Prof.dr. J.C. Verdaas

Professor Urban Area Development – Department of Management in the Built Environment  

“Connect urban area development to other societal challenges. Do not get stuck in the debate on red or green, but connect building developments to ecological goals, energy transition, new forms of mobility, and the use of big data. If we can develop new, applicable concepts in order to achieve that, my mission will be accomplished.” 

As Professor of Urban Area Development, Verdaas keeps the broad social context in view. Major themes for the coming decades with a spatial context include housing construction, the structure of agriculture, energy transition, and mobility. Verdaas foresees opportunities here for a coordinating role for the government, so market parties know where they stand and where their investments can bear fruit. At the same time, there are also opportunities for involving market partners in the Urban Area Development Knowledge Foundation (SKG), in order to further develop knowledge, insight and applications in this field. The connection between urban area development and other major social questions creates the perspective needed to think about how the ‘big picture’ will function in the near future. 

By using input from scientist colleagues and partners in the SKG, new perspectives can be explored, in which housing construction is linked to ecological values. The combination of digitalisation and big data together with the emergence of smart cities also presents new opportunities. This is how concepts can be developed for sustainable urban areas.  

Co Verdaas has over twenty years’ experience in academia, in practice, and in governance. In all of his public and administrative positions, his focus was on spatial developments. He has worked for Wageningen University and Research, the municipality of Zwolle and a housing corporation, he was a Member of the House of Representatives and a Member of the Provincial-Executive of Gelderland. He obtained his doctorate on the planning system. Verdaas also works at consultancy agency Over Morgen. He is member of the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure.