Joris M.J. Scheers

Spatial Planner and Sociologist (PhD, MSc) - Visiting Professor at KU Leuven - Honorary President ECTP-CEU - Project Manager Flanders Government

Joris is professionally active in the field of urban development, spatial planning, architecture & heritage and public governance. For the last three decades he has been working as...
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Joris M.J. Scheers

Joris is professionally active in the field of urban development, spatial planning, architecture & heritage and public governance. For the last three decades he has been working as academic, as consultant and as civil servant. He obtained his PhD on the theme of exponentially growing cities in Latin America at the KU Leuven University (Belgium), where he is currently visiting professor. As former deputy Government Architect and Manager of creative and sustainable cities, he is involved in various urban and regional policy issues within the Flanders Government of Belgium..

Over the past decades, he performed as international consultant for spatial policy projects and programs in cities and countries in Latin-America, Africa and Asia. He has been UN-Habitat expert for the elaboration of International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (2012-2014) and has been President and Secretary General of the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU).

Joris drafted several papers on strategic planning issues and chaired numerous jury’s in the field of spatial planning and architecture. He has been president of the Association for Spatial Planning in Flanders (VRP)
Joris is recognized for exploring strategic approaches within the public governance field, including cross level integration of local, regional, national and international agendas. He combines conceptual thinking with a pragmatic - project driven - problem solving attitude, keeping close touch with planning practice as the chair of the Municipal Spatial Planning Advisory Board of the city of Leuven.


Rapid urbanization processes Ecuador (City of Guayaquil and coastal region of Manabi province): the coffee network. PhD research KULeuven.

This research on rapid urbanization processes in Latin America links two types of analysis dealing with the production, trade and consumption of coffee. The idea is to unravel dynamics of economic and political networks of a global good and understand how they influence spatial development. Using the Global Commodity Chain Analysis as methodology, a first empirical research on rural-urban patterns in a coffee producing area is brought forward. Based on original field research data, the interaction between local coffee production & trade and the changing spatial relations between rural and urban areas is studied.

A second analysis tries to examine the spatial consequences of the actual and historical driving economic and political forces of the global coffee market. By linking the results of both analysis, and thus local, regional and global spatial structures, more traditional global economic networks appear to have a very strong spatially structuring capacity. Therefore, the spatial impact of so called new global networking processes vis à vis historically existing spatially differentiated production-consumption structures seems too often overestimated.

Joris SCHEERS conducted this research, titled ‘Coffee and the scent of the city’ as part of his PhD at KULeuven during the period 1990-2002. The results have relevance for planners, showing how spatial developments are driven by social and economic dynamics, how different scales interact and how specific research tools can be applied.

SCHEERS, J. , ‘Koffie en het aroma van de stad. Tropische (re-)productiestructuren in ruimtelijk perspectief. Casus centrale kustvlakte van Ecuador’, PhD thesis, KU Leuven, 2002, 290 p. + annexes.
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