Merten Nefs

Merten Nefs

Project Manager Design & Research


Merten Nefs is a senior researcher at the Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics (UPT), in Rotterdam. He has taught at various universities and universities of applied sciences since 2016. Merten holds a PhD on the sustainable spatial planning for logistics (Landscapes of Trade, TUDelft, 2024).

He has expertise in spatial planning and analysis, particularly in topics where the economy poses dilemmas in the use of space, such as the circular economy and broad prosperity. In his applied research, as well as academic projects, he uses both quantitative (geographic information) techniques and qualitative ones.

Merten supervises master/bachelor students writing their theses in spatial economics topics. He teaches in the Master City Developer (EUR & TUDelft) and gives spatial research methods courses at the Architecture Academy. He is also involved as a guest speaker in the TIAS module of Investing in Resilient Real-Estate.


  • Nefs, M. (2024). Applying a logistics cluster typology in spatial planning for circularity: lessons from a Dutch policy lab. Journal of Planning Practice & Research,

  • Nefs, M. (2024). Ruimtelijke antwoorden op ‘verdozing’. Real Estate Research Quarterly.

  • Van den Berghe, K. B. J., Tsui, T. P. Y., Iliopoulos, G., Papadimitriou, C., Arrindell, A., Bonte, T., Fritzgerald, T., & Nefs, M. (2023). Watergebonden transport en bedrijventerreinen in Zuid- Holland. Fore- en backcasting van de circulaire economie om de implicaties voor ruimtelijke planning van vandaag te begrijpen.

  • Nefs, M., Van Haaren, J. & Van Oort, F. (2023). The limited regional employment benefits of XXL-logistics centres in the Netherlands. Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 109, 2023, 103603, ISSN 0966-6923,

  • Nefs, M. (2022). Beyond Global Gains and Local Pains - spatial inequality of hinterland logistics. In Aesop (Ed.), AESOP 2022 Tartu: Spatial Justice (Aesop, pp. 249–256). Aesop.

  • Nefs, M. & Daamen, T. (2022). Behind the Big Box: understanding the planning-development dialectic of large distribution centres in Europe, European Planning Studies,

  • Nefs, M., Zonneveld, W. & Gerretsen, P. (2022). The Dutch ‘Gateway to Europe’ spatial policy narrative, 1980–2020: a systematic review, Planning Perspectives,