Michelle Kooy

Associate Professor of Water Governance


Michelle Kooy is a social scientist (Human Geographer) and former development practitioner, who joined IHE Delft in 2012. As of 2017 she is an Associate Professor of Water & Uneven Urbanization. She is affiliated with the Governance and Inclusive Development Group at the University of Amsterdam.

Research Summary

Kooy studies the politics of urban environments and the processes of urbanization, focusing on questions of urban justice, the right to the city, and water equity. Her urban political ecological research approach studies urbanization by following the social and ecological processes and relations through which physical environments (water) and society are transformed. Her analysis is relational, connecting the production of the city to the transformation of environments and societies far beyond the city.

The relation between power and water is central in the work of Kooy, with explicit attention to how uneven social relations shape distributions and transformations of water and water related risks into and through the city. Kooy is also interested in questions around the co-existence of urban water infrastructure systems.  

Kooy is the Principal Investigator of an Indonesian-Dutch Research cooperation project in Semarang, Indonesia, called GroundUp: a practice based analysis of groundwater governance for integrated urban water resources management. She is a co-Investigator in the N.W.O. research project led by Utrecht University, Following Frontiers of the ‘Forest City’: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Urbanisation in Kalimantan and Beyond, and co-Investigator in the N.W.O. research project led by the University of Amsterdam, Ecological Community Engagements: Imagining sustainability and the water-energy-food nexus in urban South African environments. She is also a member of the EU funded International Training network: https://www.nextwatergovernance.net/


Key publications, see also: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3226-9939 

Batubara, Kooy, Zwarteveen, van Lensylee, Uijanto (2021) Urbanization in (post-) New Order Indonesia: connecting unevenness in the city with that in the countryside. Journal of Peasant Studies https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2021.2000399


Biza, A., Kooy, M., Manuel, S., and M.Zwarteveen (2021) Sanitary governmentalities: producing and naturalizing social differentiation in Maputo City, Mozambique (1887-2017). Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.


Alba, R., Kooy, M. and A.Bruns (2021) Conflicts, cooperation and experimentation: Analysing the politics of urban water through Accra’s heterogeneous water supply infrastructure. Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.


Kooy, M., and Furlong, K. (2020) Nature based Solutions for Urban Water Management in Asian Cities: Integrating Vulnerability into Sustainable Design. International Development Planning Review

R Alba, A Bruns, LE Bartels, M Kooy (2019) Water Brokers: Exploring Urban Water Governance through the Practices of Tanker Water Supply in Accra. Water 11 (9), 1919 .

Kooy, M., Walter, C. and I. Prabaharyaka (2018) Inclusive development of urban water services in Jakarta: the role of groundwater. Habitat International 73:109-118.

Batubara, B., Kooy, M. and Zwarteveen, M. (2018), Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting Flows of Water to Flows of Labour and Capital Through Jakarta's Flood Infrastructure. Antipode, 50: 1186-1205.

Rusca, Alda, and Kooy (2018) Sanitation Justice? Addressing the multiple dimensions of urban sanitation inequalities, Chapter 11: 210-225, in Water Justice, eds. Boelens, Perrault, Vos. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316831847.014

Alda, Kooy, Rusca (2018) Mapping operation and maintenance: an everyday urbanism analysis of inequalities within piped water supply in Lilongwe, Malawi. Urban Geography 39 (1): 104-121.

Furlong, Kooy (2017) Worlding Water Supply: Thinking Beyond the Network in Jakarta. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41(6): 888-903.

Wesselink, Kooy, Warner (2016) Socio-hydrology and hydrosocial analysis: towards dialogues across disciplines. WIRES-Water doi: 10.1002/wat2.1196

Other information

BLOG of the Department of Water Governance: https://flows.hypotheses.org/

Multi-media production: Rishkawala: six videos for digital television channel in Bangladesh. Produced by Gooby Bagha productions and Ventoux Producties Ltd, under the N.W.O. Hydrosocial Deltas Project. Available for viewing here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/goopybaghaproductions/videos/



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