PhD Student

Eline Punt M.Sc.

Dept. 2: History and Social Sciences

Institute of Sociology, Department Urban Sociology and Sociology of Space


work +49 6151 16-57444

Work S4|24 106
Dolivostraße 15
64293 Darmstadt

Research Interests

  • Critical infrastructure
  • Urban resilience
  • Seaports
  • Urban governance

PhD Project

Seaports as nested infrastructure systems: Governing risks at the Port of Rotterdam (working title)

Poster (opens in new tab)

Among the key sites of societal vulnerability are seaports, which are nodes that have become highly critical for modern society. They represent the major nodes of material exchanges at global, regional, and national scale, while also embedded in local and regional areas. At the same time, those critical infrastructures have emerged as a place of insecurity given their vulnerability to systemic, complex human-induced and technical risks and their dependency on the smooth operation of multiple interconnected infrastructure systems that sustain their functioning. This PhD project analyses the way governance of systematic risks is coordinated between institutions in complex institutional arrangements in the Port of Rotterdam, one of the largest ports worldwide, supplying a European hinterland with 40 million users. Specifically, the aim of this research is to understand how seaports are and should be more effectively governed to prepare for, prevent, mitigate and manage infrastructure failures due to complex risks. As a result, this PhD project contributes to academic discourse on complex governance arrangements and on the resilience of interdependent infrastructure systems.

09/2017 – 07/2019 Research master in Human Geography and Planning: Urban and Economic Geography, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
09/2014 – 08/2017 Bachelor Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
10/2019 – today Research Associate at Research Training Group KRITIS, TU Darmstadt
09/2017 – 06/2019 Student Assistant at Utrecht University, Faculty of Geosciences, Prof. S.C.M Geertman
09/2018 – 01/2019 Research Assistant at University of New South Wales, Faculty of Build Environment, Prof. C. Pettit

Evaluating Smart Governance practices in the Netherlands, III International Conference on Urban e-planning, Lisbon, Portugal, 2018

Assessing Planning Support Systems in Decision-Making: City Analytics Lab, International Society of Participatory Planning Conference, Espoo, Finland, 2019

Punt, E.P, Geertman, S.C.M., Afrooz, A.E., Witte, P.A., Pettit, C.J. (2020). Life is a scene and we are the actors: Assessing the usefulness of planning support theatres for smart city planning. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 82, 101485.

Witte, P., Punt, E. & Geertman, S. (2020). Chapter 29 Smart governance in the Making: Integrating ‘Smart’ in Local Spatial Planning, PSScience Handbook.