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“Campus matters”: my inaugural speech

by Alexandra den Heijer

After months of preparation I was honoured to give my inaugural speech “Campus matters” at TU Delft’s Auditorium for an audience of professors, university colleagues, students, partners from practice, family and friends.

Cover AdH book COTF 2019

The CAMPUS RESEARCH TEAM supported me during this process. The link to the inaugural speech and the hand-out can be found under DOWNLOADS. The speech will be part of the new book “Campus of the Future – managing a matter of solid, liquid and gas” that will be published at the end of 2019. For pre-orders mail with c.c. to


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Book release “Smart campus tools 2.0 – an international comparison”

by Bart Valks, Monique Arkesteijn and Alexandra den Heijer

Exciting news – this month we published the second book on Smart campus tools! We are very proud of the result, and that thanks to the support of the Dutch universities we were able to explore the application of smart campus tools at numerous universities and other organisations.

Proud authors of the book

The proud authors of the book “Smart Campus Tools 2.0 – an international comparison” (in front an areal view of our TU Delft campus!): Bart Valks, Monique Arkesteijn and Alexandra den Heijer

We marked this moment by organising a book launch and seminar for a group of 30 campus experts in IT, FM and corporate real estate of the Dutch universities in Utrecht on Wednesday April 11th, 2018. We presented our book Smart campus tools and discussed a number of topics with the attendees (see photos below). Since the content book is part of Bart Valks PhD research project – see page SMART CAMPUS TOOLS – he was asked (by many) to sign the book at the book launch!

The book ‘Smart campus tools 2.0 – an international comparison’ can be ordered (via at 40 euros per copy. The book can also be accessed online via [link will follow through repository TU Delft].

In addition, a paper on the first phase of the Smart Campus Tools research project will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Corporate Real Estate (JCRE). In the meantime, the text can be accessed via

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Appointed as TU Delft professor of Public Real Estate

by Alexandra den Heijer

I am proud and happy to announce that I am appointed as professor of Public Real Estate at TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department MBE. My legacy and knowledge about university campuses are the foundation by which the expansion of the research field will be grounded, applying her knowledge to other owners of the built environment. I have made it my challenge to serve as a connector and interpreter in management and design processes.

The chair’s profile

The Chair of Public Real Estate focuses on the challenges of managing public real estate portfolios by building theory on improving decision-making processes and finding new concepts for the built environment.

managing public real estate

Managing Public Real Estate – like managing university campuses – is about connecting four variables in every decision: (public) goals, financial resources, people and buildings (image by Flavia Curvelo Magdaniel)

University campuses, hospitals, schools, and city halls are just some examples of built environments that support public goals and have a large impact on society. Managing these buildings – often heritage on iconic locations – is never the primary task of the institutions that use them. However, they need to set an example to society and have a responsibility to implement public policies, resulting in meaningful, functional, affordable, and sustainable built environments.

The chair Public Real Estate supports owners of the built environment in achieving public goals. The research field connects both theories and practical references from other scientific disciplines in the built environment ranging from design, technological innovation and transformation of heritage buildings to interior architecture and urban development.

The chair’s mission

Prof. dr. ir. Alexandra den Heijer: “My mission is to support organisations’ decisions about (managing) their public real estate portfolios, resulting in (more) inspiring, meaningful, functional, affordable, resource-efficient and sustainable built environments.”

The chair’s legacy

Soon the page PUBLIC REAL ESTATE will contain more background information about the Public Real Estate Management legacy of the MBE department, including a link to the book “Public Real Estate” (Evers et al.), the dissertations “Public Real Estate Management: challenges for governments” (Pity van der Schaaf, 2002) and “Building for a better hospital: value-adding management & design of healthcare real estate” (Van der Zwart, 2014) and research publications about schools, museums and other public buildings.

