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Academic Career


1974-83 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

 Research and teaching assistant in regional economics, Centrum voor Economische Studiën (1974-75; 1977-80; 1982-83).


1975-76 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

 Research and teaching assistant, Regional Science Department.


1976-77 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

 Research and Teaching Assistant, Peace Science Department.


1983-87 Limburgse Economische Hogeschool, Diepenbeek, Belgium

 Associate Professor: 1983-84 full-time (1984-87 part-time).


1984-87 Johns Hopkins’ University Center for Urban and Regional Development, Lille, France

 Associate Director of the “Centre Européen Johns Hopkins”, Université de Lille I, France (with Prof. Jack Dyckman).


1989-90 Scientific advisor to the Ministry of Science, Belgium


1987-2002 University of Science and Technology, Lille, France


  • Associate Professor in Economics (1987 – 1994).

  • Prime d'encadrement et de recherche (since May 1990 till today).

  • Organizer of the ERASMUS intensive programmes “Lille-Roubaix-Tourcoing: A Metropolitan Region in the Central Periphery of the European Community“ (1992, 1993) (Erasmus ICP-92-B-1064/02); Faculty coordinator for the ERASMUS networks: ICP B-1064 "Spatial Development" and ICP-UK-3096/14 “Social-scientific Study of Technical Change and Innovation in a European Context”

  • Teaching for the TEMPUS programme. University of Economics, Budapest (February 1993).

  • Scientific coordinator of the international conference "Cities, Enterprises and Society on the Eve of the 21st Century" (Lille 16-18 March 1994; 400 participants).

  • Habilitation à diriger les recherches (since January 1994).

  • Sabbatical leave (first semester of 1994-95).

  • Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Université de Lille I (1994-2002).

  • Faculty co-ordinator of the ERASMUS/SOCRATES programme (involving 55 European partner universities) (1996–2000).

  • Head International Ph.D. programme in Regional Development Planning (1996-2002).

  • Vice-dean for international relations (1998-2000).

  • Head of the Bachelor’s Programme in Industrial Economics (2000-2002).

  • Head of the Master’s Programme in Industrial and Labour Economics, and Regional Development Planning (2000-2002).

  • Sabbatical leave (2001-2002).

  • Curator Brugge Culturele Hoofdstad Europa – Cultural Capital of Europe 2002. Section “Poverty, Culture and Urban Renaissance.” (February-April 2002).

  • Coordinator of European Module in Spatial Development Planning (EMSDP) (1998-2002)

  • Three Marie Curie fellowships (1996, 1998, 2002).


2002-2007 Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

  • Chair in European Planning and Development, Department of Planning.

  • Coordinator of Postgraduate Certificate in European Spatial Planning.

  • Coordinator of Departmental ERASMUS exchanges.

  • Coordinator of the ERASMUS network ‘European Spatial Development Planning’ (+20 members)

  • Leverhulme Foundation Fellowship (October 2006 – September 2007).

  • Visiting Fellow at CRISES, Montreal, Canada (Winter 2006)


2008- Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium - Emeritus Professor since 2017.


  • Professor of Spatial Planning

  • Coordinator, Research Unit for Urban and Regional Planning;

  • Chair of the Leuven Research Centrum ‘Space and Society’;

  • General Coordinator, Policy Research Centre ‘Spatial Planning and Housing’, Flanders;

  • Visiting Professor at School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK (2008-2011)

  • Joint Coordinator (with Stuart Cameron) of Postgraduate Certificate in European Spatial Planning

  • Member of FWO panel on reform of scientific commissions–Science and Technology

  • Research Coordinator, MESHS-CNRS, Lille, France

  • Coordinator (with Jan Schreurs) of IWT-SBO project 'SPINDUS'

  • Coordinator (with Pieter Van den Broeck) of IWT-SBO project 'INDIGO'