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About us How to find us prof. dr. J. (Johan) Woltjer

prof. dr. J. Woltjer

Honorary Professor
prof. dr. J. Woltjer

Recent projects:

  • Resilience and Sustainable Coastal Governance (establishment of a cross-department research platform among senior researchers and PhD students, with dr. Elen Trell). Issues on coastal management, geographies of the coast, regional decline, sustainable governance, ecosystem- and coastal vulnerability, protected areas, and flood resilient communities are fundamental issues to this cross-departmental theme (linked to university-wide Sustainable Society theme).
  • Learning Capacity in Water Way Programmes (with Arjan Hijdra, dr. Tim Busscher, dr. Frans Sijtsma. Funding: National Waterway Agency). This project aims to propose innovative institutional designs for improving learning capacity in national water way programmes.
  • Small cities, Metropoles and the Future of Urban Indonesia (with Dr. Delik Hudalah at Institute of Technology Bandung, Indonesia. Funding: Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, KNAW). Recently, Indonesia is in a new phase of urban transformation: extended peri-urbanisation around large cities and an accelerated growth of small cities. More so than previous urban development, this kind of development has far-reaching implications for urban qualities of life –specifically green space, water resources, and balanced socio-economic growth. This project pioneers the combined issue of small and very large cities, by clarifying urban growth patterns for two cases (Jakarta and Cirebon), presenting the inherent pressures, explaining these patterns and pressures in terms of sustainability, and suggesting policy options.
  • Resilience strategies in flood risk management and urban planning -a comparative analysis of London, Hamburg and Rotterdam (Funding: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). Aim of the project is to operationalize the theoretical notion of resilience, and suggest governance strategies for creating flood resilient cities. The core of the research project involves a multi-method, comparative study on three exemplary cities (London, Hamburg and Rotterdam).
  • Worldwide Governance Indicators and Contemporary Governance in Indonesia (Singa Project University of Groningen. Coordinating team member with prof Rafael Wittek, dr. Ron Holzhacker. Funding: World Bank). This project involves a university-wide, integrated program for PhD students from Indonesia on issues of ‘Good Governance’ (including sustainable urban governance). The program offers inter-disciplinary supervision by various departments within the University of Groningen and key partnership universities in Indonesia.
  • Freshwater use and regional capacity in the Netherlands (principal investigator, funding: Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment). This project makes a series of suggestions for strengthening our understanding of dealing, through public and private policy intervention, with increasingly challenging fresh water capacities. The project explores current sustainability capacities and the resilience of the users of fresh water resources.
  • Evaluation in Integrated Land-Use Management: Towards an Area-Oriented and Place-Based Evaluation for Infrastructure and Spatial Projects (main editor, with prof Angela Hull, prof Matthias Ruth, prof Ernest Alexander). This project involves a book project (Ashgate), aimed at experts in the field of spatial planning, land-use and infrastructure management. Theme of the book is place-based and integrated evaluation.


  • Flood resilient cities? Resilience strategies in flood risk management and urban planning – a comparative analysis of Hamburg and Rotterdam (supervision of PhD project by Britta Restemeyer, Funding: NWO, Netherlands, with dr. Thomas Klenke and dr. Margo van den Brink)

  • Establishing resilient coastal zones-a comparative study on the use of ecosystem services to integrate the spatial planning of land and sea (supervision of PhD project by Ruiqian Li, Funding: CSC China, with dr. Margo van den Brink)

  • Capturing a multidisciplinary approach – Integrating ecosystem services and social impact analysis for sustainable land use management in the German North Sea coastal region (co-supervision of PhD project by Leena Karrasch, Funding: FMER, Germany, with dr. Thomas Klenke)

  • Spatial transformation and injustice in intermediate cities –focus on Java, Indonesia (supervision of PhD project by Paramita Rahayu, Ubbo Emmius Fund, with prof. Tommy Firman)

  • Waterways –Ways of Value, Opportunities and Limitations of a value driven planning approach (co-supervision of PhD project by Arjan Hijdra, Directorate-General of Public Works and Water Management, with prof. dr. Jos Arts)

  • The role of arts in building resilient communities in coastal areas. A case study of the Frisian Wadden Sea area (co-supervisor of PhD project by Gwenda van der Vaart, Ubbo Emmius Scholarship, with dr. Bettina van Hoven)
  • Sustainability of socio-ecological systems and their multi-scalar governance - Land acquisitions in Argentina (co-supervisor of PhD project by Nienke Busscher, Ubbo Emmius scholarship, with dr. Constanza Parra)
  • Spatial Planning for innovative territories: sustainability through governance amongst interactive urban and natural systems (co-supervisor of PhD project by Karina Castro Arce, Erasmus Mundus Costa Rica, with dr. Constanza Parra)
  • Value Distribution for Urban Infrastructure Development in Indonesia (supervision of PhD project by Laksmi Tungga Dewi Jaya Wisnu Wardani Darmoyono, Ubbo Emmius Scholarship, with dr. Haryo Winarso)
  • Assets and Capabilities in Planning and Regional Development (co-supervision of PhD project by Retno Widodo D. Pramono, Bernoulli Scholarship, with prof. Gerard Linden and prof. Kawik Sugiana)

  • Institutional conditions for the integration of water management and spatial development (co-supervision of PhD project by N. Al, University of Amsterdam)
  • Rural-urban relationships in peri-urban areas of city-regions (co-supervision of PhD project by Delik Hudalah, Bernoulli Scholarship, completed)

  • Institutional Setting for Effective Transport Development in the Bandung Metropolitan Area (co-supervision of PhD project by Miming Miharja, Bernoulli Scholarship, completed)

  • Compact development and sustainable urban growth: Assessing the forms and policies of suburban land development in the transformation era in Beijing (co-supervision of PhD project by Zhao Pengjung, Bernoulli Scholarship, completed)


Last modified:03 April 2020 3.08 p.m.

Contact information

Landleven 1
9747 AD Groningen
The Netherlands

Mercator Building (building F), Zernike University Complex