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Professor Spatial Transformation, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen

Rob Roggema is an international renowned design expert on sustainable urbanism, climate adaptation, renewable energy landscapes and the design of urban agriculture. He has held positions at several universities in the Netherlands and Australia, state and municipal governments and design consultancies. He is currently appointed as Professor of Spatial Transformations at the Knowledge Center NorthernSpace, Hanze University Groningen.
In 2010 he became the inaugural visiting fellow at the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research and in 2014 he was the Chair of the 6th International AESOP Conference on Sustainable Food Planning in Leeuwarden. His PhD thesis has been selected for publication in Springer’s ‘Recognising Outstanding Research’-series (2013).
Professor Roggema developed the Swarm Planning concept, dealing with uncertainties in current planning, for
which he received the scientific award for best paper at the Sustainable Building Conference in Melbourne, 2008. In 2009, he was awarded with an honorary mention for his entry in the Rising Tides Competition, San Francisco Bay Area. After finishing his PhD he was awarded a ‘Rubicon’ grant by the Dutch Scientific Organisation (NWO).

Among the design concepts he developed are the following examples:
. Sydney Barrier Reef, a solution to protect the Sydney region for storm surges and offer a refuge for the GBR habitat
• Double Defence, proposing a second row of barrier island to protect the coast for
storm surges in times of climate change;
• Floodable Eemsdelta, anticipating sea level rise and potential disastrous flooding
through allowing the landscape to flood;
• Bushfire Resilient Bendigo, anticipating bushfires by creating a protective shield and
slowly moving away the town;
• Zero Fossil Groningen, designing a landscape that provides enough energy from
renewable resources;
• FoodRoofRio, creating a rooftop garden with an aquaponic system, providing food for
the whole family in Cantagalo favela in Rio de Janeiro;
• FishwaterbasedNL, proposing a design for the Netherlands based on a diet
consisting of fish, vegetables and fruit;
• Shock Support, a plan for anticipating minor earthquake by making the houses
independent from the shock transforming them into floatable houses in Groningen,
the Netherlands.

He has written three books on climate adaptation and spatial planning (Climate Adaptation: A
Spatial Challenge; Swarming Landscapes: The Art of Designing for Climate Adaptation and
Swarm Planning: Development of a New Methodology Dealing with Climate Adaptation, all
published by Springer), one about design charrettes (The Design Charrette: Ways to Envision
Sustainable Futures, Springer) and three on Urban Agriculture (Why We Need Small Cows,
Ways to Design Urban Agriculture, VHL Press, 2014; Sustainable Urban Agriculture and
Food Planning, Routledge, 2016 and Urban Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society, Vol. One,
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016). He has written over 15 journal articles and numerous
conference papers and other articles.


  • –present
    Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments, University of Technology Sydney