Key projects


REsource Management in Peri-urban Areas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism

REPAiR is intended to provide local and regional authorities with an innovative, transdisciplinary open-source geodesign decision support environment (GDSE) as a tool for enhancing waste and resource management. This GDSE will be developed and implemented in living labs in six metropolitan areas in Europe: Amsterdam, Naples, Hamburg Ghent, Pecs and Lodz. 

Further information


New tOols for Design and OpEration of Urban Transport InterchangeS

Interchanges play a key role in the integration of the urban mobility system and in enabling good intermodal solutions. Their efficiency and sustainability is therefore essential to achieve sustainable transport objectives in Europe.

This research will build a toolbox to support European cities in the design and operation of new or upgraded interchanges, as a way to provide greater support, services and satisfaction to the travelers and users, as well as to interchange operators and those societal and economic actors depending on the efficiency of interchange operations.

Five key areas are considered: Land use & Infrastructure, Design, Intermodality & ICT, Management and Business models, Energy & Environment. NODES brings together 17 partners representing local government administrations, public transport operators, research centres and consultants and European associations.

Grant: € 145.764
Role: partner
Principal Researcher: Frank van der Hoeven
Coordinator: UITP International Association of Public Transport
Duration: 9/2012 to 9/2015


Integrated Planning and Design in the Delta

Delta regions are worldwide developing in high speed. There is a need to manage and balance values as safety, ecological quality, freshwater supply and the growing demands of cities such as the expansion of infrastructure and economic activities.

This research focus is the ‘Zuidwestelijke Delta of the Rijn, Maas and Schelde’, located in The Netherlands. IPDD is part of a larger research program, called ‘Urban Regions in the Delta’ (URD). The main goal is to contribute to the state of knowledge about sustainable and integrated development of regions that are confronted with the complex challenge of intensively combining different land uses and functions.

IPDD website

NWO and FES funds
Grant: € 241.339
Role: coordinator
Principal Researcher: Han Meyer
Duration: 09/2011 to 09/2013

Better Airport Regions

Models and Development Pathways for Sustainable Urban Transformation

Airports are often situated near towns and cities and significantly stimulate further urbanisation in the surrounding region. This project looks at the urban regions surrounding international airport hubs and examines how airports could contribute to more sustainability, resilience and flexibility in major urban regions.

The project aims to develop guidelines for the integration of airports and urbanised areas and for the transformation of current airport regions. ‘Better Airport Regions’ is specifically examining the cycles (energy, water, food and traffic), urban development and management of the airport regions of Schiphol and Zurich. 

NWO - Urban Regions in the Delta
Grant: € 900.000
Role: coordinator
Principal Researcher: Arjan van Timmeren & Andy van den Dobbelsteen
Duration: 2012 to 2014


Territorial Approaches for New Governance

This project focuses on how territorial development is organised and managed across Europe’s member states. It provides an overview of recent trends as well as detailed examples of territorial governance from a multi-level, a multi-sector and a multiactor approach.

The research considers the potential role of spatial planning instruments and other instruments in supporting good territorial governance. A typology of current territorial governance practices in Europe is also developed (coordinated by the TUDelft team).

One of the outputs of the project is a handbook for policy officials which draws lessons from the in-depth case studies undertaken in the project.

ESPON-European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion
Grant: € 749.849
Role: partner (for € 167.000)
Principal researcher: Dominic Stead
Coordinator: NORDREGIO, Stockholm
Duration: 2011-2014


Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe

Urban development is running environmental risks, consuming huge amounts of resources and putting strains on the environmental system. Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe (SUME) is focusing on the way how future urban systems can be designed to be consistently less damaging to the environment than in the present.

The SUME project will analyse the impacts of existing urban forms on resource use and estimate the future potential to transform urban building and spatial structures in order to significantly reduce resource and energy consumption, thereby taking into account differences in urban development dynamics.

The concept of urban metabolism helps to understand and analyse the way how (urban) societies use resources of the environmental system such as energy and land for maintaining and reproducing themselves. Based on the urban metabolism approach, the flows of resources, energy and waste maintaining the urban system are explored. 

Grant: € 2.877.981
Role: partner (€ 302.321)
Principal Researcher: Dominic Stead
Coordinator: Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR)
Duration: 11/2008 to 11/2011

5d Data Modelling: Full Integration Of 2d/3d Space, Time And Scale Dimensions

A Geographic Information System captures, stores, analyses, manages, and presents data that are linked to a location on the earth surface. This geographic data represents real world phenomena that can be divided into two abstractions: discrete objects and continuous fields. The geometrical description of geographic data is usually annotated by x-, y-, and z-coordinates to represent the data in three dimensions. The fourth dimension of geographic data is time.

In this project a fifth dimensional characteristic is identified, scale. Some applications require detailed data, while other applications require data that give overview. Although (multi-)scale is a well-known concept in the geo-information technology domain, regarding it as an extra dimension of geographic data, integrated with the other dimensions, is new. Within this Vidi-project, the foundation for integrating these five dimensions in one formal data representation is layed.

The research will result in a new theory and method for multi-dimensional geographic data modelling, validated through prototype implementations, and therefore it opens a new research domain that has potentials to advance the field of geo-information technology.

Grant: € 800.000
Role: applicant
Principal researcher: Jantien Stoter
Duration: 06/2011 to 06/2016 

Three-Dimensional Methods

Digital terrain models (DTM s) are databases which represents (in 3D) the surface of the Earth or the seafloor. The use of new sensors such as laser-scanners means that the size of DTM s is continuously growing, and as a consequence we have difficulties analyzing them with computers. To be processed, DTM s need to be simplified/generalised.

This research project aims at investigating and developing new simplification algorithms that:

  • use 3D tools and 3D data structures;
  • permit to define 3D features--valleys, peaks and ridges--and consider these while simplifying.

The knowledge of the features removes unimportant points and focus only on those of interest for a given application. The results of the project, a prototype released under an open-source licence, will permit us to automatically identify terrain features and to simplify, remove or even exaggerate them.

Grant: € 215.000
Role: applicant
Principal Researcher: Hugo Ledoux
Duration: 04/2012 to 05-2016 

3d Spatial Data Infrastucture

The continues developments of Port of Rotterdam and specifically the construction of Maasvlakte 2, have posed high requirements to the information management needed for maintenance of infrastructure, facilities, logistics and other assets.

Within this project a 3D data model was developed, which makes use of national and international concepts and allows integrated management of 3D GIS and BIM data. The model was tested in two case studies: utilities and quays. Several prototypes were developed to demonstrate the use of the model for different purposes such as query and visualisation of 3D pipes and cables, 3D cross section and clips (needed for design and renewal), use of concept libraries for design of BIM model of quays and clash& change detection between designed quays and existing 3D data (needed for final approval).

Facts - Programme
Next Generation Infrastructures, powered by Maasvlakt2
Grant: € 222.000
Role: applicant
Principal researcher: Sisi Zlatanova
Duration: 01/2012 to 10/2013
Partners: Municipality and Port of Rotterdam & TU Eindhoven 

Research programme

Further information about the research programme Urbanism

Participating departments