Professor Eveline van Leeuwen appointed as new Scientific Director AMS Institute

Published on
July 3, 2020

Eveline van Leeuwen, Professor of Urban Economics at Wageningen University and Research and international expert on spatial economics, has been appointed as Scientific Director of Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute). The appointment by the board of AMS Institute, is effective as per September 1st. Eveline van Leeuwen is Chair of Urban Economics at Wageningen University & Research. In her role as professor she is already closely connected to AMS Institute as Principal Investigator. In addition to her position as chair in Urban Economics, van Leeuwen is Vice President of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA). From 2001 to 2017, in various positions at VU University Amsterdam, she developed herself as an expert in the field of Spatial Economics. Within the fields of research and education, the topics that particularly spark her interest are the relations between city and countryside, interactions in space and time, differences between people and regions, and broad prosperity focused on themes such as circularity, energy transition and regional food systems.

With an MSc in Land Use Planning, a PhD in Spatial Economics and her current chair in Urban Economics – a role she will continue to fulfil – the new Scientific Director has a multidisciplinary background that fits in well with the urban focus of AMS Institute. According to van Leeuwen, cities in particular can make the difference in tackling the major transition topics that are currently setting the agenda’s, such as the energy transition and the transition towards a circular society.

Van Leeuwen: "For me, AMS Institute is a great example of collaboration between government and science, education and innovation. In recent years, the institute has developed into a true accelerator, bringing together urban challenges and science. The results are manifold; a broad portfolio of innovative ideas, living labs, co-creation with the City of Amsterdam, private and public organizations and citizens to continue to develop cities in terms of livability and sustainability". In her capacity as Scientific Director, van Leeuwen will be working alongside Managing Director Kenneth Heijns and Director of Innovation Stephan van Dijk.

In September Arjan van Timmeren will be saying goodbye to AMS Institute as Scientific Director. From the start of the institute in 2014, van Timmeren has been a driving force in building and expanding the network of academic involvement. Under his direction, in the 5 years that he has been working as Scientific Director, the research portfolio developed to one that currently consists of more than 125 research projects. After the summer van Timmeren will be returning fulltime to his position as professor Environmental Technology & Design at TU Delft.

This week it is six years ago that AMS Institute was founded by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Amsterdam-based knowledge institute focuses on re-inventing the city and designing solutions for the city’s most pressing urban challenges by realizing cross-fertilization of ideas: in research, education, innovation and entrepreneurship, but also by creating an innovative environment where connections are made between knowledge institutes, private and public organizations. With its own master’s program Metropolitan Analysis Design and Engineering – a TU Delft/WUR joint degree master – AMS Institute educates tomorrow’s urban engineers.