I lead the Urban Studies group at the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. The Urban Studies group investigates people-place relationships at different spatial scales, from neighbourhoods to cities to regions. Through our research we aim to better understand how neighbourhoods, cities and regions develop, and how different spatial configurations and structures emerge (within and between cities), and how these configurations affect socioeconomic outcomes for people across spatial scales. The multi-level interaction between people and places is central in our research. We investigate how the urban context affects individuals and their lives, and we investigate how people influence the socio-spatial structures around them. A better understanding of these people-place interactions is crucial for the design and planning of cities and regions, and for the design of spatial policies that contribute to the quality of places. Through our research we contribute to important challenges related to contemporary urbanization. These include increasingly complex connections and networks of cities and regions, both nationally and internationally; growing levels of inequality and the spatial footprint of inequality; and changing structures of urban governance and citizen engagement in urban policy. The research in Urban Studies is multi-disciplinary and empirical in nature, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, with a strong emphasis on the use of very large longitudinal register data sets and advanced statistical techniques. Increasingly, computational social science methods are used for a theory driven analysis of novel digital data resources (‘big data’). Our teaching on all levels is strongly interwoven with our research; our students integrate empirical research and design activities in the context of existing, real-life settings and problems, in co-operation with professionals and citizens. Our research contributes to the design of spatial development strategies to optimise the spatial organisation of neighbourhoods, cities and regions to increase social well-being, economic competitiveness, and social and environmental sustainability.

My own research focusses on the theme Urban Inequalities & Their Effects. Within this theme we aim to better understand the dynamics of urban inequalities and their spatial footprint in cities and regions, and how these spatial configurations of inequalities influence people. We investigate ethnic and socio-economic segregation in an international comparative framework. And we develop innovative multi-scalar measures of population, and alternative measures of segregation such as social frontiers, to improve our understanding of the impact of places on people. I have expertise in the fields of urban poverty and inequality, segregation, residential mobility and migration; neighbourhood effects; urban and neighbourhood change; housing market behaviour and housing choice; geography of labour markets; spatial mismatch of workers and employment opportunities; and the spatial organisation of cities. I have a special interest in the causes and consequences of both residential mobility and migration (why do people move residence and what are the consequences of moving for the housing, household and labour career?).

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