Maarten Hajer is distinguished professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University, and a former Director-General of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He has published widely on environmental politics and urban planning.

Maarten A. Hajer (1962) is distinguished professor of Urban Futures and director of the Urban Futures Studio at Utrecht University and Scientific Director of the university-wide strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability. Previously Dr Hajer was professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam and Director-General of the PBL – Netherlands Environmental Asssessment Agency. Dr Hajer holds MA degrees in Political Science and in Urban and Regional Planning (both University of Amsterdam) and got his D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University.

For the IRP, Dr Hajer chaired the working group on Food Systems and co-chairs the working group on Cities (together with Mark Swilling). He is the author of more than 15 scholarly books, including The Politics of Environmental Discourse (Oxford UP, 1995), In Search of New Public Domain – Analysis and Strategy (NAi Publishers, 2001, together with Arnold Reijndorp), Deliberative Policy Analysis (Cambridge UP, 2003, eds. with Hendrik Wagenaar), Strong Stories – How the Dutch Reinvent their Planning Practice (Nai/010, 2010, with Suzanne van ‘t Klooster & Jantine Grijzen), Authoritative Governance (Oxford UP, 2009) and Smart about Cities – Visualizing the Challenge of 21st Century Urbanism (NAi/010, 2014), a critique of the prevalent discourse of smart cities and a call to connect urbanism to the challenges of re-urbanization: the need to make green, socially inclusive cities. In 2020 he published Neighbourhoods for the Future – A Plea for a Social and Ecological Urbanism (Trancity/Valiz) which was reprinted in 2022. You can find his peer-reviewed articles via this link to his ORCID ID.

Selected Publications


Forthcoming 2020. A world of Neighbourhoods: A Plea for a Social and Ecological Urbanism. Amsterdam: Trancity/Valiz.

Hajer, M.A., & Dassen, A.G.M. (Eds.), Smart about cities: Visualizing the challenge for 21st century urbanism (pp. 9- 43). Rotterdam: NAi010.

Journal Articles, Peer-reviewed

Hajer, M. A., & Versteeg, W. (2019). Imagining the post-fossil city: Why is it so difficult to think of new possible worlds? Territory, Politics & Governance, 7(2), 122-134. doi: 10.1080/21622671.2018.1510339

Hajer, M. A., & Pelzer, P. (2018). 2050—An energetic odyssey: Understanding ‘techniques of futuring’ in the transition towards renewable energy. Energy Research & Social Science, 44(10), 222-231. https/

Hajer, M. A., & Swilling, M.(2017). Governance of urban transitions: Towards sustainable resource efficient urban infrastructures. Environmental Research Letters, 12(12).

Hajer, M.A., Nilsson, M., Raworth, K., Bakker, P.A.H.M., Berkhout, F.G.H, De Boer, Y., . . . Kok, M.T.J. (2015). Beyond cockpit-ism: Four insights to enhance the transformative potential of the sustainable development goals. Sustainability, 7(2), 1651-1660.

Hajer, M.A. (2012). A media storm in the world risk society: Enacting scientific authority in the IPCC controversy (2009-2010). Critical Policy Studies, 6(4), 451–463.

Loeber, A.M.C., Hajer M.A., & Levidow, L. (2011). Agro-food crises: institutional and discursive changes in the food scares era. Science as Culture, 20(2), 147-155. doi: 10.1080/09505431.2011.563567

Journal articles, non peer-reviewed

Potjer, S., & Hajer, M.A. (2017). Learning with cities, learning for cities: The golden opportunity of the urban agenda for the EU. Utrecht: Urban Futures Studio. https:// /sites /default /files /essay-urbanfuturesstudio -12juli -web .pdf

Potjer, S., Hajer, M.A., & Pelzer, P. (2018). Learning to experiment: Realizing the potential of the urban agenda for the EU. Utrecht: Urban Futures Studio. https: //www. docdroid. net/99DbF6c /research -urbanfuturesstudio-web-def-1.pdf

Government Reports / Reports from Scientific Councils

Swilling, M., Hajer, M.A., Baynes, T.M., Bergesen, J.D., Labbé, F., Musango, J.K., . . .Tabory, S. (2018). The Weight of Cities: Resource requirements of future urbanization. International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme report.

Ekins, P., Hughes, N., Bringezu, S., Arden-Clarke, C. Fischer-Kowalski, M., Graedel, T.E., . . . Westhoek, H.J. (2017). Resource Efficiency: Potential and Economic Implications. International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme report.

Westhoek, H.J., Ingram, J.S.I., Van Berkum, S., Milà i Canals, L., Lomax., J., Herrick, J.E.,& Hajer, M.A.  (2014). A food system approach for the identification of opportunities to increase resource use efficiency. International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme report. https :// www .researchgate .net / publication /280924906_ A_food _system _approach _for _the_ identification _of_ opportunities _to _increase _resource _use_efficiency


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