Dr Roberto Rocco

Associate Professor of Spatial Plannning & Strategy, 


PhDs supervised to completion
English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch

Research Focus

I am an Associate Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy at the Department of Urbanism at Bouwkunde. I am a specialist in governance for the built environment. This includes issues of spatial justice and social sustainability as crucial dimensions of sustainability transitions. I have coordinated several courses and design studios over the last 13 years working at TU Delft.
I am a scholar committed to understanding the relationships between society and the production and governance of the built environment. This means that I investigate how actors and institutions from the public sector, the private sector and civic society interact in planning, designing, governing and inhabiting the built environment, both formally and informally. These basic but foundational ideas explain much of my actions as an educator and researcher.
The formal relationships between actors and the built environment I mention above include the development of formal policies and plans that shape our cities and communities. Meanwhile, informal relationships include actions by citizens, private enterprises and sometimes public actors that shape and change the built environment through informal institutions. For Elinor Ostrom (Ostrom, 2015), informal institutions are the “unwritten rules” related to culture, values, informal practices, and inherited worldviews that influence the way by which formal institutions work.

Research Groups


  • UP2030 (Horizon)
  • AMBITION (Erasmus+)
  • Union for the Mediterranean Sustainable Urbanisation (UfM +Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs)


  • Associate Professor of Spatial Plannning & Strategy

Global goals

Target 4.B
Target 4.C
Target 6.6
Target 6.A
Target 6.B
Target 11.1
Target 11.2
Target 11.3
Target 11.A
Target 11.B
Target 11.C

Professional Organisations

  • Union for the Mediterranean


  • Netherlands