The Political Economy of Real Estate Climate Risk Management in the Netherlands

The Political Economy of Real Estate Climate Risk Management in the Netherlands

Published Deadline Location
23 Jun 10 Jul Delft

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Job description

Climate transitions are prompting a reconsideration of real estate finance and development practices in the Dutch urban delta and beyond. Builders, designers, financial institutions and government agencies are seeking new strategies to identify and address key climate-related questions in the built environment, ranging from decarbonisation to physical climate risk management, and from asset-level to portfolio- and systems-scale interventions.

While promising, these emergent ideas and initiatives largely remain sectoral in focus, siloed by discipline, and fragmented across urban geographies. As a result, real estate and infrastructure actors run the risk of pursuing climate strategies which could prove maladaptive, ineffective, and inequitable. Relational understandings of existing and emerging approaches are needed if we are to realize effective and equitable transitions in the built environment.

Your research will help to address this challenge by analysing real estate climate risk management in the Netherlands from an urban political economy perspective. This approach will focus on two core elements:

  • (i) analysis of the climate risk management strategies and tools used by real estate-finance actors in the Dutch and international contexts.
  • (ii) the geographical (i.e. spatial and temporal) interactions between actors and their strategies, including both positive synergies (e.g. integrated investment and planning frameworks), and potentially problematic dynamics (e.g. real estate devaluation and affordability issues, the risk of climate gentrification).

You will assess these dynamics from several stakeholder perspectives, to potentially include homeowners and renters, residential mortgage lenders and insurers, institutional investors and asset managers/housing providers, and public sector agencies involved in housing provision. You will draw on a range of qualitative and qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, focus groups, discourse and policy analysis, GIS, financial analysis), depending on your background, interests, and research program opportunities. In addition to writing scientific publications, you will play an important role in creating practical tools, briefings, and other content for practitioners, policymakers and broader public audiences.

Your research contributes to Work Package 1 of the Real Estate Development & Building in Low Urban Environments (RED&BLUE) research initiative, a major new program funded by the Dutch Research Council. RED&BLUE aims to develop transdisciplinary knowledge on climate resilient real estate and infrastructure development. Work Package 1 focuses on the links between real estate value and physical climate risks, and how these relationships are unevenly spatialized across the Dutch urban delta context. You will also strategically collaborate with other Work Package teams researching governance, vulnerability and resilience, engineering strategies, and other areas of analysis, as well as teams working with communities of practice in the Greater Amsterdam and Rotterdam regions.

As a member of the RED&BLUE team, you will lead high-impact research on a pressing societal topic relevant in the Netherlands and beyond. You will actively collaborate with other researchers and societal partners, providing you with exceptional intellectual development, mentorship, and networking opportunities.

This position will be based at the Department of Management and the Built Environment at TU Delft and supervised by dr. Zac Taylor and prof. Ellen van Bueren. As a member of the Work Package 1 team, you will also closely collaborate with a team of early career researchers at Maastricht University, supervised by prof. Piet Eicholtz and prof. Nils Kok.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • Master’s degree in urban studies (e.g. geography, sociology, planning) or related field, including demonstrated experience with multiple research methods and/or a desire to develop this capacity.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, as required for scientific publishing. If your native language is not English and you do not hold a degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction, you must submit proof of English proficiency from either TOEFL (minimum total score of 100) or IELTS (minimum total score of 7.0).
  • Good command of Dutch considering the contextual and applied dimensions of this research. If the candidate does not speak Dutch, they should be willing to take classes and should reach the Dutch B1/B2 language level within one year.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the capacity to navigate between the theoretical and practical dimensions of the project.
  • Demonstrable interest in transdisciplinary research and/or societal-facing research and engagement, including a willingness to develop this skillset.
  • Proven ability to approach sensitive and complex challenges from different perspectives, including good listening skills and a strong capacity to understand underlying motives and dynamics.
  • Creative and curious mind-set, and willingness to take initiative and think outside of the box.
  • Enthusiasm to take part in the Delft University of Technology Graduate School, where research skills are part of the curriculum.
  • Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the energy and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is buzzing with energy from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Our faculty has a strong focus on 'design-oriented research’, which has given it a top position in world rankings.

Staff and students are working to improve the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built


Real Estate Development & Building in Low Urban Environments (RED&BLUE)

RED&BLUE is led by prof. Ellen van Bueren (Delft University of Technology). The consortium includes more than 30 Dutch and international academic and societal partners from government, finance, development, engineering and beyond. More information about RED&BLUE can be found at including Delft University of Technology, VU Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research, Maastricht University, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Utrecht, AMS Institute, APG, Arcadis, Bouwinvest, the City of Amsterdam, the City of Dordrecht, the City of Rotterdam, Cushman & Wakefield, Deltametropolis Association, Deltares, the Dutch Association of Insurers, the Foundation for Area Development Knowledge (SKG), the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, the National Delta Program, PGGM, Province of North Holland, Province of South Holland, the Resilient Delta initiative, Sustainable Finance Lab, the Urban Land Institute, Vesteda, and Waternet AGV. More information about RED&BLUE can be found at:




  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2443—€3122 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02478


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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