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If you'd like to work together in area development research and education, discuss your waterfront project with me, or share  your ideas about port-city relations, please connect or contact me directly...

Address_ Delft University of Technology 

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment

Department of Management in the Built Environment (MBE)

P.O. Box 5043, 2600 GA DELFT


Map_ 134 Julianalaan, room 01.West.770


Tel_  +31 (0)6 39 25 13 10

© 2020 by Tom A. Daamen 



My passion is to help students and professionals become effective city makers. To do this, I develop concepts and tools for inclusive, interdisciplinary collaboration (public-private-civic) in urban development research and practice. The concept of waterfront development force stands for the capacity to (re)develop waterfront zones: a collective effort often produced by a diverse and interdependent network of people, groups and organisations. At TU Delft, my research work has focused on understanding what it takes to create adaptive hybrid waterfronts (PPPs, strategies, instruments). As director of the Dutch Foundation for Area Development Knowledge (SKG), I lead a research program on sustainable area development (governance, planning, design and finance) that includes academic (Ph.D.) research projects as well as studies for policy and practice.


Urban Development Management


Managing urban development projects is a major, long-term challenge. Don't let anyone fool you, the actual work that needs to be done can be a far cry from what we learn from (academic) textbooks about project management! 


In my research on waterfront development projects - arguably among the most complex UDM assignments out there - I test management and governance concepts that are more attuned to the context in which these projects take place. I am particulalry interested in the concept of strategy, i.e. what it takes to effectively manage urban development projects towards desired outcomes. Within that frame, I am always in pursuit of understanding the dynamics of politics and finance, and the influence of new IT capabilities and 



Governing the Port-City Interface


To many urban dwellers, today's ports are often percieved as relics from an industrial past. While some may have an eye for the technological sophistication and evolution of the modern seaport, many only witness the older maritime structures close to the city: in a fenced-off state of dilapidation, as basic but cheap creative quarters, or as 'hip' sights of significant urban transformation and real estate investment.


In my governance research, I focus on the places where the modern seaport meets its urban surrounding and pose Robert Dahl's famous question: Who Governs? I focus on the arenas in which powerful actors vie for the ability to decide about the future of the port-city interface, i.e. the geographical fringe between city and port. I aim to uncover the mechanisms, soft and hard, that shape the decisions made in these arenas. 


Sustainable Area Development


Since the summer of 2018, the Dutch Foundation for Area Development Knowledge has entrusted me to co-develop an academic program that includes research projects, professional education, knowledge exchange events and an online platform called

Together with a brilliant team of students, PhD candidates, and professors, we have a strong presence in Dutch Area Development research and practice. Our goal is to be a pragmatic but transformative force in pursuit of a (more) sustainable process and outcome in Dutch as well as in international city making.

At TU Delft, the Area Development [Gebiedsontwikkeling] team is based at the Faculty of Architecture, as part of the Management in the Built Environment department



Academic Research
Proposals & Grants


  • 2019: NWO Transitions and Behaviour Proposal 'Changing Mobility Behaviour in a Transition Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Accessibility' in collaboration with professors Van Arem and Mugge (TU Delft) - Final Stage Reject

  • 2018: ESPON EGTC Proposal 'European Sustainable Urbanisation through Port City Regeneration (ENSURE)' in collaboration with Ecologic Institute Berlin - Final Stage Reject

  • 2017: Climate-KIC Sustainable Production Systems Loop Flagship Programme Proposal 'Circular Cities Co-Creation Platform' in collaboration with Chalmers University (Sweden) - Second Stage Reject

  • 2016: ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF) Pre-Proposal 'SITES: Smart and Integrated Transformations for Economic Synergies: Co-Creating Strategies for the European Port-City Interface' in collaboration wth the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Gdansk University of Technology (Poland), and the Univesity of Porto (Portugal) - Second State Reject

  • 2015: NWO Smart Urban Regions of the Future: Research Proposal 'Metropolitan and Mainport Economies in Tandem for Transition (MMETT)' in collaboration with Erasmus University Rotterdam - First Stage Approval, Second Stage Reject

  • 2015: H2020 Societal Challenges - Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials: WASTE (Two-Stage) Research Proposal 'REPAiR' - Approved

  • 2015: EU Marie Curie Actions International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) Urban Knowlegde Network Asia (UKNA) - A Travel Grant for a Case Study in Shanghai, China, in association with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

  • 2011: Nicis Kennis voor Krachtige Steden [Knowledge for Strong Cities]: Proposal 'Katalysatorprojecten voor krachtige stedelijke regio’s' [Catalyst Projects for Strong Urban Regions] in collaboration with Erasmus Univesity and the Netherlands School of Public Administration - First Stage Reject

  • 2007: European Research Counsel (ERC) Proposal 'PORTCITI The Development of the Port-City Interface: Dynamics in decision-making' in collaboration with the Institute of Transport and Maritime Management of the University of Antwerp (ITMMA) - First Stage Reject.


