About us

All over the world, urban agglomerations have become the drivers of innovation and economic prosperity, but at a cost of rising social inequality that threatens the well-being of the population, and of ecological vulnerability due to resource depletion, rising pollution and climate change. Cities have become the nodes in a large diversity of urban networks at various spatial scales from local to global that accommodate flows of people, resources and products, and cause the dynamics and complexity of the urban system. Understanding this system is crucial for the future of mankind.

To understand the behavior of the urban world both at the level of systems of cities and at the level of firms and residents, to provide the insights needed to make the transitions towards a sustainable and livable urban future, and to educate future generations of geographers and planners that will contribute to this common future.

Department board

Head of department: Prof. Ajay Bailey
Director of education: Dr Gery Nijenhuis
Director of research: Prof. Dick Ettema

Acting Department manager: Jipke Detrie

Support team

Management coordinator: Karlijne Lafort
Education coordinator: Erika van Middelkoop Sylvie Kersten
Secretariat: Ron van LeeuwenVeerle Wormer

Staff Human Geography and Spatial Planning


For individual members of the department, see the staff listing under people.