Research Centre for Urban & Environmental Development

Photo of windmills.Our Research Centre for Urban & Environmental Development conducts research in the urban area in its broadest sense, as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between urban and rural areas.

The chairs within this Research Centre are:

  • Renewable Supply of Energy
  • Sustainable Development
  • Area Development & Law
  • Governance
  • Regional Development
  • Safety and Risk Management
  • Innovative Technology in Construction 

Renewable Supply of Energy

The chair Renewable Supply of Energy wants to research the possibilities for dealing with the current sources of energy more efficiently in cooperation with companies and government. They pursue a gradual transfer to durable sources of energy, such as wind, sun and biomass. The chair carries out this research with the deployment of students and teachers. In this way, the chair also prepares the following generation of professionals to contribute to a durable supply of energy.
Professor Renewable Supply of Energy: Jan de Wit

Sustainable Development

The chair Sustainable Development focuses on learning from innovative and yet practical solutions that reinforce the quality of the urban and rural environment, now and in the future. Sustainability and area development are anchoring points in this chair’s research and projects. Sustainable solutions require the cooperation between different parties, both public and private actors. For this reason, attention is particularly paid in our work to the role and position of the parties involved, especially local authorities, housing corporations and citizens.
Professor: Theo de Bruijn

Area Development & Law

Photo of people crossing the street.The (re-)development of an area is a complex process at multiple levels of scale and between stakeholders with (potentially) conflicting interests. Managing the legal procedures is becoming increasingly difficult in land development projects. Emancipated citizens, public organizations and private companies tend to find their way to court more frequently than ever before. The chair of Area Development and Law has expertise to advise you on legal problems in this field or carry out research in this area.
Professor: John van den Hof


The chair of Governance focuses on the quality improvement of the management of private companies and (semi) public organizations. Based on this central objective, the chair contributes in making Saxion students ‘corruption-proof’ and teaching integrity in life attitude and work circumstances. The research focuses on the structural improvement in companies and organizations by preventing corruption and stimulate integrity. The chair carries out research and projects with a special focus on public management and its relations with the private sector. Key words are fighting corruption, stimulation of integrity, transparency and accountability. The chair has specific expertise regarding management and policy, including the four pillars of management: political science, sociology, economics and law.
Professor: Michel van Hulten & Johan Wempe

Regional Development

The mission of the Chair Regional Development is reinforcing the competitiveness of regions with a focus on the eastern part of the Netherlands and the German border region in the Euregio. The scientific research domain is regional economics. Within this domain, we concentrate on the attractiveness of cities and regions for talent, entrepreneurs and investors. By increasing competition and internationalization, the roles of the regions are becoming increasingly important for urban and regional economic development. The past years have shown that there is a greater interest in the ‘softer’ aspects of the regional economy, such as the labour market, innovation and entrepreneurship, both from the professional field and students. The research activities concern the whole chain of formulation of the problem, development of views and strategies, execution, and monitoring of results.
Professor: Paul Bijleveld

Safety and risk management

Modern society has new requirements regarding safety risks. Risks connected to technological and social developments, or to natural hazards. This chair was founded in 2003 after the fireworks disaster in Enschede, The Netherlands. Three research programmes are being carried out. Since its origin there has been a strong focus in research on the management of physical risks in the urban environment. In addition to this a second programme was developed aiming at the safety risks of new (renewable) energy applications. In the third programme attention is focussed on the management of social risks in the urban environment through the development of a safer place.
Professors: Wilbert Rodenhuis and Menso Molag

Innovative Technology in Construction

Photo of a contstruction worker.The chair Innovative Technology in Construction aspires to contribute to making the built environment and the construction industry more sustainable. Our aim is to use technology to create a healthy, safe, liveable, comfortable, and sustainably built environment. This will involve:

  • inventing, designing, and producing innovative materials, component parts, concepts, services, and production processes which are enabled by new technologies and respond to trends in society;
  • applying new technologies to add greater value to existing materials, component parts, concepts, services, and production processes in the construction industry; and
  • exploring the possibilities for co-creation and co-production. For example, 3D printing is a major development that we can use to transform the current top-down structures and make way for greater bottom-up involvement. Teaming up with the research chair in Industrial Design, we are therefore focusing on 3D printing technology, which enables users to co-design their own environment. 

De-burdening customers, co-creation and co-production, and more efficient use of resources are issues that we focus on. By meeting key trends and addressing social challenges, we can unlock new or other forms of business for the construction industry that matter. 

Professor: Mieke Oostra


Saxion Research Centre for Urban & Environmental Development
Telephone number: +31 53 487 14 98