We are looking for post-doctoral researcher able to investigate the role of (inter)national flows of construction waste in the (de)growth of city-regions. The post-doc will critically analyze the regulations that organize these flows, and conceptualize the relation between circular economy and degrowth in the socio-economic transformation of cities. The overall aim of the post-doc is to develop a framework that explains if and how circular economy and degrowth agendas can be combined in the sustainability strategies of cities. The focus of the analysis is European flows of construction materials and their impact on the development industry in The Netherlands.
If you are a skilled scholar, with a strong sensitivity to the political ecology of city-regions, a clear knowledge of the degrowth framework, and experience in international research, then you are our ideal candidate.
As post-doc you will be working in the research team of the DECYCLE project, funded by the ERC starting grant framework and led by the PI, Dr. Federico Savini. The project is starting in December 2022, and the team is composed of 2 PhD researchers, the PI and one research assistant. As post-doc you will also help the PI setting up the research practice within the team. The post-doc will be positioned in the Urban Planning Research Group of the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam.What are you going to do
The post-doc will work on a specific subproject within the DECYCLE project. The research focuses on the regulatory frameworks that organize international streams of construction and demolition waste. Theoretically, the research aims to build a critique of mainstream circular economy research while advancing degrowth research. To do so, you will focus on city-regions and their urban development, and how they are embedded in international material flows.
In specific, the subproject studies how international regulations allow to valorize city-regional waste materials. It focuses on construction waste because this stream includes multiple materials and because construction waste is the urban sector with the largest environmental impact. The Netherlands is taken as the point of origin and destination for the tracing of construction waste streams in Europe. This country is the first in the EU for 'backfilling', and it is a leading advocate of the circular economy while it invests largely in waste incineration and exports. This subproject identifies nodes within the construction waste geography in Europe, examining the impact of public regulations at national and regional levels. In so doing, it aims to develop theoretical insights on the regulations that shape urban degrowth and circular economy. For this project, the post-doc will use both (secondary) quantitative and (primary) qualitative data. These include EU regulations on waste and building materials, material prices, and semi-structured interviews with corporations and EU regulators.You will
- Collect data on regulations and legal frameworks that apply to construction and demolition waste in the Netherlands and those that apply internationally. To collect this information, you will conduct interviews with policy makers, EU experts in waste, representatives of companies in the business of waste management, both in The Netherlands and internationally.
- Analyse how these regulations have been reformed in the last years, focusing on the power relations that shape these regulatory frameworks. You will need carry out archival research and interviews, looking at professional publications in different fields. To carry out the research you will zoom into specific projects of circular waste reuse in the built environment (to be defined together with the PI), so to grasp how regulations are protected, contested and reformed.
- Conceptualize the relation between circular economy and degrowth in city-regions. The empirical work will be integrated in the developing debate on circular practices in the built environment and on the necessary reduction of material demands.
- Publish in top-ranked journals both independently and in collaboration with the PI.
- Help with the dissemination of results, assisting the PI with the scientific activities of the DECYCLE project.
- Help tutoring the DECYELE PhDs in collective reading groups.
- Assist the PI and the research assistant in the organization of workshops.