Planning Complex Cities Supervisors 2019/20
(in alphabetical order, in light grey mentors that are not available as 1st or 2nd mentors in the 2020/21 round of Planning Complex Cities)

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.

Students that Arie has supervised:

Caroline Newton

caroline_schabloneDr. Caroline Newton is an architect, urban planner and political scientist. Her work and research focuses on the socio-spatial dimensions of design and critical spatial practices in Europe and the Global South. Her research interests are centered on the interrelationship between social processes and the built environment. Caroline obtained a PhD in Geography at the University of Leuven. After the completion of the PhD Caroline has worked on (informal) dwelling and participatory upgrading, the challenge of design and planning in post-colonial environments and also on the methodological and pedagogical challenges of a ‘designerly way of knowledge production’. She has written on integrating real and virtual words and their role for architecture and architectural education. She believes a strong connection between interdisciplinary academic work and the aim to be politically engaged and thus actually contribute to a more social and environmental just world is what should be the cornerstone of academic work. In 2019 Caroline received the Van Eesteren fellowship at the TU Delft, where she is an associate professor. The fellowship allows her to put spatial justice on the planning and design agenda and will generate insight in and understanding of how informality (in is different forms) impacts social justice and how we can revaluate vulnerability as a core aspect of a (more) human and just urban world.

Diego Andres Sepulveda Carmona
(not available as a first mentor in 2020/21 graduation period)

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

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

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
(not available in 2020/21 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 Luiz has supervised:

Marcin Dąbrowski


Dr. Marcin Dąbrowski is an Assistant Professor at the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy,  Department of Urbanism, TU Delft, where he conducts research in the fields of urban and regional planning as well as territorial governance. He has a background in political science and regional studies. His broader research interest spans across many topics related to the governance of territory: he has investigated regional strategies to circular economy, energy transition, urban climate change adaptation and flood risk management, regional development policies, stakeholder engagement in planning, and the evolution of spatial planning systems in Europe. He has also published extensively on various aspects of EU Cohesion Policy and has an long track record in research as part of large EU-funded consortia. Graduation students working with Marcin could consider aligning their thesis topics with research projects in which he is currently involved: H2020 REPAiR and Interreg Europe WaVE (for more information on these projects, see page ‘research projects’).

Students Marcin has supervised:

Reinout Kleinhans

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
(not available as a first mentor in 2020/21 graduation period)


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 trained in Porto, Barcelona and London. He is currently Assistant Professor at the section of Spatial Planning and Strategy of the Department of Urbanism. Rodrigo obtained his PhD degree at the Bartlett School of Planning (London) before moving to TU Delft in 2016, where he now coordinates the Urban Geography MSc course. Building on his interdisciplinary background, his research focuses on the spatial, functional, demographic, social and political dimensions of metropolisation processes as cities are reshaped into urban regions. Related research interests include the spatial and socioeconomic structures and integration strategies of polycentric urban systems, the concept of urbanisation externalities beyond the economics framework, as well as the distinctive history, profile and challenges of second-tier cities in Europe and North America. More information about Rodrigo’s work can be found here.

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

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:

* The Planning Complex Cities studio consists of two sub-studios, notably Complex Regions in Transformation and Planning as a Critical Engaged Practice. The below table indicates the expertise of mentors in these sub-studios. Indications provide a rough guideline for first mentor choices by students. The selection of these mentors will be further supported during events in the graduation orientation period.

name section Complex Regions in Transformation Planning as a Critical Engaged Practice
Akkelies van Nes Urbanism, SP&S yes yes
Arie Romein Urbanism, SP&S yes
Caroline Newton Urbanism, SP&S yes
Dominic Stead Urbanism, SP&S yes yes
Evert Meijers Urban Studies yes
Gregory Bracken Urbanism, SP&S yes
Lei Qu Urbanism, SP&S yes
Luiz De Carvalho Filho Urbanism, SP&S yes
Marcin Dabrowski Urbanism, SP&S yes yes
Reinout Kleinhans Urban Studies yes
Roberto Rocco Urbanism, SP&S yes yes
Rodrigo Cardoso Urbanism, SP&S yes yes
Verena Balz Urbanism, SP&S yes
Wil Zonneveld Urbanism, SP&S yes

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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