More links:
– March 15, 2018 press release
– Alexandra den Heijer’s professor page




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Campus combi: solid, liquid & gas

by Alexandra den Heijer

In the past month I have visited Norway, Russia and Denmark to talk about (managing) the campus of the future – see TOUR. All countries are investing in higher education and want to know which facilities match the university of the future. My message in different countries is remarkably similar: the state of the campus will be a combinations of “solid”, “liquid” and “gas”. Of course that needs further explanation…

The future physical state of the campus will be a combination of:

  • “solid”, representing the fixed structures and (need for) territory on campus
  • “liquid”, representing the multiple connections on campus and more shared spaces
  • “gas”, representing the open structure of the campus and the possibility to work and study anywhere

I will present this in (much) more detail in Dutch (VSNU café en at dr. Tijs Breukink’s farewell event in Wageningen) and English (ERES conference) later this week! The presentation and paper will follow – see PUBLICATIONS and DOWNLOADS.

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Back in academic business

by Alexandra den Heijer

As always I am happy that the start of the academic year (Monday September 1st for Dutch universities) brings back life to the campus. On the Delft campus two new developments align with our “preferred strategy” for European campuses: more pop-up retail & leisure in public space and bringing new life to an old inner-city building (Legermuseum – see TU Delft website).

At this moment I am enjoying another European univer-city: Heidelberg. Not my first visit to Germany’s oldest university, but certainly my most academic. Our symposium will add another book to the series Knowledge & Space (website).

My lecture in Heidelberg, Germany about "the (future of the) campus & the city in Europe" - see DOWNLOADS for PDF

My lecture* in Heidelberg, Germany about “the (future of the) campus & the city in Europe” – see DOWNLOADS for PDF – *at this stage no group photos were available for blog publishing – when they are, I will add them to this post

The subject “Geographies of the university” also aligns with Flavia’s PhD research – see blog link and her assessment of 39 campuses, which will most likely be published in 2015 – the flyer: Summary Exploratory Research.

book "The European campus - heritage and challenges" is available from October 16, 2014

book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” is available from October 16, 2014

Speaking of books: George Tzovlas – who was promoted from researcher to PhD researcher last month – and I will launch our book “The European campus – heritage and challenges” (cover) next month – October 16 in Tallinn, Estonia – at the annual conference of CESAER, the network of European Universities of Technology. All participants will receive a copy. After that conference the book will be available. First responses to the draft copy: “A tour guide for studying in Europe”, referring to the many photos that highlight the beauty of Europe. However, the book also covers the “headaches” of the European campus, of which fewer photos are published online.

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Exploring the European campus – in Germany (again)

by Alexandra den Heijer

The past two days I was in Stuttgart, giving a lecture for Universität Stuttgart at their Campus 2030 Symposium (180 Zuschauern): Universität Stuttgart. The hand-out of my presentation can be found under DOWNLOADS.


The discussion about branding both the city and the university to attract students and other knowledge workers was very similar to discussions last year in Delft and Bochum – see blog: STUDENT AS TOURIST (2013).

Stadtbibliothek / Library Stuttgart - more info:

Stadtbibliothek / Library Stuttgart – more info: WIKIPEDIA

Stuttgart has so much to offer – including the impressive new Stadtbibliothek (2011, see photo above). Personally, my attraction to Stuttgart also has everything to do with the automobile industry – with highlights like the Mercedes Museum and Porsche Museum – see blog MANAGING THE AUTOMOBILE CAMPUS (2011) and UNIVER-CITY STUTTGART (2013).

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From campuses to façades (and back)

by Alexandra den Heijer

Today I will start blogging and tweeting again after months of education in Delft – I am back on tour. First stop Utrecht – VMRG / VKG seminar (Façade industry)- see DOWNLOADS for presentation, links and articles.

More news:
– The European campus seminar will be held May 26-27, 2014 in Delft (more info in the next post)
– I published a new journal paper in the Journal of Facade Design and Engineering “Assessing facade value – how clients make business cases in changing real estate markets” – see PUBLICATIONS
– My TOUR is restarted in Germany – and I very much look forward to it.
– I have an extra, honorable job – chairman of a jury (Job Dura Prijs) – see website for background information and Tweets in Dutch below.

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