The Urban Futures research programme of the Department of Human Geography and Planning investigates urban issues in the context of an ongoing worldwide trend of increasing urbanisation.

A prominent role in research and academic inquiry

The institute’s objectives strongly coincide with UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Urban Futures aims to play an internationally prominent role in research and academic inquiry into sustainable social and economic urban development and the governance of cities. Urbanisation processes are studied both in OECD countries and in the Global South. From a methodological point of view, Urban Futures adopts a dynamic perspective, with an emphasis on flows and transitions, and conceptualises cities as systems of networks in which flows of people, knowledge, goods, and capital circulate.

Urban Futures research programme

The Urban Futures research programme is divided into two main research themes, Social Urban Transitions and Economic Urban Transitions. Together they cover four main research areas. Besides our Urban Futures Research Programme we make sure that our scientific knowledge is disseminated in our teaching programmes as well as in primary and secondary eduction in the Netherlands.


19 October 2018
The UMO project has been awarded €1,950,000 from the NWO Large programme, aimed at the construction of large scientific support facilities.
10 October 2018
Research suggests that where we live can affect our mental health but Dr Marco Helbich believes these studies only offer a limited snapshot.
10 October 2018
How do infrastructure and the urban environment shape cycling experiences?
9 October 2018
The 3rd Transmobilities-Development Conference will be held in Utrecht on 29 and 30 November 2018.




E.g., 11/15/2018
15 November 2018 11:15 - 12:30
Prof. Gavin Turrell presents a research program that is generating policy-informed evidence that helps to create cities and communities that are age-friendly.