Saskia Ruijsink

Senior Expert, Urban Policy and Planning

Email address
+31 10 408 9853

Saskia Ruijsink has a background in the field of urban planning and urban development. She has a Masters degree (2005) in Urban Planning (magna cum laude), obtained at the Post Graduate Institute for Human Settlements (Leuven, Belgium) and she studied the MSc programme Technology and Society at the Technical University in Eindhoven (2004).

She joined the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in 2007. She works on and manages post-graduate academic education, research and training and advisory work in the field of urban planning, policy and development, urban socio-spatial dynamics, participation and sustainability, strategic urban planning, multi-stakeholder processes, self-governance, informality, (urban) living labs and place-making and (urban) social innovation. She recently participated as a researcher in the EU funded TRANSIT project on Social Innovation ( In 2009-2010 she was based for four months in the Global Land Tool Network secretariat at UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya for an assignment on gender responsive land management and participatory enumeration.

Saskia has participated in international workshops and has research and / or working experience in The Netherlands, Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, Belgium, the UK, Hungary, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Angola, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Bolivia, Brazil, the United States, Canada and China.

Before entering IHS, Saskia worked as a consultant in the Netherlands. She worked in teams on development plans for urban areas, housing needs assessment, coaching of civil society organizations and organizing interactive workshops and conferences contracted by (local) governments and social housing agencies in a variety of cities and regions.


Ruijsink, S., Zuijderwijk, L, Kunze, I., Wittmayer, J., Cipolla, C., Elle, M., Rach, S. and Avelino, F. (2017) The emergence of social innovation: a translocal perspective (TRANSIT working paper #15). Transformative Social Innovation Theory (TRANSIT): EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Geurts, E. and Ruijsink, S. 2017. Participatory planning approaches and capacity development in Cape Town, South Africa. In: A. Folkers and I. Perzyna eds., 2017. The Beeker method: planning and working on the redevelopment of the African city: retrospective glances into the future. Leiden: African Studies Centre Leiden. pp. 123-134. Available at:

Haxeltine A., Jørgensen, M. S., Pel, B., Dumitru, A., Avelino, F., Bauler, Lema, Blanco, I., T. Chilvers, J., Cipolla, C., Dorland, J., Elle, M., Garido, S., Kemp, R., Kunze, I., Longhurst, N., Pataki, G., Rach, S., Renema, J., Ruijsink, S., Strasser, T., Tawakol, D., Weaver, P., Wittmayer, J. M., 2016. On the agency dynamics 0f transformative social innovation (TRANSIT working paper ; 7), Transformative Social Innovation Theory (TRANSIT): EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.
Jørgensen, M. S., Avelino, F., Dorland, J., Rach, S., Wittmayer, J., Pel, B., Bachhaus, J., Ruijsink, S., Weaver, P. and Kemp, R., 2016. Deliverable no. 4.4 :synthesis across social innovation case studies, Transformative Social Innovation Theory (TRANSIT): EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Ruijsink, S. and Smith, A., 2016. Transformative social innovation : European Network of Living Labs : summary report, Transformative Social Innovation Theory (TRANSIT): EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

Ruijsink, S. and Smith, A., 2016. WP 4 : case study Living Labs, Rotterdam: Transformative Social Innovation Theory (TRANSIT): EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169

Capra, C., Jachnow, A., Ruijsink, S., Tsatsou, A., Zamora Auza, B., Zuijderwijk, L., 2015. The role of knowledge institutions in placemaking. Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS): Rotterdam.

Kemp, R.; Zuijderwijk, L.; Weaver, P.; Seyfang, G.; Avelino, F.; Strasser, T.; Becerra, L.; Backhaus, J. and Ruijsink, S.
 (2015) Doing things differently : exploring Transformative Social innovation and its practical challenges (TRANSIT Brief ; 1), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169

Ruijsink, S. and Olivotto, V. 2015. Integrating climate change into City Development Strategies (CDS). Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Aliaj, B., Shutina, D. and Ruijsink, S., 2013, Organic area development : a discussion. Rotterdam, Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS), 18 p.

Dijk, M. P. van,Pennink, C.andRuijsink, S., 2013, Capacity development : the evolution of the integrated urban management Masters course at the Ethiopian Civil Service University. Water Policy, 15 (S2), pp. s121-s136.

Ruijsink, S., Duka, I. and Toto, R., 2013, Urban planning and the free market in Albania. Rotterdam: Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS).

Ruijsink, S.,Pennink, C. and Teerlink, H., 2012, Are we making cities work? The impact of 50 years of capacity building for housing and urban development, [Paper at Rethinking Cities : Framing the Future : Sixth [World Bank] Urban Research and Knowledge Symposium]. Barcelona, 2012. Washington, DC, USA: World Bank.

Dool, L. van den,Eerd, M. van and Ruijsink, S., 2011, Supporting local urban knowledge arenas : how can knowledge networks contribute to urban development?, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, 206 p.

Davidson, F., Dool, L. van den, Eerd, M. van, Ruijsink, S., Banerjee, B., Perez, M. and Sarfoh, O., 2008, Feasibility study : supporting local urban knowledge arenas, (Report written for : Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)), Rotterdam, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), 206 p.