The upcoming SPS Seminar will be with José van Campen en Sandra van Assen (TU Delft) on spatial quality advice in the Netherlands.

The seminar will take place on Thursday 17 May at 12:30-13:30 in room 01 West 270 at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft.

José and Sandra will present their parallel PhD research on:

  • the performance of spatial quality teams against the background of the Dutch planning system and spatial decision-making processes (José);
  • the team performance and innovation potential of quality teams and their impact on the spatial design object and process (Sandra).



Q-factor: the influence of spatial quality advice teams in the Netherlands since 1990 from the perspective of planning and spatial design.


José van Campen (planner) and Sandra van Assen (designer) are performing parallel phd researches on spatial quality teams in the Netherlands. Positioned between (urban) design and planning these quality teams are assumed to link design with planning and vice versa. In previous research José and Sandra mapped more than one hundred of such teams in the Netherlands, with different rates of ‘success’ i.e. a different ‘performance’. The aim of the parallel PhD research is to further illuminate the impact of spatial quality advising on spatial quality and spatial planning and design processes. In other words: the input, throughput, output and outcome of spatial quality advising.

Sandra’s central research question is: What is the influence of spatial quality teams on spatial quality and spatial design objects and processes and how do the teamwork and innovation potential affect their performance?

José’s central research question is: What is the influence of spatial quality teams on actions and decisions in relation to spatial quality and how do the use of spatial quality regulations and interpretations and the use of knowledge affect the performance of spatial quality teams?


Keywords: spatial quality team, spatial quality, spatial planning, spatial design, expertise, performance


José van Campen graduated in 1990 as a planner at the University of Amsterdam. She worked at Architectuur Lokaal and MOOI Noord-Holland on many projects on spatial quality policy and spatial quality advising. From 2005 she works as independent planner from her own consultancy Woord en Plaats. José is one of the initiators of Mooiwaarts, a group of people and organizations that stimulate dialogue about the modernisation of spatial quality policy and the opportunities of spatial quality policy under the future Environment & Planning Act. She is project leader of the Mooiwaarts research ‘Omgevingsplan Op Kwaliteit’ (OOK). In 2017 she started her doctoral research at TU Delft on the influence of spatial quality advising. José is (co-)author of several practice-focused books and essays, including ‘Omgevingskwaliteit en ruimte’ (2018, 2013), ‘Foar in Moai Fryslân, zes jaar Team Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit’ (2015), ‘230 meter kaas, de totstandkoming van de CONO Kaasmakerij in de Beemster’ (2015), ‘Q factor, ruimtelijke kwaliteitsteams in Nederland’ (2014), ‘Urgentie, verleiding en gereedschap, mogelijkheden en beperkingen van de Omgevingswet voor lokaal en provinciaal ruimtelijk kwaliteitsbeleid (2013) and ‘15 jaar Commissie Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit Bussum’ (2008).


Sandra van Assen graduated in 1999 at the TU Delft – faculty of Architecture with landscape architecture as an additional subject. Furthermore, she studied landscape architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (1994-1995) and specialized and received an additional grade in urban design (SBA, 2007). From 1999 till 2004 Sandra worked at private offices in Rotterdam and was guest teacher landscape architecture at the TU Delft (2003-2004). Here she also coordinated the Bachelor Urbanism (2004). With a team of researchers and designers she won the Harry de Vroome Price in 2005. In 2007 she established her networkoffice “Sandra van Assen Stedenbouw”. In addition Sandra was appointed as Provincial urban planner and member of the q- team of the Frysian province from 2008 till 2016. In 2013 Sandra joined the Research Group Future Urban Regions, a network research program of the Dutch Academies of Architecture (AARO). Since teamwork and spatial quality have formed the leitmotif in her career, Sandra started a PhD research on the influence of spatial quality advice teams in 2017. Sandra (co-)produced several research projects, books and articles. Recent publications are ‘Q factor, ruimtelijke kwaliteitsteams in Nederland’ (2014). ‘Foar in Moai Fryslân, zes jaar Team Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit’ (2015), ‘Urban Challenges, Resilient Solutions. Design Thinking for the Future of Urban Regions’, with the FUR Lectorate (2017).




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