Bas van Heur

Academic and teaching staff

  • Current position Professor of Urban Studies / Director of the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research / Director of the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of Geography
    Faculty of Sciences
    Building F – Room 4.64
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 (0)2 629 3377
  • Fax +32 (0)2 629 3378
  • E-mail

Office hours for students: Thursdays 14-15h during term time. Outside of term time, please send an e-mail to set an appointment.

Bas van Heur is professor of human geography and urban studies. He is director of the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research and coordinator of the Brussels Centre for Urban Studies, a university-wide centre for urban research that brings together research groups from various disciplines (see: He is also programme director of the 4Cities Master in Urban Studies (see: with students studying in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid, and founding programme director of the Brussels-based Master in Urban Studies (see: in collaboration with the Université libre de Bruxelles.

His main research interest is in the politics of urban development and the analysis of urban development strategies and their effects. Theoretically, this has led to contributions on cultural (political) economy and regulation theory, urban laboratories and experimentation, innovation and the knowledge economy. His empirical work is quite diverse and includes research on the cultural and creative industries, migration and neighbourhood change, higher education and urban development, and smart city regions. Underlying this diversity is a consistent interest in how cities function and the ways in which state institutions at various scales (try to) regulate and govern social relations.

Current teaching

Sociale Geografie (6 ECTS, BSc Geografie, in Dutch)

Geographies of a Globalizing Europe (6 ECTS, MSc Geography, MSc Urban Studies, MSc 4Cities)

Urban (Social) Geography (6 ECTS, MSc Urban Studies, MSc 4Cities, MSc Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Planning)

Knowledge Economy and the City (3 ECTS, MSc Geography, MSc Urban Studies, MSc Stedenbouw en Ruimtelijke Planning)

Internship (15 ECTS, MSc Urban Studies)

Urban Analysis I (3 ECTS, Msc 4Cities, Msc Urban Studies)

Research Design and Methodology in Urban Studies (3 ECTS, MSc Urban Studies)

StadsSalonsUrbains (3 ECTS, MSc Urban Studies)

Research Seminar (3 ECTS, MSc Geography)

Excursion I and II (3+3 ECTS, MSc Urban Studies)

Excursion Abroad Social and Economic Geography (3 ECTS, MSc Geography)

Previous education

2008: PhD in Geography (magna cum laude), Department of Earth Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

2004: MA in Cultural History (cum laude), Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

2001: BA in Liberal Arts, Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Previous positions

2008-2011: Postdoctoral researcher, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University, the Netherlands

2007: Research fellow, Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

2005-2006: Lecturer, Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, University of London, United Kingdom

2004-2005: Lecturer, Institute of Media and Representation, Faculty of Arts, Utrecht University, the Netherlands