I continue to publish my research on urban morphology, society and economy in peer-reviewed journals. Oftentimes, I have been the co-author of articles and supervisor of research projects that primarily focus on movement, urban economy and public space. Some key research publications can be found below.


Kickert, vom Hofe (2017). Critical mass matters – The benefits of retail agglomeration at the micro-scale in downtown Detroit and The Hague. In: Journal of Urban Studies (online before print).

This paper explores the long-term sensitivity of street-level retailers to agglomeration to corroborate its theorised benefits under current economic modelling. It does so by studying the annualised chance of closure of retailers as a function of the number of surrounding retailers, as well as how different types of retailers respond differently to agglomeration. A time fixed effect model is used to study the mortality rate of retailers over the period of a century. The study draws from a self-created database of retail establishment locations and types in Detroit, Michigan and The Hague, Netherlands between 1911 and 2011. The study demonstrates a significant sensitivity of retailers to agglomeration in both cities.

The research paper can be found here.


Kickert, Fishman (2016). Situated learning in history and theory in the urban design curriculum. In: Urban Design and Planning Vol. 170 (3).

Urban design history and theory courses are a key element of urban design curricula across the globe. These courses take a pause from the high paced decision-making environment of the design studio to reflect on the theoretical underpinning of cities, and their conscious and subconscious transformation in the past, present and future. The contemplative nature of history and theory courses can create a perceived disconnect between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’, and ‘lecture’ and ‘studio’ – often undeservedly. This paper discusses various methods of situated learning in urban design history and theory pedagogy that bridge these false dichotomies. The two case studies presented in this paper engage students in real-world applications of historical and theoretical research, convincing them that pasts and paradigms strongly influence their everyday and future environments.

The research paper can be found here.


Kickert (2016). Active centers, interactive edges – The death and life of the architecture of public life. In: Urban Design International Vol. 21 (1).

The ground floors of buildings are a key element of the urban experience, yet the dynamics that shape frontages are largely unknown. This article delves into the forces and patterns behind the transforming relationship between architecture and public space in Western urban cores over the past century. After defining a methodology for structurally measuring the interactivity of ground floor frontages over time, the study focuses on two case study urban cores of Detroit, Michigan and The Hague, Netherlands. Through a combination of narrative historiography, detailed mapping and statistical studies a set of recommendations is generated to help urban designers and planners better understand and counter frontage decline.

The research paper can be found here.


Kickert, Berghauser-Pont, Nefs (2014). Surveying density, spatial characteristics and development potential of station areas in the Delta Metropolis. In: Environment and Planning B Vol. 41 (1).

An important part of my research work for the Delta Metropolis Association consisted of building a more detailed model for assessing the current physical conditions and characteristics of station areas in the western part of the Netherlands. The paper demonstrates how SpaceMate metrics can be used to determine the characteristics of station areas, as well as to determine their capacity for future development.

The research paper can be downloaded here.


Psarra, Kickert, Pluviano (2013). Paradigm Lost – Industrial and Post Industrial Detroit: An Analysis of the Street Network and its Social and Economic Dimensions from 1796 to the Present. In: Urban Design International Vol. 18 (4).

In cooperation with Sophia Psarra and Amanda Pluviano I have been able to study the history of the city of Detroit through the lens of Space Syntax methodologies. The combination of novel analysis methods and a retrospective view on the current conditions of the city allow for new insights on the connection between urban morphology, economy, culture and society.

The research paper can be found here.


Kickert, Van Langelaar, Van der Spek (2013). Measure, understand and improve cities using GPS technology. In: Proceedings of the ICE. Urban Design and Planning 166, August 2013.

I co-edited and co-authored an academic paper that aims to study the relation between movement of various city centre users in Delft, and their evaluation of the public spaces they use. In an era of dwindling public budgets, the combination of use and evaluation data of public spaces can substantiate more efficient decision making.

The research paper can be downloaded here.


The American Streetcar Suburb - the golden age of Transit Oriented Development

As the assistant of professor Robert Fishman at the University of Michigan I have supervised and edited student presentations of various streetcar suburbs throughout the United States. The work has been compiled into a poster exhibit at the University of Michigan and further avenues for presentation are under study. The streetcar suburbs presented demonstrate a balance between town and country,between technology and nature and between privacy and sociability - an equilibrium that many contemporary scholars and professionals still strive to achieve. A sample poster can be found here.

Research publications