Research leaders Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin is an Assistant Professor Urban Design Theory and Methods at the Section of Urban Design and Research Programme Leader Delta Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

She graduated as architect and urban designer from IUAV University of Venice, Italy and the University of Brasilia, Brazil, later further specialising in territorial/ landscape planning and design with an advanced master in territorial planning and geomatics from IUAV, Italy. In 2015 she obtained a PhD (double degree) in Landscape Architecture and Water Science & Engineering from Delft University of Technology jointly with UNESCO-IHE after a year of doctoral education at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Her research and projects focus on the relationship between landscape architecture, infrastructure and urban form. She has expertise in water sensitive/ nature-based design and environmental risk. Her current work deals with the changing nature of the territorial project, addressing spatial, political, and economic aspects of extreme weather and resource scarcity, particularly focusing on the North Sea Region and the Arctic. Her work has been funded internationally and exhibited at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2002 and 2018, and São Paulo Architecture Biennale 2013. Before starting her academic carrier, she worked for architecture and urban planning practices in Brazil, Italy and Denmark. She is Principal Investigator and Coordinator of the ‘DST-NWO Water4Change Research Programme’, Indian-Dutch Framework on Urban Water Systems and Coordinator TUDelft-Brazil Engagement Theme ‘Design, Planning, and Governance of the Built Environment’.

Dr. Fransje Hooimeijer is an Associate Professor at the Section Environmental Technology and Design and Research Programme Leader Delta Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

She studied Architecture at the Willem de Kooning Academy and Arts and Culture Studies in Rotterdam Erasmus University. Since 1997 she works as an independent researcher in the fields of architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. In addition to various publications and exhibits, she has done research for governments and corporate clients. She received her PhD in Urbanism from the Faculty of Architecture at the Delft University of Technology in 2011 with the dissertation investigating the relation between water management and urban design. From 2009-2012, she has worked as a researcher at the TU Delft and at TNO, investigating the technology of urban development in the light of climate change and the energy transition. One of her main research topics is integrating the subsurface system into above-ground spatial development. Since 2012 continuing research and teaching at TU Delft into system integration of technical systems of urban development in national and international context. She is specialised in interdisciplinary design processes, methods, tools and theory, transferring this to students and practice.

Program members

Chair Delta Urbanism – Department of Urbanism
Prof. Chris Zevenbergen


From February 2021 Chris Zevenbergen is professor (part-time 0.2fte) Delta Urbanism. Zevenbergen has a background in ecology and earth sciences and over 25 years of international experience in water-sensitive urban issues and urban flood risk management.

Chris Zevenbergen (1958) is professor at the Water Engineering Department of IHE Delft and at TuDelft, The Netherlands. He is also a visiting professor at the Southeast University (SEU) and at the North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power (NCWU). He was a Member of the Board of the Public Private Innovation Platform Clean Tech Delta, The Netherlands in 2013 and 2014 and of the Netherlands Partnership (NWP) from 2010 to 2013). He is now chairman of the Academic Board of the MSc program River Delta Development of three Applied Universities in The Netherlands, and project director of DeltaCAP, a Dutch funded program on capacity development to support the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. He worked as a researcher on various environmental issues related to the building industry, such as environmental impact assessments, product development, emission modeling, testing procedures, building codes and guidelines in the 1980s followed by 20 years international research and consultancy in environmental engineering and water management of urban systems. In the past 15 years he has accumulated extensive national and international experience with integrated approaches to manage floods in urban environments. His research interest is specifically on innovative concepts to mitigate urban flood impacts, on flood proofing building designs and technologies and on decision support tool development in urban planning with practical application in urban flood management and climate adaptation. He has a strong affinity with the ecological, socio-economic, institutional aspects of urban planning and water management. Therefore, he considers himself more a generalist than a specialist. He has published/edited five books and more than 120 scientific publications in the field of environmental engineering and urban flood management. He was co-founder and chairman of the European Network COST C22 on Urban Flood Management. He chairs the Flood Resilience Group (FRG) of IHE Delft. He participates in various national and international advisory boards of governmental and scientific institutions (e.g. IPCC EM Infra, Rotterdam Climate Proof, Environmental Science Group Wageningen, iBuild, DLR Future Mega Cities, EPSRC, Delta Alliance, Dutch Delta Plan, Room for the River program).

Dr. Steffen Nijhuis, Associate Professor
Head of Landscape Architecture Research, Director European Post-master in Urbanism (EMU) and Associate Professor Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Inge Bobbink, Associate Professor at the Section Landscape Architecture,
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

Inge Bobbink focuses on landscape architectonic design with a particular interest in the relation between water and land, including flora, fauna, and people. In her work, she explicitly stresses the importance of form and composition as an expression of culture and identity. Four perspectives on the analysis and design of (urban)water landscapes form the backbone of the research: (urban)landscape perception, (urban)landscape as a palimpsest, (urban)landscape as scale continuum and (urban)landscape as an ecological, economic and social process. She develops research methods to analyse traditional water systems and elements that are deeply rooted in the landscape and linked to human activities, focussing on its circularity and beauty. The results of this research form a theory that helps to transform today’s water systems into circular (integral, sustainable) water systems — an inclusive, tangible space for all.

