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


Urban Futures aims at better understanding the urban system and to contribute to the future success of cities by paving the way for the transition towards a socially and economically sustainable and liveable urban future. 

We educate the next generation of researchers, teachers and policy makers in our highly appreciated bachelor and masters programs. The department is part of the Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research (NETHUR) for PhD candidates. See also ‘teaching'

To continuously keep improving our teaching program and teaching of Geography in primary and secondary schools the department has a research group specialized in Geography Education and a course program for teachers in secondary schools. See also ‘research’

We actively participate in society via our expertise centre Urban Dynamics and Sustainability (ESD2). See also ‘expertise and services’


9 juli 2019
Utrecht University economic geographers have received a Horizon2020 grant to set up a training network on Smart Specialisation.
4 juni 2019
A new research programme will investigate pathways towards more inclusive and sustainable water planning in deltas in the global South.
Europa - een nieuwe geografie
23 mei 2019
Geographers Ben de Pater and Leo Paul of Utrecht University wrote a book entitled Europa: een nieuwe geografie
18 april 2019
The Department of Social Geography and Spatial Planning is rewarded a grant for a research project on young refugees and asylum seekers in public spaces.