International and prestigious universities located in small cities are growing at a rate beyond the spatial capacity of their host city. Due to this, the presence of students and student housing in these cities has exponentially grown and resulted in a myriad of social, cultural, economic, and spatial impacts. This is known as ‘studentification’ which affects the co-existence and tolerance between the university community and the local community, particularly between students and local residents who lead entirely different and clashing lifestyles. Existing research on campus-city relationships has primarily focused on the economic benefits of large universities in small cities, whereas research on student housing in the Netherlands has primarily focused on the shortage for both incoming and existing students. However, much less attention has been given to the current conditions of student housing qualitatively and what student housing typologies mean for other residents in Delft that may have the potential to shift perspectives from student growth to limitation. As tensions are at an all-time high and further expansion growths have been announced by TU Delft, a need to understand the fundamental conditions that contribute to the negative consequences of studentification is needed more than ever to thoroughly understand the studentification process and recommend a long-term strategic plan towards co-existence. This policy brief highlights the effects of student housing in Delft and creates a strategic plan that is informed by practices of other European cities (Lund, Gottingen, and Loughborough) that is viewed through the political, spatial, and sociocultural lens of Delft to provide an evidence-based and comprehensive approach that transcends conventional practices. By proposing a pathway of policies, regulations, and strategies, a step-by-step process of mitigating the different conflicts and issues resulting from studenification may be mitigated.
Over the last decade, solar energy has proven to be a key technology in transitioning to a sustainable energy system. However, current solar energy policies favour affluent households, limiting the participation of disadvantaged households in the energy transition. This leaves disadvantaged households even more vulnerable to increasing energy costs, as the recent unprecedented rise in energy prices has painfully demonstrated. To ensure that transition mechanisms are accessible to all households, solar energy policy needs to consider spatial justice. With this perspective, we go beyond technical analyses of solar energy potential and use a socio-spatial approach to evaluate the adoption of solar energy in The Hague. This policy brief is based on a research study that evaluated the transition to solar energy in the city of The Hague, The Netherlands, from a spatial justice perspective. Through a socio-spatial analysis at the postcode level, the research identified four distinct groups with varying levels of access to solar energy. The results show that these groups are not only strongly segregated across the city but also overlap with existing socio-spatial inequalities. The four levels of access to solar energy are then compared to current solar adoption rates and technical rooftop energy potential in the city. Results show that decreasing levels of access to solar energy align with decreasing adoption rates, revealing that current policies fail to provide equitable access to solar energy, leading to inequalities in adoption rates. Furthermore, the study quantifies how much of the technical potential available in The Hague is in areas where access to solar energy is limited, revealing a significant amount of untapped technical potential with the potential to address existing socio-spatial inequalities. Finally, two groups of interest and related leverage points for future policy interventions to address equity in the transition to solar energy in The Hague were identified.
Energy poverty is a pressing issue in the Netherlands, with the number of households struggling to cover their energy bills doubling to nearly one million in recent years. Current policies and subsidies have failed to address the needs of underprivileged social groups, leaving them vulnerable and unable to access support for dwelling renovations. This policy brief emphasises the importance of adopting a socio-spatial approach to tackle energy poverty and incorporate justice into renovation policies. By understanding the underlying factors that contribute to vulnerability and pinpointing their spatial distribution, targeted policies can be developed to meet the unique needs of vulnerable groups. The brief highlights the systemic challenges in Amsterdam Zuidoost, where low incomes, lack of trust, and financial constraints hinder renovation efforts. It stresses the urgency of adopting a spatial perspective, recognising the socio-spatial dimensions of vulnerability, and engaging local communities. Through inclusive and participatory processes, the brief aims to promote social equity, spatial justice, and sustainable solutions to combat energy poverty in Amsterdam Zuidoost.
São Paulo, a city characterised by rapid urbanisation, long-term governmental neglect, and a widening societal gap, faces a complex challenge. Communities within the city experience extreme multidimensional inequality, marked by socio-economic vulnerabilities which stem from their marginalisation from society. In addition, the degradation of critical ecological systems and mounting climate change pressures intensify the risks of environmental disasters, creating a situation of extreme double exposure. This means that vulnerable communities in São Paulo contend with not only socio-economic vulnerabilities but also face heightened environmental risks. While Brazil’s policies took significant steps in the 1980s with the creation of the Estatuto da Cidade (City Statute in 2001) to address social inequality, current solutions are still unable to adequately reduce the multitude of vulnerabilities that marginalised communities face. In order to ensure a high standard of liveability and foster an environment of resilience for São Paulo communities, a comprehensive analysis that exposes the factors that contribute to the creation of multi-dimensional inequality is required. Firstly, recognising that inequality is not just a matter of income but is intricately linked to spatial and environmental dimensions. This policy brief calls for a holistic approach that recognises the interconnectedness of socio-economic vulnerability and environmental risks. By adopting the principles of a socio-ecological approach and conducting a comprehensive socio-spatial analysis, São Paulo can chart a path towards a more equitable and sustainable future for all its residents.
Based on the understanding of the built environment as result of competing claims on space that must be resolved via recognition, fair distribution of burdens and benefits of our human association, respect and care for the planet and just procedures to decide on those claims, Spatial Planning and Strategy is a chair in the Department of Urbanism within the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the Delft University of Technology, committed to helping create sustainability, resilience and spatial justice through the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and the European New Deal, among other frameworks. This commitment is reflected in activities, events, and courses. We are concerned with knowledge about the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of strategic and urban planning tools – visions, strategies, plans and programmes.