Planning Complex Cities Supervisors 2019/20
(in alphabetical order)

Akkelies van Nes

Akkelies-van-NesDr. Akkelies van Nes is part of the Metropolitan spatial structures and Urban fabrics research theme groups. She develops and applies various tools for analyzing spatial structures, from the neighbourhood scale level up to the metropolitan level. Her research focuses on the relationship between space, crime and anti-social behavior in urban areas.  She is also interested in economic development, the identity of places, sustainable mobility and the role of various involved actors in planning and urban transformation processes.

Students Akkelies has supervised:

Arie Romein


Dr. Arie Romein is part of the section Urban and Regional Development of OTB. He obtained his MSc and PhD in Human Geography of Developing Countries (as called then) by means of research of urban and regional development in the Global South. In the Planning Complex Cities research group he has recently supervised several graduation projects on informal settlement development (research-planning-design) in the Global South.  More in general, Arie is mainly interested in the mutual interrelations between the transformation of urban socio-spatial structures and contemporary global capitalism, in particular the domains of consumerism (leisure, entertainment, tourism) and the ‘new economy of the inner city’ (in particular clustering of culture and creative industries). He positions trends that are inevitably bound up with this transformation, like spatial fragmentation and social segregation, vis-à-vis urban regeneration policies, planning and design. Besides, Arie is an experienced teacher in quantitative and qualitative methodology of empirical research, an integral part of Complex Cities graduation projects.

Three of the students that Arie recently supervised:

Diego Andres Sepulveda Carmona

Diego-SepulvedaDr. Diego Sepulveda is a designer and a regional planner. He is an active researcher in the Planning complex cities and Delta urbanism research groups. He also works as guest professor at several institutions. His main research topics are strategies to integrate the development of marginalized areas into metropolisation processes, with an emphasis on design and planning perspectives and tools. His main interest is the relation between societal processes and spatial planning, particularly in emerging and fast development regions. Diego is experienced in infrastructural development, socio-spatial integration (with special interest into fast transformative economies and the integration of the changing social dynamics) and interrelation between planning and spatial structures. Lately his work focuses on how to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies within a developing context. Diego’s work has been part of several studies, conducted by academia, multilateral agencies (such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Developing Bank) and governmental institutions. His publications are diverse. The New Urban Questions (IFOU 2010) is among the most significant ones.

Students Diego has supervised:

Dominic Stead

Dominic-SteadDr. Dominic Stead has expertise in urban and regional policies and their governance, particularly in relation to urban transport issues and climate change. He is interested in processes of policy transfer and learning between administrations, and in comparing and understanding the reasons why urban and regional policies and governance arrangements differ between territories.

Students Dominic has supervised:

Evert Meijers
(acts as a 2nd mentor in the 2019/2020 graduation period)

Evert-MeijersDr. Evert Meijers studies urban and regional development from a multidisciplinary perspective, combining insights from economic and urban geography, urban planning, environmental studies, regional science, cultural geography and policy sciences. He believes that this multi-disciplinarity is key to innovation and essential to fully understand the evolution of cities and regions, their spatial layout and spatial structure, as well as how these cities relate to each other. Moreover, he considers it essential to establish a link between the way we spatially organize our cities and territory and their performance in terms of economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and social well-being. Much of his research aims to provide empirical findings addressing this link and to translate these findings into empirically underpinned development strategies and spatial designs with a focus on promoting more competitive and attractive urban regions.

Gregory Bracken

BRACKEN-290x290_CCDr. Ir. Gregory Bracken is an assistant professor at the chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy. He got his Dip.Arch. and B.Sc.Arch. at the Dublin Institute of Technology. He then worked in Southeast Asia for 10 years before coming to TU Delft to do an M.Sc.Arch. (with a specialisation in urbanism). He then went on to do a Ph.D. in TU Delft, subsequently working at the Architecture Theory section before moving to Urbanism in 2016. While at TU Delft he co-founded the Footprint journal, and from 2009-2015 he was a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Leiden where he set up (with Dr. Manon Ossewijer) the Urban Knowledge Network Asia (UKNA) with a 1.2 million grant from Marie Curie Actions. Gregory is author or editor of 16 books, including the popular Walking Tour series of architectural guides to Asian cities, as well as The Shanghai Alleyway House: A Vanishing Urban Vernacular (translated into Chinese), Asian Cities: Colonial to Global, and Aspects of Urbanization in China: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou.

