Marco Bontje is assistant professor in urban geography at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies of the University of Amsterdam. Within the research institute AISSR he is member of the research group Urban Geographies.
While his main research interest lies in urban geographic issues, his research has crossed disciplinary boundaries towards urban and regional planning, economic geography and environmental geography. Research topics so far have included the effectiveness of Dutch national urbanisation policy (PhD thesis); sustainable development of city-edge and (post-)suburban business locations; spatial, social and economic conditions for internationally competitive creative knowledge cities; and the impact of demographic and economic decline on cities and regions. All these topics have been studied in comparative projects including cases from several European countries. Marco's ambition is to continue on this comparative path and also cross continental boundaries in the near future. A first step towards this goal was a sabbatical leave of 3 months at City University Hong Kong (September - December 2012), resulting in research about the residential attractiveness of Shenzhen (China) for people working in creative industries.
Currently Marco's two main research foci are:
- Shrinking cities and regions. Marco was involved in a study of the Parkstad Limburg region in the south of the Netherlands, was member of the Management Committee of the COST Action 'Cities Regrowing Smaller' (2009-2013), and has recently been involved in two JPI Urban Europe projects connected to this topic: 'Bright Future for Black Towns' (2017-2020) and '3S RECIPE - Smart Shrinkage Solutions' (2017-2020). Currently he is involved in the Marie Curie-Sklodowska International Training Network RE-CITY - Reviving Shrinking Cities (2018-2022).
- Creative knowledge cities and regions. After completing the project 'The Inventive City' which consisted of a comparison of the role of creativity and knowledge in the competitiveness strategies of 7 European city-regions, he became involved in the EU 6th Framework project Accommodating Creative Knowledge (ACRE) (2006-2010) and the NWO-funded project Implications of location preferences of highly educated workers for spatial development of metropolitan areas (2012-2014). Related to this, Marco has analysed to what extent Shenzhen, China is an attractive city for creative knowledge workers and companies.
Marco's teaching experience includes lectures, working groups, individual supervision of bachelor and master theses (including a Master Thesis Project for geography and planning students in Shenzhen, China), the organisation of foreign field trips, and several coordination tasks at course and programme level. The international and comparative nature of his research is reflected in his teaching, which is largely about the topics mentioned above. From 2006 until 2013 he was the programme director of the Research Master Urban Studies, an interdisciplinary and very international master programme, both in terms of the programme content and the student population.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals
VanHoose, K. A., Hoekstra, M., & Bontje, M. A. (2021). Marketing the unmarketable: Place branding in a postindustrial medium-sized town. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 114, .
Haase, A., Bontje, M., Couch, C., Marcinczak, S., Rink, D., Rumpel, P., & Wolff, M. (2021). Factors driving the regrowth of European cities and the role of local and contextual impacts: A contrasting analysis of regrowing and shrinking cities. Cities : The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning, 108, .
Hoekstra, M. S., Hochstenbach, C., Bontje, M. A., & Musterd, S. (2020). Shrinkage and housing inequality: policy responses to population decline and class change. Journal of Urban Affairs, 42(3), 333-350.
Bontje, M. A. (2019). Shenzhen: satellite city or city of satellites? International Planning Studies, 24(3-4), 255-271.
Van Leynseele, Y., & Bontje, M. (2019). Visionary cities or spaces of uncertainty? Satellite cities and new towns in emerging economies. International Planning Studies, 24(3-4), 207-217.
Kooiman, N., Latten, J. & Bontje, M. (2018) Human capital migration: a longitudinal perspective. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 109 (5), 644-660.
Hoekveld, J.J. & M.A. Bontje (2016) Intra-regional differentiation of population development in Southern-Limburg, the Netherlands. TESG 107 (3): 282-297.
T. Wiechmann & M. Bontje (2015). Responding to tough times: policy and planning strategies in shrinking cities. European Planning Studies, 23 (1), 1-11.
K. Elzerman & M. Bontje (2015). Urban shrinkage in Parkstad Limburg. European Planning Studies, 23 (1), 87-103.
S. van Heerden & M. Bontje (2014). What about culture for the ordinary workforce? A study on the locational preferences of the creative class in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. Journal of Urban Affairs, 36 (3), 465-481.
Grossmann, K., M. Bontje, A. Haase & V. Mykhnenko (2013) Shrinking cities: notes for the further research agenda. Cities 35: 221-225.
Bontje, M. & P. Lawton (2013) Mobile policies and shifting contexts: city-regional competitiveness strategies in Amsterdam and Dublin. TESG 104 (4): 397-409.
Bontje, M. & S. Musterd (2012) Understanding shrinkage in European regions. Built Environment 38 (2): 153-161.
Bontje, M., S. Musterd, Z. Kovacs & A. Murie (2011) Pathways toward European creative knowledge city-regions. Urban Geography 32 (1): 80-104.
Wijk, M. van, K. Brattinga & M. Bontje (2011) Exploit or protect airport regions from urbanization? Assessment of land-use restrictions in Amsterdam-Schiphol. European Planning Studies 12 (2): 261-277.
Bontje, M. & S. Musterd (2009) Creative industries, creative class and competitiveness: expert opinions critically appraised. Geoforum 40 (5): 843-852.
Bontje, M. & S. Musterd (2008) The multi-layered city: the value of old urban profiles. TESG 99 (2): 248-255.
Musterd, S., M. Bontje & W. Ostendorf (2006) The changing role of old and new urban centers: the case of the Amsterdam region. Urban Geography 27 (4): 360-387.
Bontje, M. & J. Burdack (2005) Edge Cities European-style: examples from Paris and the Randstad. Cities 22(4): 317-330.
Bontje, M. & J. Latten (2005) Stable size, changing composition: recent migration dynamics of the Dutch large cities. TESG 96 (4): 444-451.
