The world is urbanizing at a very fast rate. In the EU, 75% of the population currently lives in cities, and in the Netherlands, this percentage is even higher at 92%.

Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the goal of the European Green Deal. Therefore, the EU has a mission to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 (European Commission, 2021).

About the research group

On 28 April 2022, the European Commission announced the 100 cities participating in the EU Smart Cities Mission, including The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen, Eindhoven and Helmond in the Netherlands.

The research group Future Urban Systems develops and valorizes practical knowledge and proven solutions for local authorities and companies through applied research and education. The research group enhances and demonstrates ways to accelerate energy transition, climate adaptation and circular economy in neighbourhoods and urban areas by harnessing the power of data analytics and digital transformation.

Researchers, lecturers and students are the driving force of the research group Future Urban Systems. They work together to realize impacts through inclusive approaches for the adoption of sustainable energy systems for cities, nature-inspired design strategies for resilient cities in climate change, and evidence-based methods for emission-neutral buildings, civil infrastructures and areas in the cities.

Read more about the vision and research agenda of Future Urban Systems.

About the professor

Dr. Rizal Sebastian

Rizal Sebastian studied architecture and building technology in Bandung (Indonesia) and earned a master’s degree in construction management in London (UK). In 2007, he obtained his PhD at the TU Delft with a dissertation on managing collaborative design. He has acquired knowledge, experience, and an international network in developing and applying digital technologies for the improvement of construction quality and processes. In the past 23 years, he has combined research and practice. Until recently, he was scientific lead for digitalisation in construction and infrastructure, and manager of European research projects at TNO. Prior to this, he worked as a building engineer, project manager, and advisor at a large engineering firm, and as R&D director at an ICT company. In his free time, he can be found on a tennis court, or playing on his guitar. And when Formula 1 is on, he is glued to the television.

Rizal is curious by nature and is energised by collaboration within national and international innovation programmes. He, therefore, plans to actively seek out collaboration with other research groups, centres of expertise and universities, and to strengthen the coherence between research and the education programmes in the Built Environment. Together we can make a greater impact, after all. Knowledge that is acquired within the research group will make its way to the industry, through the lecturers and students.

Publicaties: ResearchGate en ORCID

LinkedIn profiel

dr. Rizal Sebastian

A city is not a city without the people. You can’t separate the built environment from the social environment. A city is both.


Within our research group, researchers, lecturer-researchers and students work closely with practice partners to conduct research. Together they are committed to translating the results of the research -knowledge and insights- into the practice of education and the region.

Meet our team

Lectoraat Future Urban Systems


Network and trust building at local energy communities

Local communities’ initiatives in energy transition are important to realise the targeted impact of the Paris Climate Agreement. Many studies and approaches in energy transition in the Netherlands, especially those where local initiatives play a role, describe trust as an important factor. 
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Understanding IT among SMEs in South-Holland

Commissioned by PZH, research groups Future Urban System and Smart Sustainable Manufacturing conduct strategic research on IT capability and capacity among SMEs in the construction and manufacturing industries.
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Energy transition LV

Like all Dutch municipalities, Leidschendam-Voorburg has the task of letting go of the gas grid. Knowledge center Mission Zero was asked to help think about the realization of this issue from multiple perspectives.
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28 May 2024


Research Day Digitalisation of the Built Environment

A growing population, a dire housing shortage, and irreversible climate change. Construction plays a crucial role in…
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24 May 2024


Collaborating for decentralised neighbourhood energy systems

De Groene Mient is a socio-ecological housing project in the Vruchtenbuurt district of The Hague, where 33 households…
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4 October 2023


Atasi Bhattacharjee on her EU training programme about Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) in Zurich

Atasi Bhattacharjee,r esearcher of the research group Future Urban Systems recently took part in a EU training program…
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Advancing the Decarbonization of the Construction Sector: Lifecycle Quality and Performance Assurance of Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings

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Building Biomimicry Bridges: a toolbox for biomimicry practitioners

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Textbook chapter

Sustainable Engineering of Future Urban Systems: An Inclusive Approach Toward Livable, Climate-Neutral, and Productive Smart Cities

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Towards a typology of inter-municipal cooperation in emerging metropolitan regions. A case study in the solid waste management sector in Ecuador

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The effectiveness of inter-municipal cooperation for integrated sustainable waste management: A case study in Ecuador

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