Students Gregory has supervised:

Heleen Janssen
(acts as a 2nd mentor in the 2019/2020 graduation period)

Heleen_JanssenDr. Heleen Janssen is a social scientist with a background in sociology and criminology. Her main research interests are in the fields of urban sociology, crime and delinquency, spatial inequality, segregation, ethnic diversity and neighborhood effects. She is interested in how individuals are affected by the physical and social characteristics of the environments in which they grow up, live and act. More specifically, by looking at person-environment interactions, she is trying to understand how important contextual effects are, for whom and under which circumstances. She has a special interest in the concept of “neighbourhood” and its definitions and operationalisations at different spatial scales. She is part of the new Urban Studies section in the Department of Urbanism.

Igor T. M. Pessoa
(acts as a 2nd mentor in the 2019/2020 graduation period)

igor_schabloneDr. Igor T. M. Pessoa is an architect and urban planner. He is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Urban Studies chair. His work focuses on the topic of urban resilience and civic participation on planning processes. Igor conducts research on alternative planning strategies that better collaborate with self-organised and bottom-up initiatives. His PhD book “Planning with self-organised initiatives: from fragmentation to resilience” presents strategies to include these spontaneous movements from citizens in planning process. Igor has experience on researching metropolises of the Global South, but he is also looking into participatory practices in the Dutch context.

Lei QU

QU_leiDr. Lei QU is experienced in research topics related to urban regeneration and liveability in the context of migration and economic transition. In the past 5 years, she has been supervising graduation projects on, but not limited to, revitalisation of deprived neighbourhoods such as urban villages, historical inner-city areas or post-war districts, where housing and public space could be used as tools to cultivate new economies and improve liveability for all. Morphological study on the neighbourhood scale, city-regional level analysis on socio-economic and spatial transformation processes, policy study on the current development modes and institutional design that could facilitate new ways of planning, are essential methods for such research projects.

Students Lei has supervised:

Luiz De Carvalho Filho

Luiz_CarvalhoLuiz Carvalho is a PhD candidate in the Spatial Planning and Strategy section and an architect and urbanist by training, with a master degree in urbanism by TU Delft and IUAV Venice as part of the EMU program. His expertise is in the analysis of planning instruments and the implications for the urban environment. His current research focuses on the impacts of planning codes in urban environments in the Brazilian city, addressing the connections between urban form, planning codes and patterns of segregation. He is interested in social-spatial patterns of segregation and encounter in urban environments, and also in how to analyse the formal and informal processes of urbanisation. He is also involved in exploring the emergence of anti-urban form in building typology.

Students Lei has supervised:

Marcin Dabrowski

Marcin-Dabrowsky-ROUNDDr. Marcin Dąbrowski is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy. He has a background in political science and regional studies, while his research interests range from urban and regional development policies, multi-level and regional governance, stakeholder participation, to urban climate change adaptation and energy transition. His current research focuses on two themes: (1) climate change adaptation in delta cities in the Netherlands and China, and (2) the social acceptance of renewable energy infrastructure in European regions.

Students Marcin has supervised:

Reinout Kleinhans
(acts as a 2nd mentor in the 2019/2020 graduation period)

Reinout_KleinhansDr. Reinout Kleinhans is Associate Professor of Urban Regeneration and part of the new Urban Studies section in the Department of Urbanism. He has a master degree in urban planning and a PhD degree in urban geography, with strong links to urban sociology. His research interests and expertise include urban regeneration, self-organisation, community entrepreneurship, citizen engagement, social capital, online governance, democratic innovation and the use of digital participatory platforms for co-production between citizens and governments. He currently involved in international comparative research on community enterprises and other forms of citizen-based co-production and residential area redevelopment. Other research includes the role of spatial justice in local redevelopment approaches, particularly in urban contexts.