Dr. Diego Sepulveda-Carmona is an Assistant Professor at the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy in the Department of Urbanism, he is currently the Urbanism Lab master coordinator and senior researcher at Complex City Regions and Delta Urbanism research groups at the  Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

His research interests are related to the links of regional development and climate change at the implementation of adaptation processes. Diego is specialized in regional development with experiences on infrastructural development and socio-spatial, socio-environmental integration with special interest into fast transformative economies and the integration of the changing social dynamics. The emphasis is on the planning strategies and design under the dynamic interrelation between planning, spatial structures and natural systems. His particular interest in regional development is on the complex conditions for integration of the local levels on the Metropolization processes. He is focus on the strategic alignment between local, urban and metropolitan governance bodies. Lately His work is defined on how to integrate and deploy the climate change adaptation processes and mitigation strategies within a regional developing context.


Dr. Nikki Brand is a Interdisciplinary Scientist at Strategic Development Delft University of Technology.

Her work departs from the observation that the global need for flood resilience is driven by two forces: climate change and a concentration trend in the urbanization process. Although the clash between both is a real concern, the dynamic urbanization process itself is also an opportunity to push for flood resilient development. This, however, requires a coordinated response: often at the regional scale that tends to be governed in a fragmented manner, and from parties that govern different components of the urban fabric that are not aware of their potential contribution. Such a response can only be established from a system’s perspective that identifies cities’ particularities and latent strengths, that can be linked to a diverse set of integrated design responses from spatial designers and civil engineers alike. Nikki’s core academic discipline is urban planning with spatial design, flood risk management and public administration as secondary fields of expertise. She welcomes excellent students that aim to identify strategic leverage for flood resilient development of urban regions in both centralized and decentralized governance systems.

Dr. Baukje (Bee) Kothuis is a postdoc at the department of Hydraulic Engineering, faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, TU Delft; and an independent consultant at BBE Waterworks, Amsterdam.

Baukje Kothuis is a design anthropologist studying integrated and sustainable design of flood risk reduction structures and strategies. Focusing on (methods for) stakeholder inclusive design and multidisciplinary knowledge integration in delta design and research projects. Facilitating inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration, exposure of innovative education and research, contacts with (international) business and industry, and research collaboration and educational exchange between TU Delft faculties BK, CiTG and TBM and Universities in the USA, mainly around the Gulf of Mexico (Houston/Galveston, TX; New Orleans/Baton Rouge, LA; Jackson, Mississippi). Involved in NWO projects ‘Integral and Sustainable Design of Multifunctional Flood Defenses’ and ‘Integral and Sustainable Design of Ports in an African Context – Ghana’. Dutch coordinator and co-PI the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for International Research and Education (NSF-PIRE) program at Texas A&M University, Texas. For BBE Waterworks developing and producing (book)publications, workshops, symposia, conferences, and other events and activities related to delta design, water governance and flood risk research.

Luisa Maria Calabrese is an architect, urban designer and curator. Over the years she has developed a hybrid practice that takes the transformation of the urban as its object. She has practiced professionally in urban design and architecture, as well as in more cross-disciplinary forms of research and design. Her work is characterized by an inquisitive trajectory with cross-disciplinary & artistic research at its core. Her interest in cross-disciplinary & artistic research and new media, led her to join the Make Move Think Foundation. As an educator she has over 20 years of experience in mentoring graduation projects. Her recent work focusses on the critical role (urban) design can play in constructing a post-anthropocentric vision of the world we inhabit. The urgencies of the present time ask for a revision–if not a revolution–of our way of looking at and operating on fragile territories, ecologies and subjects. Moving beyond the dichotomy between human habitat and other ecosystems, the main question is how to re-anchor (urban) design as an inclusive material practice that matters. The spatial narrative approach is one line of research she is particularly interested in. The narrative approach is characterized by multiplicity, meaning that the reading of the territory as a post-anthropocentric project seeks to detect more than one story, more than one voice. By exploring the transformations of an area through the multiple narratives of which it is made of, the dynamic spatio-temporal relationships among spatial systems, environment, society, culture, economy and politics emerge and inform the Urban Design project. The systematical unveiling of narrative layers–more than disentangling lines–is based on an actualization of crossdisciplinary analytical and representational approaches. This multi-focus framework offers a solid basis to explore and unfold more specific research and (urban) design projects, depending on their spatial, environmental and sociocultural contexts.

