Henry ENDEMANN - PhD. Strategic Regional Design

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PhD Researcher

With a BSc in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Kassel (Germany), and an MSc in Urbanism from the TU Delft (The Netherlands), I am firmly based in the field of Urban Sciences. My Master thesis deals with peri-urban areas in the Jing-Jin-Ji megaregion (China), seeking ways to support strong local communities that contribute to sustainable regional development.

Currently I am doing my PhD research at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University‘s School of Design. Here, I take the Greater Bay Area (China) and other global megaregions as cases to identify principles for sustainable urban development. The hypothesis is that Compactness can be a tool to lead this creation of new principles, which is explored through a conceptual review of urban theory, geospatial analysis, and strategic scenario-making.

Besides my academic work, I have relevant practical experience in urban design and planning through working with offices in Germany and The Netherlands. I worked on competitions, participative and strategic processes, and tender applications - mainly in Europe, but also in Asia, Africa, and South America.


PhD Title
COMPACT MEGAREGIONS - A Framework to Investigate how Ambitions for Urban Compaction Shape Megaregional Transformation Strategies


The Compact City is widely used as an urban design and planning principle for the leading paradigm of the twenty-first century - sustainability. However, the Compact City is insufficiently defined to deal with the complexity of contemporary urbanization processes. Mega-regionalization is a promising theory that reveals this complexity. It shows how the benefits of urban concentration lead towards enormous multi-scalar and multi-layered compositions that expand far beyond conventional city cores. This shows the need to explore the nuances of ambitions for compaction and how they may affects future urban development. The field of urbanism - including regional design - is poorly equipped to explore uncertain and volatile futures systematically. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis is to investigate how the ambitions of different stakeholders steer urban compaction in megaregions.

By introducing strategic foresight methods, scenarios for urban compaction in the context of mega-regionalization are drafted and assessed in terms of their potential effects on sustainable development. Design studios and expert consultations constitute a scenario building process that envisions urban transformations for a chosen sample area within a megaregion. The assessment of outcomes is based on a framework that builds on commonly used indicators for sustainable urbanization. This expands the academic discussion on compaction and can help decision-makers in public institutions and private companies to explore the outcomes of different urban development strategies in megaregions.

The thesis makes significant and original contributions to knowledge as it explores compact urban development on a megaregional scale. This potentially yields insights into the pros and cons of the Compact City that go beyond simplistic measures for urban neighborhoods. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary approach of this thesis provides regional design processes with more effective scenario building techniques. Eventually, this helps urban designers and planners to make better informed strategic decisions.

Key Publications

Endemann, H., Bruyns, G., & Buehring, J. (2021c, November 25). A Compact City for a Beautiful Countryside—Entry-points to a discourse between academic research and institutional strategies. From dichotomies to dialogues - connecting discourses for a sustainable urbanism. The 14th conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), Delft, The Netherlands.

Endemann, H., Bruyns, G., & Buehring, J. (2021b, September 14). Compactness as a Condition, Compaction as an Ambition—Potentials and Pitfalls of an Interdisciplinary Global Debate on the Compact City. Urban Planning and Architectural Design for Sustainable Development, Florence, Italy.

Bruyns, G., Hasdell, P., Sepulveda, D., Qu, L., Wei, H., Nel, D. H., Endemann, H., Gera, K., & Higgins, C. D. (2021, June 29). The Pedagogies of Morphology and Gamification; Linking Gamification with Spatial Concepts. isufXXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form ISUF2021: Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City, Glasgow, Scottland.

Endemann, H., Bruyns, G., & Buehring, J. (2021a, June 29). The Compact City and Contemporary Urbanization Processes: Discussing Alternative Interpretations of Urban Compactness. isufXXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form ISUF2021: Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City, Glasgow, Scottland.

Endemann, H., and Qu, L. (2020) Village Revitalization in Chinese Megaregions in the Era of Digitalization - Seeking Sustainable Strategies for Jing-Jin-Ji. Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism, IFoU 2020: Urbanism in the Mobile Internet Era. 109–124.

Endemann, H. (2020). A Compact Desakota? Peri-Urban Areas in the Jing-Jin-Ji Megaregion (China) [Master thesis, Delft University of Technology]. www.repository.tudelft.nl/islandora/object/uuid%3Ae8d01d8b-1743-4770-8ffb-0fc5e16e4d75 

Bachelor of Science (Urban and Regional Planning), University of Kassel, Germany
Master of Science (Urbanism), Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Dr. Joern BUEHRING (Chief)
Dr. Gerhard BRUYNS (Co) 
Dr. Evert MEIJERS (Co, External)

Strategic Regional Design

Date of Completion
August 2023