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Postdoc Engaging Places and Communities for Integrated Peri-Urban Transitions

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands
Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Be part of a new 3-year research project that explores innovative ways to roll-out the principles of the 15-minute city across European peri-urban areas, engaging with places and local communities to achieve sustainable transitions.

Job description

We are inviting applications for a 3-year position (0.8 FTE) as a postdoc researcher in the Department of Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. The researcher will join an interdisciplinary team working on InPUT – Engaging Places and Communities for Integrated Peri-Urban Transitions.

InPUT is a project led by TU Delft as part of the Driving Urban Transitions (DUT) partnership, a research and innovation programme co-funded by 28 European countries and the European Commission under Horizon Europe. InPUT tackles the theme of the 15-minute city, one of the three ‘Transition Pathways’ of the DUT Partnership, and is concerned with rolling out the principles behind that model across European peri-urban areas. The project argues that ideas such as the 15-minute city become limited if applied only in the successful cities most suited to receive them, and that it is crucial to extend them to peri-urban places where implementation might be more difficult but interventions towards accessibility, proximity and quality of life are more urgent. In other words, our goal is to democratize the 15-minute city.

To achieve that, InPUT consists of three work packages, starting with building a catalogue of spatial-functional features, governance capacities and societal aspirations of European peri-urban areas, which then feeds into the co-design of spatial visions and strategic transformation processes enabling locally appropriate and endorsed 15-minute settings in different places. In parallel, we develop tools to evaluate the performance of these visions along the key principles of the 15-minute city of wellbeing, sustainability, and inclusion. The consortium includes academic institutions in The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Portugal and is supported by various policy and civil society cooperation partners.

The researcher will contribute to all stages and work packages of the project, mainly supporting the spatial-functional analysis of peri-urban typologies in WP1, vision and scenario development in WP2, and fieldwork for the Dutch case across all WPs (e.g. interviews to policymakers, stakeholder & co-creation workshops with local collectives and communities, etc.). Next to this, the researcher will also be involved with coordination tasks as part of the TU Delft lead team, including co-development of conceptual and methodological frameworks, compiling documents, communication between partners, workflow monitoring, organization of meetings and events, and engagement with non-academic partners. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to interim and final reports, dissemination activities, and to be a co-author in academic publications based on the project results.    


You have:

  • A PhD degree and research experience in spatial sciences, for example urban and spatial planning, regional and urban studies, geography, or another relevant discipline.
  • Expertise in quantitative spatial and statistical analysis informed by social/spatial sciences, as well as in qualitative research methods involving human interaction, such as co-design techniques, participatory workshops, and others.
  • Good state-of-the-art knowledge and a strong interest in the core concepts of the InPUT project: peri-urban areas, European territorial cohesion, spatial justice, sustainable urban transitions, and citizen (co-creative) participation.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary research combining the areas relevant to the project, namely spatial and strategic planning, urban and regional design, mobility, social innovation, participation, strategy monitoring and evaluation, communication, public policy, and (spatial) governance. Experience of working in interdisciplinary consortia is considered an asset.
  • Very good writing skills as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications, reports, or other relevant writing experience.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Sufficient knowledge of Dutch to allow a basic understanding of local policy documents and interaction with local stakeholders.
  • You are collegial, organized, have critical thinking skills, can work in international research teams, enjoy curiosity-driven discussions and exploring alternatives, and cherish creative autonomy alongside close cooperation.
  • Availability to work for 36 months (0.8 FTE), starting in February 2024.

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (based on scale 10: € 3.226,00 - € 5.090,00). The employment contract is offered for 3 years. The position is open for 32 hours per week. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Department of Urbanism

The Department of Urbanism engages in planning and design-oriented activities focused on the (re)making of better urban futures. We are a world-leading knowledge hub for innovative urban and landscape research and design, strongly rooted in the Delft Approach to design, which is research-based and explicitly inter- and transdisciplinary. The mission of the department is to advance, share, and apply knowledge on how to adapt the built environment to societal and environmental changes and how to better satisfy human needs to achieve fairer, healthier, and more resilient urban landscapes.

Spatial Planning & Strategy Section

As a member of the Section Spatial Planning & Strategy (SP&S), you will be joining a diverse team of urbanists and planners from different parts of the globe. The team collaborates closely with other disciplines, such as design, data analysis, and social sciences. We are concerned with evidence-based knowledge about the formulation, implementation and evaluation of strategic and urban planning tools – visions, strategies, plans and programmes. We focus on international and European territorial governance and policy making, contemporary spatial planning methods and instruments, territorial evidence and assessment, and the political dimension of planning. One of our key interests is scrutinizing the evolving configurations of metropolitan regions and their interplay with spatial planning, considering factors such as land use, mobility, and socio-economic variables. Through this lens, we contribute to the creation of more resilient, sustainable, and socially equitable metropolitan landscapes.

Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the energy and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is buzzing with energy from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Our faculty has a strong focus on 'design-oriented research’, which has given it a top position in world rankings.

Staff and students are working to improve the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Rodrigo Cardoso, Assistant Professor, Spatial Planning & Strategy, via e-mail:

For more information about the application procedure, please contact Paulien Stastra, HR advisor,
via e-mail: 

The position will remain open until November 26, 2023 (local Dutch time + 2 hrs). You must apply via the "Apply now" button. Applications via e-mail will not be processed.


Application procedure

If you want to apply for this position, please submit:

  • A detailed CV (including a list of research activities and publications).
  • A short motivation letter of up to 1 page explaining your interest in the research topics to be addressed and describing how you fit in the advertised position.
  • A sample of two pieces of academic writing, in the form of a published article, report, or similar publication, with a short explanation on how they are relevant for the topic.
  • Contact details of two referees (recommendation letters are not required at this stage).

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.