dr.ir. (Beitske) B Boonstra


Dr. ir. Beitske Boonstra has expertise on active citizens and community initiatives in urban development and their interactions with (local) governments. Currently, Beitske works as academic researcher at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology on the project "Boundary spanning the sustainable city". This project investigates the skills and capacities of people who navigate across the boundaries of civic and public domains around issues of urban sustainability (a.k.a. city makers).


Previously, Beitske worked as doctoral-assistant in Spatial Planning at Ghent University, Department of Mobility and Spatial Planning (2016-2019) on civic initiatives and self-organization in spatial planning, partly funded by the H2020 project OpenHeritage on community-led adaptive re-use of heritage (2017-2019). From 2006-2016 she worked at TNO Strategy & Policy on technological, process and social innovation. She has been part-time Lecturer at the University of Groningen in 2016 (“City Matters: Philosophy and the City”) and Utrecht University in 2010 (“Beyond the Plan: An actor-relational approach to Spatial Planning).


Beitske holds a PhD in Regional and Urban Planning from Utrecht University (2015), with the thesis titled "Planning Strategies in an Age of Active Citizenship: A Post-structuralist Agenda for Self-organization in Spatial Planning", and a master degree in Urbanism from Delft University of Technology (2005).


Beitske is a Board Member of the Dutch-Belgium Plandag, Board Member of the re:Kreators network, Leader within Placemaking Europe, columnist for Archined and Coordinator of Kenniswerkplaats Leefbare Wijken Rotterdam.


Keywords: Spatial Planning; Civic initiatives; Urban Development; Self-organization; Complexity; Boundary Spanning; Sustainable Cities

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Assistant professor | Governance and Pluralism
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam


  • Beitske Boonstra & S Claessens (26 November 2020) - Analysegesprek: Dr.ir. Beitske Boonstra en Sophie Claessens

  • Beitske Boonstra (2022) - Societal impact beyond the hype
  • Beitske Boonstra (2022) - Understanding and evaluating bottom-up urban regeneration: Cultural projects as drivers for urban change in Favara and Amsterdam
  • Beitske Boonstra (2022) - Placemaking Days Budapest
  • Beitske Boonstra (2022) - Creating Affective Environments in City-making Practices: An Ode to Joy as Boundary Spanning Skill
  • Beitske Boonstra (2022) - Zicht op leefbaarheid
  • Beitske Boonstra (2020) - Conditions and dilemmas of informal initiatives
  • Beitske Boonstra (2020) - Stadmakers. Verbinders.
  • Beitske Boonstra (2020) - Strength of places: subtle revolutions - Rotterdam cases
  • Beitske Boonstra (2018) - Towards a Relational Heritage Approach: Fostering community-heritage engagement

4.3 Thesis/researchproject Master GMCS

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3.7 Bachelor Project

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2.4 Research Project

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2.7 & 2.8 Research Project

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