Editorships & Peer Reviews
Memberships & Networks
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Member of the ULI European Urban Regeneration Council

  • ​2019: Copenhagen, Denmark (June 19)

Contract Research

  • 2019: Project Leader and Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'Fondsen voor verstedelijking' for the Ministry of the Interior (BZK)

  • 2019: Project Leader and Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'GebiedsInvesteringsZone (GIZ): naar een praktijkexperiment' for the Ministry of the Interior (BZK)

  • 2019: Project Leader and Co-researcher in the Research Project 'Succesfactoren alternative bekostiging van openbaar vervoer en gebiedsontwikkeling' for the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water (I&W)

  • 2018: Project Leader and Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'Ruimte voor bedrijven' for the Municipality of Rotterdam

  • 2017: Research Proposal 'Innovatieve Stadshaven: Eilandje - Steenborgerweert' for Vespa AG Antwerp (not granted)

  • 2016-17: Co-Resercher in the Research Project 'Area Transformations' for the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs (BZK)

  • 2015-17: Project Leader and Principle Researcher in the Research Project 'Governance for Next Generation Waterfronts' for SmartPort Knowledge Institute

  • 2013: Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'Kennismotor' for the Municpality of Rotterdam                                                           

  • 2012: Project Leader and Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'Sturen tussen haven en stad' for the Municpality of Rotterdam/Programmabureau Stadshavens

  • 2011: Co-Researcher in the Research Project 'REAP2' for Programmabureau Stadshavens

  • 2011: Project Leader and Co-Researcher for the Research Project 'Sturen op Waarde 2' for the Municpality of Rotterdam

  • 2010: Project Leader and Co-Researcher for the Research Project 'Sturen op Waarde' for the Municpality of Rotterdam (together with Erasmus University Rotterdam).


2018: Co-Researcher in the

Research Project 'Stedelijke

Transformatie' for the National

Program Stedelijke Transformatie.

Conference Activities

  • 2019: Director of the Annual SKG Conference 'Gebiedsontwikkeling: meer waarde door samenwerking', November 7, The Hague (240 participants)

  • 2019: Speaker at the 'Programmabijeenkomst Stedelijke transformatie', October 8, Utrecht

  • 2019: Invited Expert and Panelist at the AIVP Days, June 6-8, Riga, Latvia

  • 2019: Organiser and Moderator of the Expert Session 'Ontwerpend onderzoek en gebiedsontwikkeling', May 24, Delft

  • 2019: Speaker at the Conference '20 jaar PT', March 28, Tilburg, The Netherlands

  • 2019: Organiser and Moderator of the Seminar 'Bereikbare verdichting', February 13, Delft

  • 2019: Speaker at the Annual Conference 'Stedelijke transformatie', February 14, Eindhoven

  • 2019: Co-Organiser and Moderator of the Evening Debate 'The Post-Growth City', January 15, Amsterdam

  • 2018: Round Table Discussant on Linking Port and City Economies, Spaces and Cultures at the Port City Futures Conference, December 17-19, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2018: Invited Expert at a seminar for the H2020 project 'Docks of the Future', October 29-30, Porto, Portugal

  • 2018: Rapporteur at the 16th AIVP World Conference 'Next Generation', Jun 11-14, Quebec, Canada

  • 2018: Presenter and Discussant at the national conference Stedelijke Transformatie, February 22, Amersfoort, The Netherlands

  • 2017: Presenter at the EXPO Real 2017 Urban Innovation and Investment Seminars, October 4, Munich, Germany

  • 2017: Moderator and Presenter at the European Real Estate Society  (ERES) Annual Conference, June 27-July 1, Delft, The Netherlands

  • 2016: Invited Speaker at the European Week of Regions and Cities, October 12, Brussels, Belgium

  • 2016: Poster Presentation at the 15th World Conference Cities & Ports, October 5-7, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2015: Presenter at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2016, April 1, San Francisco, United States

  • 2015: Keynote Speech at ISOCARP2015 Rotterdam Workshop, October 19, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

  • 2014: Initiator, Co-organizer and Presenter: Spoorzone Delft Mobile Workshop, AESOP 28th Annual Congress, July 11, Delft, The Netherlands

  • 2014: Co-organizer and Presenter: Round Table 'Port CityScapes', AESOP 28th Annual Congress, July 9-12, Utrecht/Delft, The Netherlands

  • 2011: Co-organizer: Urban Area Development Track, MISBE2011 Conference (Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment), June 20-22, Amsterdam

  • 2011: Reviewer and Presenter: AESOP Young Academics Meeting, February 16-18, Delft, The Netherlands

  • 2007: Co-organizer and Presenter: ACTP – Seminar for Port Related PhD Research, Academic Centre for TransPort/Port of Rotterdam, April 27, Rotterdam.