The Netherlands

Dr. Zef Hemel

Zef Hemel (born in 1957) is a spatial planner. From 2012 to 2022, he occupied the Wibaut chair for Urban Affairs at the University of Amsterdam. Hemel studied Social Geography and Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Groningen. In addition to his academic work, he is employed by the Municipality of Amsterdam. Last year, Hemel’s newest book ‘Er was eens een stad’ (‘Once Upon a Time in Amsterdam’) was published in which he discusses the journey towards new spatial planning: visionary planning.


Together with two postdoc researchers and his students in Groningen and Delft, Hemel explores the spatial perspectives for the rural areas where the combination of local towns and cities and agricultural countryside has great potential.


Zef Hemel fulfils 0.2 FTE at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology and 0.2 FTE at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen. He will be present at both universities for one day per week, working together with the current staff.