The University ranks among the 100 strongest universities world-wide. The University focuses on three main research themes: Healthy Ageing, Sustainable Society and Energy and is a founding partner of the Energy Academy Europe, now part of New Energy Coalition. The University’s Faculty of Spatial Sciences has extensive experience in projects on energy planning, sustainable urban management, spatial planning, social impact assessment, citizen engagement and social wellbeing. It is one of the founding partners of the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE) and is extensively involved in international networks such as the Association of European Planning Schools (AESOP) and the International Association of Impact Assessment. Through its research mission “Towards Well-being, Innovation and Spatial Transformation” (tWIST), the Faculty of Spatial Sciences delivers a significant input to the University’s core research.
The Faculty’s research clusters on “Energy & Climate Change”, “Governance and Civic Initiatives” and “Liveable & Resilient Communities” encapsulate the Faculty’s focus on sustainable urban governance with a particular emphasis on institutional design, capacity-building, empowerment and engagement. Research, which has been extensively published in international journals such as Planning Theory and Practice, Environment and Planning (A-D), European Journal of Environmental Sciences, Energy Research & Social Science, Energy Policy, Cleaner Production, European Spatial Research and Policy, Geoforum and Population, Space and Place, among others.
Staff members of the Faculty are part of various (inter)national and regional networks on planning, environment and energy related issues. These networks include the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE), the Association of European Planning Schools (AESOP), the Energy Academy Europe (Groningen), the Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme (GESP) and the Groningen Energie Koepel (Groningen Energy Association).