If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Personal information

Peer Smets is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As an engaged urban sociologist his focus is on societal problems with the aim of finding solutions for better policies and their implementation. In addition, Smets is involved in the Community Service Learning (CSL) program at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in which students are using their academic skills to help solve societal problems to the mutual benefit of both the societal partners and the students/university. In doing so, he links scientific insights with societal impact.


As a PhD-student Smets focused on housing finance and the urban poor in India. His current research deals also with neighborhoods and focuses on livability, use of public space, housing, everyday encounters, belonging, home-making practices, community development, participation, self-help practices, cooperation between stakeholders, and urban commons.

He has co-edited many special journal issues and books. Recent books include Affordable Housing in the Urban Global South: Seeking Sustainable Solutions (co-edited with J. Bredenoord and P. van Lindert; Earthscan by Routledge), Social Housing and Urban Renewal: A Cross-National Perspective (co-edited with Paul Watt; Emerald), and Contested Belonging: Spaces, Practices , Biographies (co-edited with K. Davis and H. Ghorashi; Emerald).


At the bachelor level, Smets teaches qualitative methods and is coordinator of internships.  At the master level, he developed a course on Influencing Societal Participation (Beïnvloeden van Maatschappelijke Participatie). He also supervises bachelor and master theses about themes such as participation, co-creation, neighbourhood, community development, living together, and housing.  


Over the years Smets received grants for research projects on democracy and participation from the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs, and evaluation of the work of the Public Library Amsterdam (OBA) and voluntary work of refugees.  Moreover, The World Bank has funded an in depth study on incremental housing

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Ancillary activities

  • Editorial board of scientific journal Social Inclusion.
  • Member of International Sociological Association, RC21 on urban and regional development.
  • Reviewer of many journals dealing with issues of especially urban sociology/ urban studies.

Academic qualification

Cultural and Social Anthropology , PhD, VU Faculties

Award Date: 25 Apr 2002

Cultural Anthropology and Development of Non-Western Societies, Master, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit

Award Date: 30 Jun 1992

User created Keywords

  • neighbourhoods
  • public space
  • housing
  • housing finance
  • everyday encounters
  • belonging
  • home-making practices
  • community development
  • participation
  • self-help practices
  • cooperation between stakeholders
  • urban commons


Dive into the research topics where PGSM Smets is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.


Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.