Bert van der Knaap

G. A. (Bert) van der Knaap (1944) is a professor of Economic and Social Geography at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands since 1984. He received his Masters degree from Utrecht State University in the field of urban geography and planning and received his Ph.D. in 1978 (with high honours) on the subject of Population Growth and Urban Systems development in the Netherlands. From 1982-1986 he was director of research at the National Physical Planning Agency in The Hague and was appointed in 1991 as a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW). In 1996 he was appointed the distinguished Dutch visiting professorial chair in the social sciences at the University of Michigan (Department of Architecture and Urban Planning.) From 1998- 2003 he was appointed as member of the advisory council of government policy (WRR). Presently he is director of the department of Applied Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

He has written in more than 150 publications and 10 books on issues relating to urban and regional development, population growth migration and urban growth both in Europe and in Asia. His current research interests are in the area of industrial organisation and the role of business networks linking firms, cities and regions together. The focus is on the dynamics of networks to understand how their evolution influences economic growth. This research is linked to the micro-electronic industry in Southeast and East Asia and to issues of sustainable economic development.