Students Reinout has supervised:

Remon Rooij


Dr.ir. Remon Rooij is associate professor Spatial Planning & Strategy. Remon has a strong interdisciplinary background: a doctorate in spatial planning within the TRAIL research school for Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics, and an MSc degree in Urban Design & Planning and Real Estate & Construction Management. His interests focus on issues of urban health – physical, mental, social – and on  (strategic) spatial planning in urban transformation from an urban health point of view, including transport, mobility, infrastructure and sports.

Students Remon has supervised:

Roberto Rocco

roberto-rocco-green-shirt-2-2016-roundDr. Roberto Rocco  is a spatial planner, designer and researcher in planning theory, governance and sustainability at the Section of Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). He has a diploma in architecture and planning by the University of São Paulo, a Master in spatial planning by the same university and holds a PhD by TU Delft. He has also a specialisation in spatial planning in developing countries by the Institut Français d’Urbanisme. Roberto has worked as a researcher at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) on a project investigating the relationship between design practice and academic research. His research interests include multi-level governance issues in regional planning and the emergence of complex networked city-regions, sustainability and spatial justice. A special focus lies on studies of metropolitan and regional governance of energy and water resources and the sustainability of these governance structures. Roberto is interested in concepts of spatial justice and the right to the city as crucial concepts that allow for a broader definition of planning tasks and for the emergence of new roles for planners in networked governance structures.

The study of urbanisation processes in the Global South has led to interest in informal urbanisation and the organisation of several events, including the URBAN THINKERS CAMPUS Education for the City We Need and the CONFRONTING INFORMALITY Symposium. Roberto is also one of the leaders of the AFRICA INITIATIVE at Bouwkunde.

He is responsible for courses on research methodology and planning and design studios and has published several articles on the subjects enumerated above. More information can be found here.

Students Roberto has supervised:

Rodrigo Viseu Cardoso


Dr. Rodrigo Cardoso is an architect and planner (BSc Porto, MSc Barcelona) and currently a post-doctoral researcher in the Urban and Regional Development programme at TU Delft. He co-developed and co-directs the faculty’s MSc Urban Geography elective course. Rodrigo completed his PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning in London on the topic of metropolisation processes in second-tier urban regions in Europe. Building on his diverse background, he pursues an interdisciplinary approach in his research, gathering insights from planning, design, policy, governance and various fields of geography. His research interests include the spatial, functional, cultural and political dimensions of the metropolisation processes as cities are reshaped into urban regions; the distinctive history, spatial and socioeconomic structures and development strategies of European urban regions within a densely networked, polycentric urban system; and the links between the processes of agglomeration and urbanisation and the human cognitive and cultural features shaping our understanding of urban space and the attractiveness of cities.

Students Rodrigo has supervised:

Verena Balz

Verena-BalzDr.ir. Verena Balz  is interested in regional planning, governance and design. Her main focus in research is on the use and performance of regional design-led approaches in spatial planning and territorial governance, in the Netherlands and Europe. Her work on the topic is broadly published in international peer-reviewed journals. Against this background she has a particular interest to mentors students who intend to critically discuss concurring regional planning and governance schemes, by means of design. Over recent years she has also developed particular expertise in issues that concern irregular migration and refugees in Europe.

Students Verena has supervised:

Wil Zonneveld
(not available for mentoring in the 2019/2020 graduation period)


Professor Wil Zonneveld is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and member of the Spatial Planning group of Urbanism. Wil is highly interested in planning at regional and national scales and within metropolitan areas. How do governmental agencies, societal actors and civil society in general work together to develop integrated strategies and what is their performance? What role is played by spatial concepts as normative interpretations of spatial and urban structures and how are such concepts used to bring actors together? Wil is particularly interested in planning for metropolitan regions which do not match administrative boundaries, like the metropolitan region Rotterdam-The Hague in the Netherlands and many other regions across the globe.

Students Wil has supervised:

2 thoughts on “Mentors

  1. Pingback: Graduation orientation – Spring 2017. | Planning Change: Complex Cities TU Delft

  2. Pingback: Next round! | Planning Complex Cities TU Delft

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