Mendel Giezen is Assistant Professor in Sustainable Urban Development and Infrastructure. His teaching and research focus is on Climate Proof Cities, Low Carbon Urban Development, and Smart Cities. For recent projects look at the projects tab.
-Giezen, M. (2018). Shifting Infrastructure Landscapes in a Circular Economy: An Institutional Work Analysis of the Water and Energy Sector. Sustainability, 10(10), . DOI: 10.3390/su10103487
-Giezen, M., Balikci, S., & Arundel, R. (2018). Using Remote Sensing to Analyse Net Land-Use Change from Conflicting Sustainability Policies: The Case of Amsterdam. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information , 7(9), . DOI: 10.3390/ijgi7090381
-Van Doren, D., Driessen, P. P. J., Runhaar, H., & Giezen, M. (2018). Scaling-up low-carbon urban initiatives: Towards a better understanding. Urban Studies, 55(1), 175-194. doi: 10.1177/0042098016640456
-Bergsma, E., Giezen, M., Schalkwijk, B., & Büscher, C. (2017). Adapting to new realities: An analysis of institutional work in three cases of Dutch infrastructure planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2017.1391072
-Hölscher, K., Wittmayer, J. M., Avelino, F., & Giezen, M. (2017). Opening up the transition arena: An analysis of (dis)empowerment of civil society actors in transition management in cities. Technological Forecasting & Social Change. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.004
-Vaas, J., Driessen, P. P. J., Giezen, M., Van Laerhoven, F., & Wassen, M. J. (2017). Who's in charge here anyway? Polycentric governance configurations and the development of policy on invasive alien species in the semi-sovereign Caribbean. Ecology and Society, 22(4), . DOI: 10.5751/ES-09487-220401
The rising concerns with environmental quality, over consumption of resources and excess of urban waste are putting stress on the institutionalized forms of governance in cities. Discourses on circular economic development are increasingly mobilizing metaphors for new institutional and political set ups of urban development processes. Citizens are becoming prosumers of their own waste and resources. Industrial corporations are being increasingly (de)responsibilized for their environmental impact. Local governments are playing double roles of enabler of new economies as well as regulators of urban investments against the environmental degradation of the city-regional ecosystem. National governments are increasinly relocating responsibilities to lower tiers in order to, arguably, promote more responsible economic systems. It is within this highly changing and dynamic political context that our research investigates the changing social, political and environmental responsibilities of urban stakeholders. It does so by analyzing the emerging mismatch between formal regulatory frameworks and the self-perceived roles of actors in the development process. The project team at the University of Amsterdam is made of Federico Savini, Mendel Giezen and Ena Zametica.
In the transition to a Circular City, i.e. a city that focusses on limiting its use of resources through the 4Rs of Reduce, Re-use, Repair and Recycle, there is a change in the institutional configuration and practices surrounding waste. In order to develop a successful circular approach to waste, organic and non-organic streams have to be separated. This requires a changing pattern of interaction between a multitude of actors. This reorganisation of the Food and Wastescape leads to a shift in governance that moves from a centralised planning approach to a decentralised one where there is a co-management trajectory between private, public civil society and academic actors (Mikkelsen, 2013; Moore, 2013) . This research looks at these shifting food/waste scapes in Amsterdam (Netherlands)- Santiago (Chile) -and Kampala (Uganda) to get an understanding of the institutional dynamics that goes beyond a North-South divide and to generate lessons that are generalisable with contextual understanding. This research takes an institutional work approach (Bergsma et al., Lawrence et al., 2013) in combination with Social Practice Theory (Shove et al., 2012) to analyse the changing interaction between actors, institutions and practices. Data gathering will consist of narrative interviews, participatory observation, and desk research on policy and discourses.
Within the Dutch planning research and practice, the usage of remote sensing data has been very limited. The usage of spectral imagery has been the domain of the natural sciences and physical geography which often focusses on the possibilities of the software for modelling or determining climatic and land use change. However, it is rarely ever combined with a thorough understanding of environmental planning policies and interventions. In responding to climate change, cities often operate under the assumption that green measures will have an impact on the urban climate. Testing of this assumption is often limited to small scale measurements or modelling. However, for instance Amsterdam invests 20 millions a year in climate adaptive interventions and it would be of great value if the actual policy impact on the whole city could be measured and that a relation is found between policy and environmental impacts. Yet, the open data renaissance of remote sensing data offers possibilities to measure impact on a urban or regional level. It might actually also give insight into what spatial development patters offer the greatest cooling potential. This research projects wants combines knowledge of urban climatic planning interventions with spectral and thermal remote sensing data to analyse the impact of planning interventions. This project will start with a proof of concept by applying the method to the city of Amsterdam.
Didi van Doren on Upscaling Low Carbon Urban Initiatives (Funded by Climate KIC)
In pursuance of mitigating climate change and the transition to low carbon cities, innovative sustainable low carbon initiatives are implemented in many European cities that aim to fulfill societal and development demands, with no or limited GHG emissions. While different strategies can contribute to the mitigation climate change (energy conservation, renewable energy, enhanced natural sinks, nuclear energy, fossil carbon management), this research will focus on mitigating climate change through energy conservation in the building sector at the urban scale, one of the key sectors contributing to GHG emissions in cities. In order to achieve local, national and international objectives pertaining to energy conservation, initiatives need to ‘go to scale’ and become accepted common practice. The central research problem of this four-year PhD research project is on how the scaling-up of low carbon urban initiatives can be promoted.
Jetske Vaas on Invasive Plant Species in the Dutch Caribean (Funded by NWO)
Successful establishment of exotic plant species on the BES islands (Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba) has profound negative and positive ecological and social consequences. Through a Social Ecological Systems approach the knowledge will be generated that is needed to assess the feasibility, as well as ecological and socio-economic costs and benefits of future nature conservation and management scenarios. Inference of invasive species’ spread from single image in time will be linked to potential responses of stakeholders and governance institutes to hypothetical management scenarios. Integration of the two sub-projects will lead to the development of a Decision Support System that enables optimisation of social and ecological benefits through appropriate management of invasive plants.