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Urban Planning

Urban Planning

Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies

Urban Planning research and teaching at the University of Amsterdam focuses on the relationships between the social, spatial, and environmental dimensions of urban processes, and on ways of purposefully and positively impacting on them.


Our approach to research is characterized by the pursuit of an intimate link between theoretical depth and empirical grounding, with a particular emphasis on concept driven, action-orientated research and case study analysis. We aim to develop knowledge that is valuable not only to the academic community, but also has strong social impact, and helps shape urban futures. Key areas of research are: urban governance, critical transport studies, political ecology, urban sustainability and conflict. The empirical field of our research is international in scope, although Amsterdam features prominently as the city in which we are not only located, but also socially immersed and politically engaged. We are institutionally embedded within the Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research and the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, but our research scope and research collaborations reach out to academic institutions in over twenty countries across the world. Within Amsterdam we have active interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research collaboration with, for example, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, the Free University, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the Municipality of Amsterdam.


All the staff of the Urban Planning programme group is actively involved in teaching the Bachelors programme in  Human Geography and Urban Planning  and the Masters Programme in  Urban and Regional Planning , and the Masters Research Programme in Urban Studies. These programmes target different student groups, but common to all is that they aim at cultivating in students a both critical and constructive attitude towards different ways of understanding and impacting social, spatial and environmental processes in cities.

Mission and aim

The mission of the Urban Planning group is furthering research and teaching on social, spatial, and environmental processes in cities, their interrelationships, and ways of purposefully and positively impacting on them.

The aim of the Urban Planning group is to contribute to the capacity of cities to cope with urgent social, spatial, and environmental challenges.

Programme leaders

dhr. prof. dr. ir. L. (Luca) Bertolini

Luca Bertolini

mw. prof. dr. M. (Maria) Kaika

Maria Kaika