Bontje, M. (2004) Facing the challenge of shrinking cities in East Grmany: the case of Leipzig. GeoJournal 61 (1): 13-21.
Bontje, M. (2004) Sustainable new economic centres in European metropolitan regions: a stakeholders' perspective. European Planning Studies 12 (5): 703-722.
Bontje, M. (2004) From suburbia to post-suburbia in the Netherlands: potentials and threats for sustainable regional development. Journal of Housing and Built Environment19 (1): 25-47.
Bontje, M. (2003) A 'planner's paradise' lost? Past, present and future of Dutch national urbanization policy. European Urban and Regional Studies 10 (2): 135-152.
Bontje, M. (2001) Dealing with deconcentration: population deconcentration and planning response in polynucleated urban regions in North-West Europe. Urban Studies 38 (4): 769-786.
Bontje, M., S. Musterd & P. Pelzer (2011) Inventive city-regions: path dependence and creative knowledge strategies. Ashgate, 272 pp.
see link to book flyer below
Musterd, S., M. Bontje & J. Rouwendal (eds.) (2016) Skills and Cities. Routledge (RSA Regions and Cities Series).
Deben, L. & M. Bontje (2006) Creativity and diversity: key challenges to the 21st-century city. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis.
Book chapters (selection)
Bontje, M. (2020). Population and development. In A. Kobayashi (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2nd ed., Vol. 10, pp. 229-234). Elsevier.
Bontje, M. (2019). Hong Kong and Shenzhen: Twins, rivals or potential megacity? In J. Garrard, & E. Mikhailova (Eds.), Twin Cities: Urban communities, borders and relationships over time (pp. 132-146). (Global Urban Studies). Routledge.
Boterman, W. R., & Bontje, M. (2016). 'The' creative class does not exist: Contrasting the residential preferences of creative and technical workers in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. In S. Musterd, M. Bontje, & J. Rouwendal (Eds.), Skills and Cities: implications of location preferences of highly educated workers for spatial development of metropolitan areas (pp. 63-85). (Regions and cities; Vol. 95). Routledge.
Bontje, M. & K. Kepsu (2013) Creative knowledge strategies for polycentric city-regions. In: S. Musterd & Z. Kovacs (eds.) Place-making and policies for competitive cities, pp. 191-208. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Egedy, T., A. von Streit & M. Bontje (2013) Policies towards multi-layered cities and cluster development. In: S. Musterd & Z. Kovacs (eds.) Place-making and policies for competitive cities, pp. 35-58. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Bontje, M. & J. Burdack (2011) Post-suburbia in continental Europe. In: N. Phelps & F. Wu (eds.) International perspectives on suburbanisation: a post-suburban world? , pp. 143-162. Palgrave Macmillan.
Streit, A. von, M. Bontje & E. d'Agnese (2010) Stable trajectories towards the creative knowledge city? Amsterdam, Munich and Milan. In: S. Musterd & A. Murie (eds.), Making competitive cities, pp. 43-66. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Pareja-Eastaway, M., M. Bontje & M. d'Ovidio (2010) Attracting young andhigh-skilled workers: Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan. In: S. Musterd & A.Murie (eds.), Making competitive cities, pp. 192-207. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Bontje, M. (2001) The challenge of planned urbanisation. Urbanisation and national urbanisation policy in the Netherlands in a Northwest-European perspective. Amsterdam: AME, University of Amsterdam / Thela Thesis.
Edited journal issues
Van Leynseele, Y. & M. Bontje (2019) Editors of special issue of International Planning Studies 24 (3-4): 'Visionary Cities or Spaces of Uncertainty? Satellite Cities and New Towns in Emerging Economies'.
Wiechmann, T. & M. Bontje (2015) Editors of special issue of European Planning Studies 23 (1): 'Responding to tough times: policy and planning strategies in shrinking cities'.
Bontje, M. & S. Musterd (2012) Editors of special issue of Built Environment 38 (2): 'Understanding shrinkage in European regions'.
Ploeger, R., J. Lawson & M. Bontje (2001) Editors of special issue of Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 16 (1): 'The methodological challenge of comparative research'.
Born 20 March 1973 in Alkmaar, Netherlands
Since 2009: assistant professor at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2011-2019: Secretary of Exam Committee Bachelor and Master Human Geography and Urban/Regional Planning
2006-2013: Programme director of Research Master Urban Studies (programme name until 1 September 2012: Research Master Metropolitan Studies)
2006-2010 Programme director of Research Master Human Geography, Planning and Development Studies; and Master Urban Studies
2005-2009: researcher and lecturer at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2001-2005: post-doc researcher at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2002-2004: post-doc researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography, Leipzig, Germany (Marie Curie Host Fellowship)
1997-2001: Ph.D. researcher at the Amsterdam studycentre for the Metropolitan Environment(AME), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Ph.D. thesis successfully defended 30 October 2001.
Memberships, committees etc.
Member of Project Coordination Team, Marie Curie-Sklodowska International Training Network RE-CITY (2018-2022)
Member of Management Committee, COST TU0803 'Cities Regrowing Smaller' (2009-2013)
Member of editorial board, Journal of Housing and Built Environment (since 2007)
Member of editorial board, Urban Planning (since 2019)
Member of editorial board, International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development (since 2012)
Member of editorial board, Ruimte & Maatschappij (since 2009)
Member of editorial board, Geografie (2001-2010)
Member of scientific advisory council of Raad voor Ruimtelijk, Milieu- en Natuuronderzoek (Schaduwraad Wetenschap RMNO) (2008-2009)
Work address: Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 5255240
Some of my current and recent teaching activities in the bachelor and master programmes of Human Geography and Planning and in our research master programmes: