Dr.ir. E.M. Leclercq

Dr.ir. E.M. Leclercq



Dr. ir. Els Leclercq is an urban designer and researcher. As a research fellow she participates in various research projects on the circular built environment at the Department of Management in the Built Environment of the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Delft and at the AMS Institute in Amsterdam. In the field of circularity she focuses on innovative processes to sustainable urban development. She is particularly interested in how decentralised circular approaches can address global and local societal issues, in which active citizens’ engagement, datafication and digitalization (or the ‘smart city’), and a just and sustainable city have a central position. She is also a graduation tutor for Master students who have an interest in the circular built environment.

She obtained a Ph.D at the Design as Politics group of the Faculty of Urbanism, TU Delft. Her dissertation research focuses on the European “urban renaissance” of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, in particular issues related to the privatization of public space and the public realm, with three case studies in Liverpool, U.K. As part of her dissertation, she is developing a smartphone app called “Color your space,” which allow users to assess, rate, and record the quality of the public spaces that they frequent. Els’ Ph.D. promotor was Prof. Wouter Vanstiphout, TU Delft, and her supervisor is Dr. Dorina Pojani, the University of Queensland. In addition to research, Els is also an experienced urban designer. She is director of Studio Aitken, an urban design consultancy based in London and Rotterdam, which delivers a range of planning, design, and development projects for the public and private sectors in the U.K. and the Netherlands (see the portfolio below). 



Leclercq, E. (2018). Privatization of the production of public space. PhD Dissertation, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands

Leclercq, E, Van Doorn, A., Hermans, M. Publieke waarden in de gebouwde omgeving, (2015), in: De Architect, p. 48-51 

Leclercq, E.M. 'Color your Space'  - how digital media could improve the inclusiveness in the planning process, (2015) Conference paper UHasselt

Loopmans, M., Leclercq, E., Newton, C., Plannen voor mensen, handbook sociaal-ruimtelijke planning (2011), Garant publishers, Apeldoorn-Antwerpen, ISBN: 9789044128055

Leclercq, E., Ruimtelijke Rechtvaardigheid in een Nederlands jasje? (2012) in: AGORA Magazine voor sociaalruimtelijke vraagstukken, pag 12-14.

Leclercq, E., Zawawi, Z., Politics of (re)designing public space – a case study of the city centre of Mechelen, (2010), conference presentation at Public Space and the challenges or urban transformation in Europe, SKuOR, Vienna

Casabella, N., Cassiers, T., Leclercq, E., Vermeulen, S., Het plan voor de internationale ontwikkeling van Brussel; een verhaal van up-scaling, by-passing en evacuatie van het stedelijk beleid, (2010) conference presentation at Plandag 2010 ´Ruimtelijke Ordening in crisis´

Cassiers, T., Leclercq, E., On good intentions and its dubieus consequences – analysing the urban vision in Ghent and Liege (2009) conference presentation at ´the new urban question´ International Forum on Urbanism 


Selection of recent projects:

(see also www.wordpress.studioaitken.com)


Energy neutral Centrum eiland IJburg – Amsterdam (NL)

Client: Alliander DGO

Team: Alliander DGO & StudioAitken, Waternet, Zuiderlicht)


Stadslab Feijenoord Rotterdam (NL)

Client: Municipality of Rotterdam and AIR

Team: Municipality of Rotterdam, Welovethecity, WSA, Woonstad, Studio Aitken


Newham Capacity Study (London, UK)

Client: London Borough of Newham

Team: Studio Aitken


Kop Voorschoterlaan, Rotterdam (NL)

Client: Municipality of Rotterdam

Team: Studio Aitken, Remmelt Oosterhuis, Studio Go + local citizens


Dostafield Field, Dartmoor National Park (UK)

Client: private

Team: Studio Aitken


Thrift Green Public Realm study (Brentwood, UK)

Client: London Borough of Newham

Team: Studio Aitken

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