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How to find us dr. ir. T. (Terry) van Dijk

dr. ir. T. van Dijk

Associate Professor Planning and Design
dr. ir. T. van Dijk

Terry van Dijk (1975) works on the interface between urban design and planning. He studies the role of designs and designers in planning practices, from a socially engaged standpoint. He has published about the reframing role of plans - the fact that plans make people aware of qualities of their surroundings, thus shaping their mental construction of the world around them and affecting their attitudes and actions. He relates that to notions on social movements and neighbourhood activism, studying how political structures affect efficacy by citizens. His main curiosity is how interactive design and visionary thinking can be a platform for a more engaged, more informative and better informed way of decision-making than deliberation by words alone. And for high quality urban spaces.  

As an associate professor, he lectures in Groningen on regional design practices in the Netherlands, drawing widely from practices and using many excursions and interactive design sessions to teach them design skills and open students’ eyes to the practical, creative problem solving side of planning. He coordinates the cohesion between the design courses in the Planning Bachelor and coordinates the Master Social Planning.  

He has extensive experience participating in international projects, including projects funded by the EU (Interreg IIIb ‘Farland’, 6th Framework ‘Plurel’) and wrote his thesis on Eastern European planning challenges. He has published on methods for comparative planning research.

Terry graduated at Wageningen University in 1997 on a thesis on recreational use of riverbanks, the research for which was done during an internship at the Dutch Water Management Agency (Rijkswaterstaat). After graduation he worked nearly two years on contract research related to recreational traffic at the land use planning group of Wageningen University. He did his Ph.D.-research at the faculty of geodesy of Delft University of Technology; a faculty that historically has been strongly linked to the Wageningen land use planning group as experts from both faculties co-operate in land consolidation projects. His Ph.D.-thesis ‘Dealing with land fragmentation in Central Europe’ was about whether Western instruments could be of use for solving Central Europe land fragmentation problems. This research was funded by the Dutch Cadastre.

After having been a senior researcher at the OTB institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, into which the former faculty of Geodesy had merged by then, Van Dijk returned to his Wageningen roots in 2004 to start his PostDoc project, that was completed in 2008. ‘Reinventing landscape planning in MetroLand’ ( was an interdisciplinary research programme that deals with the specific planning challenges connected to open spaces between large cities. Because the emerging interests and actors that are to be satisfied in these areas appear to outgrow the traditional landscape planning system. This resulted in an edited volume "Regional Planning for Open Space", published mid 2009.

Terry was appointed assistant professor in Planning shortly after completing the PostDoc project, at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences in Groningen. His research concentrates on the significance of designs in regional transitions, more specifically measuring the power of persuasion and imagination. And soon was promoted to be Associate Professor.

He was member of the RMNO scientific schadow-board which on a regular basis positive-critically reflects on RMNO work ( and of the NWO Open Competition pre-selection board in 2009.  

Last modified:25 November 2019 3.02 p.m.

Contact information

Landleven 1
9747 AD Groningen
The Netherlands

Mostly in the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

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