Dr. Marcin Dąbrowski is an Assistant Professor at the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

His research interests span across many topics related to governance of territory, from regional strategies for circular economy, or energy transition, to governance of urban climate change adaptation policies and the nexus between flood risk management and spatial planning. Marcin’s research seeks to broaden our understanding of how the institutional, cultural and economic contexts in which cities operate shape their capacity to adapt to climate change and promote spanning horizontal, vertical and temporal boundaries for addressing the growing flood risk. In this work, he focuses on the Dutch and Chinese delta cities (Pearl River Delta).

Nikos is an architect and urbanist working at the intersection of urbanization theory, design and geospatial analysis. He holds a Doctor of Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). His research seeks, through conceptual and cartographic experiment tion, to contribute to a geographical understanding of the socio-metabolic relations between agglomerations and their operational landscapes. He is currently Assistant Professor at the Urbanism Department, TU Delft, and Researcher at Urban Theory Lab, University of Chicago. Previously he was Research Tutor at the Royal College of Arts, London, where he collaborated in developing a new research program on Environmental Architecture, and Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Luxembourg, where he worked on the establishment of a new Master on Architecture, European Urbanization and Globalization. At the GSD he has also served as Instructor in Urban Planning and Design (2014-2015), Teaching and Research Associate (2010-2014). Between 2012-216 he was on the editorial board of the New Geographies journal and co-editor of New Geographies 06: Grounding Metabolism (Harvard University Press, 2014). He has worked as Teaching Fellow and Research Associate at the GSD and the National Technical University Athens and has taught workshops at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He is a licensed architect in Greece (2006) and has practiced urban design as an individual, and as an associate architect (2006-2009). He holds a professional degree in Architectural Engineering with highest distinction (2006) and a Master of Science in Architecture and Spatial Design (2009) from the National Technical University of Athens. His research is supported by grants and scholarships from the Fulbright foundation, the A.S. Onassis foundation, the A.G. Leventis foundation, the Real Estate Academic Initiative, the Milton Fund and the Graham Foundation for the Arts.

Claudiu Forgaci is an assistant professor of urban design at TU Delft, engaged in understanding how urbanisation patterns, at multiple spatial and temporal scales, are related to the resilience of urban landscapes to social, technical, and environmental disturbances. In his research, teaching and practice, he combines urban design and planning, landscape architecture and architecture, as well as spatial-temporal data science and mixed methodologies, in a cross-scalar, design- and data-drivenapproach to urbanism. He develops methods, techniques, and instruments for the spatial assessment, planning and design of urban space, as well as spatial applications of green and blue infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and other spatial applications of urban resilience. In his recent work, he has developed principles and instruments for the design of social-ecologically integrated riverside urban spaces. He works closely with professionals and academics from several disciplines, and strives to engage students and citizens in co-design processes, with the ambition of developing an effective transdisciplinary practice of urban design and resilience.

Post-doc Researcher

Andrea Bortolotti is an architect (IUAV, 2011) and holds a PhD in urbanism from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, 2019). His main research focuses on urban ecology, urban metabolism, and their relation with design and planning, a topic that he investigates through cartographic analysis. He is currently an affiliated researcher at TUDelft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Luca is a postdoctoral researcher in Urbanism at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology.

Born and raised in the south of Italy, he moved to Roma where obtained first a master diploma in Graphic Design at Istituto Europeo di Design and then his bachelor’s degree of Architecture at Università La Sapienza.

Later, he graduated in Landscape Architecture and finally got his PhD in Urbanism, both at Università Iuav di Venezia. During the doctorate, he was visiting fellow in the Engineering Department of Drexel University (Philadelphia).

His research primarily focuses on the territorial dimension of water and energy supply infrastructures. The intent is to investigate the technological process of land alteration not only as the physical outcome of punctual engineering objects also as the implicit project to create specific cultural landscapes and wider socioeconomic geographies.

PhD Researchers

Raquel Hadrich Silva is a PhD candidate at the Chair of Urban Design Theory and Methods in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Raquel is part of the NWO-DST Project ‘Water4Change: Integrative and fit-for-purpose water sensitive design for fast growing livable cities’.

She has a multidisciplinary background in oceanography, sociology and international development studies. With research experience in Brazil and India, her work has underlined the need to challenge the reproduction of socio-environmental inequalities to fully transition towards a sustainable future. Currently, Raquel’s research is part of a project called Water4Change with a focus on secondary cities in India. In this work, she investigates assemblages of urban water cultures to broaden our understanding of how different human-water interactions are influenced by urban planning and design initiatives that are embedded in cultural contexts marked by unequal power relations.

