort van start gaan zijn onder andere: PREFIGURE (Horizon Europe 2024-2027) over de huisvesting/energie nexus en armoede, CONFLICTED_STREETS (JPI-DUT 2024-2027) over conflicten in de 15m stad en GREEN-INC (JPI-DUT 2024-2027) over sociaal inclusieve klimaatadaptatie.

  • Research projects


    European societies are confronted with an interlinked housing and energy crisis that is challenging social cohesion. As access to affordable housing becomes limited, inflation and accelerating energy prices pinpoint that energy poverty and housing inequalities mutually reinforce. Within this context, the deep renovation of the existing housing stock is promoted as key policy action. However, despite policy efforts from the EU to the local state, there are growing concerns that the transformation of housing markets may further aggravate the existing housing inequalities and energy poverty. To offer more equitable pathways to the green transition, PREFIGURE puts the spotlight on existing and emerging individual and collective efforts of policy, market, and social innovation. The project aims at identifying, tracing, analysing and networking emerging and active ‘prototypes of change’ with regard to the housing-energy efficiency/energy poverty nexus. Research objectives are to: (i) offer understanding of how practices of innovation contribute to affordable housing renovation schemes that disrupt existing housing inequalities and energy poverty; (ii) identify how housing policies trigger sustainable housing and energy transitions, how financial incentives for energy-efficient buildings are accessed by different types of owners and tenants, and how different user groups perceive sustainable housing and energy transitions, with a particular focus on income and wealth polarisation consequences on vulnerable groups; and (iii) mobilise knowledge about innovative practices for sustainable housing and energy transitions and co-create evidence-based policy solutions. Method innovation relies on fusing transformative qualitative and quantitative with technological and real-laboratory research to co-create and up-scale knowledge and practices that signal the green transition.


    DUT: Green INC (Jannes Willems, Mendel Giezen, Maria Kaika)  (Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), University of Bucharest (CCMESI), Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), Informart Association  Les Etats Généraux de l’eau à Bruxelles (EGEB), Waternet Amsterdam, City of Turin, Skellefteå kommun)

    Nature-based Solutions (NbS) are hailed for their multiple benefits, but they often reinforce or amplify urban inequalities and injustices in cities. To better account for NbS dilemmas and trade-offs, both theory and practice have embraced Inclusive Climate Actions (ICAs) that tackle climate change and social equity simultaneously. A systematic evaluation of ICAs in European cities, however, has not yet been executed. The GREEN-INC project will assess the performance of ICAs in five European cities (Amsterdam, Bucharest, Brussels, Skellefteå, and Turin) that face different climate change impacts and are rooted in different urban planning systems. Through a systematic evaluation we identify the institutional conditions and design principles under which ICAs help the uptake of NbS in different European contexts. Our research strategy consists of a comparative case study approach integrating four academic disciplines that each provide valuable perspectives on the effectiveness and equitability of ICAs. The design principles derived from these interdisciplinary assessments will be validated in five living labs with local partners in the five cities. Altogether, GREEN-INC will help European cities to implement ICAs and achieve NbS that incorporate fairness in its delivery and design, and distribute impacts as equitably as possible from neighbourhood to urban level.

    DUT: Conflicted Streets (Mendel Giezen) (Lund University, Molde University College, Krakow technical university, VISION5 OG)

    While of critical importance to facilitate a transition to climate neutral cities, the 15mC concept is vague and complex. To realize the potential of the 15mC concept to bring about change, there are many potential conflicts between stakeholders representing different interests and perspectives. Essentially, the 15mC concept highlight conflicts between spaces of mobility (enabling local and regional mobility, but also including space currently used for parked vehicles), and spaces of place (emphasising urban qualities that make people want to live in such places). Therefore, conflict over the use of space is a key issue that has to be addressed in planning for the 15mC. In many cases, such conflicts cannot be solved in consensus oriented approaches to planning and decision making. A key goal for this project is to learn and build knowledge on planning practices and processes acknowledging the political and contested nature of such processes of change. This proposal is an important step in building knowledge about what generates conflicts in plans for the 15mC, and developing guidance on how to deal with such conflicts.

    PhD Projects

    Daniel Petrocivs

    is working on his PhD project on the upscaling of energy communities. The aim is to find out how energy communities develop and grow in size and number. Energy communities are widely considered as a promising avenue for accelerating the transition towards renewable energy systems.


    Finished 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




    • Balikçi, S., Giezen, M., & Arundel, R. I. M. (2021). The paradox of planning the compact and green city: analyzing land-use change in Amsterdam and Brussels. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.
    • 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, Article 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), Article 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. Advance online publication. 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). 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. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01133.x [details]


    • Giezen, M. (2012). Keeping it simple? A case study into the advantages and disadvantages of reducing complexity in mega project planning. International Journal of Project Management, 30(7), 781-790. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijproman.2012.01.010 [details]


    • van Gent, W., Ntarladima, A-M., van Vulpen, B., Hochstenbach, C., Giezen, M., Boterman, W., Pinkster, F., Harris, V., & Stenvers, D. J. (2023). Gezond wonen in de regio Amsterdam: Woningmarkt, omgevingskwaliteit, gezondheid, en ongelijkheid in de metropoolregio. Universiteit van Amsterdam. [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). 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). Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu. https://issuu.com/wijmakennederland/docs/toevoegen_van_ruimtelijke_kwaliteit [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). 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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