I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the ERC Project Toxic Expertise: Environmental Justice and the Global Petrochemical Industry. My role in the project is to apply quantitative research methods to analyse toxic pollution and its context at different spatial levels, with a critical view on data collection. Research methods will include GIS mapping, statistical analysis, and corporate network analysis. I will also contribute to the development of a web-based international public resource on 'toxic expertise'.
I obtained my PhD in Urban Planning at the Centre for Mobility and Spatial Planning at Ghent University (Belgium) in 2017. I also hold a MSc in Geography and in Urban Planning from Ghent University. My research interests include environmental health, urban governance and spatial justice. Within these fields I prefer to apply quantitative research methods to examine important policy issues.
In my dissertation, entitled “Living Cities: Reconnecting Environmental Health and Urban Planning”, I aimed to move beyond the lock-in of public health and urban planning and explore new approaches to deal with environmental health concerns in planning practice. Building on complexity theory, an environmental justice framework was proposed to localize environmentally unhealthy situations, and a matrix of planning strategies was presented to address these situations. The empirical research framework consisted of interviews, spatial data analysis, documentary analysis and a residents’ survey. The empirical part focused on the problem of local air pollution and traffic noise in the city of Ghent, in close collaboration with the city administrations and a local citizen initiative. By combining quantitative with qualitative results, case-specific and general policy recommendations were formulated that can lead to a more central place for health in urban planning.