PhD Thesis:
Renegotiating culture to achieve water sensitivity for coastal cities in India

Supervisors: Dominic Stead (promoter TU Delft), Margreet Zwarteveen (promoter, UN IHE Delft)  and Taneha K. Bacchin (co-promoter TU Delft)

Geert van der Meulen is a PhD candidate at the Chair of Urban Design Theory and Methods in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Geert is part of the NWO-DST Project ‘Water4Change: Integrative and fit-for-purpose water sensitive design for fast growing livable cities’.

He has a multidisciplinary background in water management, architecture and museology. His interest lies at the intersection between those fields and their representation in culture, arts and history in regards to spatial and temporal transformation. In his work as a creative water management engineer he underlines the urgency of interdisciplinary design approaches with ecology at their core as the complexity of challenges increases. Previous research and projects focused on transitional flood risk management, extreme sea level rise and nature based metropolitan solutions.

PhD Thesis:
Decolonizing Water Sensitive Design

Supervisors: Machiel van Dorst (promoter TU Delft) and Taneha K. Bacchin (co-promoter TU Delft)

Linkedin profile

PhD Thesis:
Shorescape – Sustainable co-evolution of the natural and built environment

Supervisors: Steffen Nijhuis (promoter TU Delft) and Eric Luiten (promoter TU Delft)

Filippo La Fleur is a PhD candidate at the Architecture and Urban Studies Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy and at the Chair of Urban Design Theory and Methods in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology.

Filippo LaFleur was a researcher at the Faculty of Architecture in the Department of Urbanism from 2015 to 2020 under the framework of DIMI Delft Delta Initiative on Mobility and Infrastructures project. He was principal investigator for NEXT / EXTREME – Constructed Natures and Intelligent SubSurface projects.

His interest lies at the intersection between landscape, urbanism and ecology in regards to spatial and temporal transformation of both land and maritime landscapes. Through projects he investigates interrelations between natural processes, societal practices, and (geo-)political dynamics. He has a strong emphasis on the agency of spatial interventions and on the role of representation and design as research instruments.


Joint PhD in Urban Planning, Design and Policy at Polytechnic University of Milan in collaboration with Delta Urbanism research Group at Delft University of Technology.

PhD Thesis:
Super Valley: Soil Regeneration and the Architecture of the agrarian space

Supervisors: Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira (Polytechnic University of Milan) and Taneha K. Bacchin (TU Delft)

Matteo Vianello is a PhD candidate at Università IUAV di Venezia, Dipartimento di Culture del Progetto, Venice, Italy and at the Chair of Urban Design Theory and Methods in the Department of Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Matteo is a PhD fellow International PhD Villard d’Honnecourt.


Joint PhD in Architecture and Urban Design at IUAV University of Venice in collaboration with Delta Urbanism research Group at Delft University of Technology.

PhD Thesis:
Undergrounding Territories. Sea space and the architectural project beyond the rising sea level narratives

Supervisors: Aldo Aymonino (IUAV) and Taneha K. Bacchin (TU Delft)

Orcid Profile

PhD Thesis:
Assessment of changing-highly variable climate impacts and urbanization-induced runoff for better flood and stormwater management toward water-sensitive cities

Supervisors: Chris Zevenbergen (promoter TU Delft) and Taneha K. Bacchin (co-promoter TU Delft)

Guest Researchers

Michaela Büsse is a design researcher from Germany currently based in Berlin, Germany. Research Associate Design, Anthropology & Material Politics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Cultural History and Theory. Her interest spans design and material cultures, STS, anthropology and political ecology. Michaela’s interdisciplinary practice is research-led and involves writing, filming and curatorial work. Since 2017 Michaela is a PhD candidate at the Critical Media Lab where she explores how design comes to govern social, material, political and economic relations by tracing sand’s becoming land. She is part of the editorial board at Migrant Journal which recently got nominated for the Swiss Design Awards. Michaela has hold fellowships with NTU CCA Singapore and MCAD Manila (“Acts of Life“ – On Nature and Urbanity, 2018) as well as Strelka Institute for Media, Design and Architecture (“The New Normal” 2017). From October 2021 onwards Michaela will be a visiting researcher at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.


Research Associate

NWO-DST Water4Change Project

[November 2020—June 2022]

Research Associate

NWO-DST Water4Change Project

[October 2020—July 2021]



Research Assistants
Luiz Felipe do Nascimento is an Urbanism MSc student at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of the Delft University of Technology. Born and raised in Brazil, Luiz obtained his bachelor’s degree at the University of São Paulo. During his studies, he also visited the University of Lisbon, Portugal, as an exchange student. Passionate about the fields of Urban and Landscape design, his academic and professional work in the private and public sectors highlights the need for designing landscapes based on natural and cultural settings, responsive to environmental challenges.

Martine de Jong-Lansbergen