Dr. Kirsten Visser

Vening Meineszgebouw A
Princetonlaan 8a
Kamer 6.48
3584 CB Utrecht

Dr. Kirsten Visser

Assistant Professor
Urban Geography
+31 30 253 1370

“The environment in which children grow up determines their development, opportunities and well-being.”

Kirsten Visser is Assistant Professor of Urban Geography at the Faculty of Geosciences. In her research, Visser looks at the situation and development of children and young people from a geographical perspective. She specializes in various qualitative research methods including photography, mental mapping and interviews with young people.

Visser works, among other things, from the hub ‘Youth Got Talent’. In it, she and fellow researchers from various disciplines look at how experiences in the family, with friends, at school, in the neighborhood and in society influence the well-being and ideas of young people about the future.

Visser investigates, among other things, what role the neighborhood plays in young people's vision of the future and what social networks there are that can help them realize their ambitions. She also looks at the effects on young people when their neighborhood has a negative label and she investigates the extent to which young people experience and deal with discrimination.

In addition, Visser conducts research into outdoor play in the city. She investigates how we can encourage children to play outside more and how the design of the city can play a role in this. She focuses specifically on risky outdoor play. Taking risks is good for the development of children, but the urban environment offers fewer and fewer opportunities for this. Visser examines the experiences of children, parents and policymakers with risky outdoor play and how we can fit this into an increasingly densifying city.

Teacher and thesis coordinator

In addition to her work as a researcher, Visser is involved as a teacher in various courses such as City in Motion and the international field trip to Chicago. She is also the thesis coordinator of the master Human Geography.