Anne Loes Nillesen

Anne Loes Nillesen

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Personal profile

Research profile

Anne Loes Nillesen is professor of Urban Design at the Delft University of Technology and founding director of urban design office Defacto.

She is specialized in multi-scale and interdisciplinary urban design projects, that focus on urban transitions and adaptation related to climate change, sea level rise, circular economy, urban ecology, energy and mobility. System analyses, stakeholder involvement and interdisciplinary design teams are essential to her approach.

She uses research by design to inform national strategies and policies, such as the Dutch Delta Programme and  national sea-level rise and climate adaptation strategies, the Netherlands Spatial Planning Memorandum, the ‘Bangladesh Deltaplan 2100’ and, The Netherlands integrated river vision (IRM) and the ‘Mekong Delta integrated regional plan’ (MDIRP). She worked on many urban design projects and strategies for provinces (such as North Holland, South Holland, Utrecht and Overijssel), regions (the Alblasserwaard region, a river strategy, the metropolitan region of Amsterdam, the south West Delta) and cities such as Khulna, Dhaka, Kigali, the Houston Galveston bay area, Hamburg, Antwerp, Rotterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and smaller town centers such as Sneek, Kinderdijk, Werkendam, Delft and Gorinchem. In addition she works on mobility, circular economy and logistics strategies and transformations for the Netherlands freight and mobility corridors and port-cities.

Anne Loes founded the Urbanism, Landscape and Architecture MSc graduation studio’s ‘Delta Interventions’ and ‘Climate adaptation Lab’ and published several books, research reports and articles.

She graduated with honours as an Architect and Urban designer from TU Delft. During her PhD research she developed methodologies for integrated urban design and flood risk management strategies that include qualitative assessment frameworks.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Master's degree, Delft University of Technology

Doctorate, Delft University of Technology

The Berlage Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture and Urban Design

External positions

Founding director Defacto urbanism

1 Nov 2006 → …


  • NA Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Climate adaptation
  • Spatial strategies
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Mobility
  • Urban Ecology
  • Circular economy
  • Delta Urbanism
  • Sea level rise
  • Research-by-design approaches
  • Interdisciplinary teams
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Heath