Jan Nijman

JAN NIJMANDirector, Urban Studies Institute; Distinguished University Professor, Geosciences


Jan Nijman is the founding director of the Urban Studies Institute and Distinguished University Professor, Geosciences.

A native of the Netherlands, Nijman received his M.A. degree in geography from the University of Amsterdam, and his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before joining GSU, he spearheaded urban research and teaching programs at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Miami. He presently holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

Nijman is the author of five books and more than 100 other publications in a wide range of international journals such as IJURR, Annals of the AAG, Cities, Regional Studies, and Urban Geography. His primary research interests are in urban theory, urban and regional development, and global comparative urban studies, with regional expertise and extensive field work experience in North America, West Europe and South Asia.

His work has been funded by various agencies, including the National Science Foundation, Association of American Geographers, National Geographic Society, Guggenheim Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Dutch National Science Foundation.

Current research projects focus on suburbanization and metropolitan transformations in the United States and Canada; the historical origins and future prospects of Amsterdam’s 400-year old designed Canal District; and the relationship between urbanization and development in India.

Nijman’s professional honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Nystrom Award for best doctoral dissertation in Geography in the United States, the University Teaching Award at the University of Miami, and the J.B. Jackson book award from the Association of American Geographers. He has long been affiliated with the National Geographic Society, first as a member of the Committee for Research & Exploration (2002-2011) and, since 2011, he has served as chair of NG’s Global Exploration Fund in Europe.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Nijman (2016). “Naissance d’une ville mondiale.” [The birth of a global city]Problèmes d’Amérique Latine 96: 19-37.
  2. Nijman (2015). “The theoretical imperative of comparative urbanism.” Regional Studies49/1: 183-186.
  3. Nijman (2015). “India’s urban future: Views from the slum.” American Behavioral Scientist59/3: 406-423.
  4. Nijman & T. Clery (2015). “Rethinking suburbia: A case study of metropolitan Miami.”Environment & Planning A vol. 47: 69-88.
  5. Musterd & J. Nijman (2015). “Economische vitaliteit en sociale duurzaamheid: Bestuurlijke uitdagingen van de stad.” [Economic vitality and social sustainability: Urban management challenges]. Invited essay for the Ministry of the Interior of the Dutch Government, The Hague.
  6. Nijman & T. Clery (2015). “The United States: Suburban imaginaries and metropolitan realities.” In: P. Hamel & R. Keil (eds.), Suburban Governance: A Global View. University of Toronto Press, pp. 57-79.
  7. Nijman & M. Shin (2014). “Megacities” In: Paul Knox (ed.) Atlas of Cities. Mapping the Origins, Development, and Impacts of Urbanization. Princeton University Press.
  8. Nijman (2013). “The American suburb as utopian constellation.” In: Roger Keil (ed.),Suburban Constellations. Jovis Publishers, Berlin, pp. 159-167.
  9. Nijman (2012). “India’s urban challenge.” Eurasian Geography and Economics 53/1: 7-20.
  10. Nijman (2012). “India in the urban revolution.” The Indian Anthropologist 42/2: 1-17.
  11. Nijman (2011). Miami: Mistress of the Americas. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  12. Nijman (2010). “A study of space in Mumbai’s slums.” Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 101: 4-17.