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Mattijs van Maasakkers, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Studies Chair, City and Regional Planning Section
233 Knowlton Hall

Mattijs van Maasakkers is an assistant professor in the City and Regional Planning Section at the Knowlton School. Van Maasakkers’ research and teaching focus on the role of science in environmental decision-making, specifically in the context of complex public disputes. He has conducted research on environmental institutions and conflicts in the United States, the European Union, the Middle East and South Africa. His recent book, titled The Creation of Markets for Ecosystem Services in the United States: The Challenge of Trading Places, provides an in-depth analysis of the development of these new institutions in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest and Chesapeake Bay watershed. Van Maasakkers currently conducts research on the role of measurement systems in decision-making on land use in shrinking cities.

Before moving to Columbus, Van Maasakkers was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2013, he received his doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also received a Master in City Planning degree in 2009. Originally from the Netherlands, Van Maasakkers graduated with a master’s degree in political science from the University of Amsterdam in 2006.


CRPLAN 3300: Planning for and with People 
CRPLAN 6400: Site Planning and Development 
CRPLAN 6411: Sustainability, Measurement and Power 
CRPLAN 7500: Resolving Social Conflict

Recent Work

The Creation of Markets for Ecosystem Services in the United States: The Challenge of Trading Places

The Creation of Markets for Ecosystem Services in the United States offers a detailed analysis of the most advanced efforts to create markets for ecosystem services in the United States. With the help of in-depth case studies of three well-known attempts to create such markets—in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the Ohio River basin and the Willamette River basin—this book explains why very few of these markets have actually succeeded even after close to two decades of much scholarly enthusiasm, significant federal funding and concerted efforts by NGOs, government agencies and private businesses.

Selected Publications

Van Maasakkers, Mattijs, Oh, Jeeson, and Knox, Emily (2020). Shrinking democracy? Analyzing participatory planning for vacancy and abandonment in Ohio. Journal of Urban Affairs.


Van Maasakkers, MJ (2018) What role does planning have in the creation of Ecosystem Service Markets? Evidence from Two Cases in Oregon. Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER)


Van Maasakkers, MJ (2016) The Creation of Markets for Ecosystem Services in the United States: The Challenge of Trading Places. Anthem Press: London, UK


Van Maasakkers, M., Duijn, M. and Kastens, B. (2014). Participatory Approaches and the Role of Facilitative Leadership, Chapter 9 in: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry 29: Risk-Informed Management of European River Basins, eds. Brils, J., Brack, W., Muller-Grabherr, D., Negrel, P. and Vermaat, J. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany.


Van Maasakkers, M.J. (2013). Environmental Conflict Resolution for Shared Societies, Chapter 5 in: Public Policies for Shared Societies ed. M. Fitzduff. Palgrave McMillan.


Susskind, L and Van Maasakkers, MJ. (2012). Building Consensus for Sustainable Development, Chapter 14 in: Sustainable Development Drivers: The Role of Leadership in Government, Business and NGO Performance. Ed. K. Zoeteman. Edwin Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA.