Professor Emeritus • CEDaR Fellow

Willem van Vliet, professor emeritus in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder, is an urban sociologist who taught housing policies and practices and environment-behavior research, directed a doctoral program in Design and Planning, founded the Children, Youth and Environments Center, revived the Children, Youth and Environments journal, serving as its lead editor for 13 years, and helped create initiatives in Denver and Boulder to integrate child and youth voices into urban planning and design.  Current interests include intergenerational communities, program evaluation, and dragon flowers. Dessert remains his favorite dish.



Chawla, L., and van Vliet, W. (in press). Welcoming young people in urban placemaking: Learning from challenges. In J. Loebach, S. Little, A. Cox & P. Eubanks Owens (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Designing Public Spaces for Young People. Abingdon-on-Thames, UK: Routledge. 

Derr, V., L. Chawla, and van Vliet, W. (2017). "Children as Natural Change Agents: Child Friendly Cities as Resilient Cities."  Ch. 2, pp. 24-35 in Designing Cities with Children and Young People: Beyond Playgrounds and Skate Parks, Kate Bishop & L. Corkery, (eds.).

Flanders Cushing, D. and van Vliet, W. (2017). Children’s Right to the City: The Emergence of Youth Councils in the United StatesChildren’s Geographies, 15(3): 319-333. 

Chawla, L. and van Vliet, W. (2017). “Children’s Rights to Child-Friendly Cities.” Ch.32, pp. 533-549 in Handbook of Children’s Rights: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Martin D. Ruck, Michele Peterson-Badali, and Michael Freeman. Taylor & Francis.

Derr, V., Chawla, L. and van Vliet, W. (2017). “Children as Natural Change Agents: Child-Friendly Cities as Resilient Cities,” Ch. 2, pp. 24-35 in Designing Cities with Children and Young People: Beyond Playgrounds and Skate Parks, Kate Bishop & L. Corkery, (eds.). Routledge.

van Vliet, W. (2016). Evaluation of the Open UN-Habitat Transparency Initiative. Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Cushing Flanders, D. and van Vliet, W. (2016). “Intergenerational communities as healthy places for meaningful engagement and interaction,” Ch. in Geographies of Children and Young People. Families, Intergenerationality, and Peer Group Relations, edited by Samantha Punch, Robert Vanderbeck and Tracey Skelton. Springer.

Douglas Brown, R., Carr,V., Mehta, V., Kochanowski, L., van Vliet, W., Chawla, L., and Sancar, F. (2016). "History, Transitions, and the Future of Children, Youth and Environments." Children, Youth and Environments 26(1): 1-16.

van Vliet, W. and L. Karsten. (2015). Child-Friendly Cities in a Globalizing World: Different Approaches and a Typology of Children’s RolesChildren, Youth and Environments, 25(2): 1-15. 

Cohen. M. and van Vliet, W. (2014). Evaluation of UN-Habitat’s Flagship Reports. Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Cushing, Debra Flanders, Bates, Ian, & van Vliet, Willem (2013) Pedagogy and community engagement in environmental design coursesJournal of Architectural and Planning Research30(2), pp. 167-180.

Derr, V., L. Chawla, M. Mintzer, D. Flanders Cushing, and van Vliet, W. (2013). A city for all citizens: integrating children and youth from marginalized populations into city planningBuildings 3(3): 482-505.

van Vliet, W. (2011). Intergenerational Cities: A Framework for Policies and Programs. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 9:348–365. DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2011.619920

van Vliet, W. (2009).  Broad-Based Partnerships as a Strategy for Urban Livability: An examination of best practices. Nairobi: UN-HABITAT, Human Settlements Global Dialogue Series  #2.

van Vliet, W. (2008). "The Place of Children: Poverty and Promise". Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Varney, D., & van Vliet- W. (2008). Homelessness, children and youth: Research in the United States and CanadaAmerican Behavioral Scientist, 51(6), 715-720.

Kingston, B., Wridt, P., Chawla L., van Vliet, W., & Brink, L. (2007). Creating child friendly cities in the case of Denver, USA. Municipal Engineer, 160(2), 97-102.

Karsten, L., & van Vliet-, W. (2006). Children in the city: Reclaiming the streetChildren, Youth and Environments, 16(1), 151-167. 

Karsten, L., & van Vliet-, W. (2006). Increasing children's freedom of movement: IntroductionChildren, Youth and Environments, 16(1), 69-73. 

Kirschke, J., & van Vliet-, W. (2005). “How can they look so happy?” Reconstructing the place of children after Hurricane Katrina: Images and reflectionsChildren, Youth and Environments, 15(2), 378-391. 

van Vliet, W. (2003). So what if housing research is thriving? Researchers’ perceptions of the use of housing studies. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 18: 183-199.

van Vliet, W. (2002). Cities in a Globalizing World: From Engines of Growth to Agents of Change. Environment and Urbanization 14(1): 31-40.

van Vliet, W. (1992). Housing for the Elderly in Comparative Perspective: The United States and the Netherlands. Housing and Society: Vol 19, No 3.

van Vliet, W. (1981) Neighborhood Evaluations by City and Suburban Children, Journal of the American Planning Association, 47:4, 458-466, DOI:10.1080/01944368108976527



Encyclopedia of Housing (Editor).  Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 1998. Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice, review journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries; Editors’ Choice, Booklist Magazine, review journal of the American Library Association; Outstanding Reference Source winner, Reference User and Services Association.

International Handbook of Housing Policies and Practices, (Editor).  Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.  1990.

Women, Housing, and Community, (Editor).  London: Gower Publishing Company.  1988.

Habitats for Children: Impacts of Density. (Co-edited by J. F. Wohlwill).  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1985.


Book Chapters

Cushing, Debra Flanders, Wexler Love, Emily, & van Vliet, Willem (2012) Through the viewfinder : using multimedia techniques to engage Latino youth in community planning. Ch. 11 in:  M. Rios & L. Vasquez, (eds.), Placemaking in Latino Communities: Space, action, identity. Routledge.

Urban Poverty and Slums. Chapter Four in The Challenge of Slums; Global Report on Human Settlements 2003  London: Earthscan (2003).

“Learning from Experience: Ingredients and Transferability of Success.” Chapter 11, pp. 246-276, in Affordable Housing and Urban Redevelopment in the U.S.:  Learning from Failure and Success, (Edited by W. van Vliet--). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 1996.

Housing an Aging Population in the Netherlands, Pp. 89-111, Chapter 5 in Housing Frail Elders:  International Policies, Perspectives, and Prospects, edited by Jon Pynoos and Phoebe Liebig.  Johns Hopkins Press.  1995.

The Cherry Question or the Role of Social Science Research in Designing Against Vandalism.  Chapter in Vandalism: Research, prevention and social policy, edited by C. Christensen, D. Johnson and M. Brooks. Portland:  University of Washington/Forest Service/Park Service.  1992.

The Housing and Living Arrangements of Young People in the U.S.  Pp. 313-346 in Handbook of Housing and the Built Environment in the U.S., edited by E. Huttman and W. van Vliet--, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.  1988.

The role of housing type, household density and neighborhood density in peer group interaction and social adjustment.  Chapter 8, pp. 165-200, in Habitats for children: impacts of density, edited by J. F. Wohlwill and W. van Vliet.  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1985.

Housing young people in Israel: public policy and private preferences.  Chapter 9, pp. 142-156, in Housing Needs and Policy Approaches: trends in 13 countries, edited by W. van Vliet--, E. Huttman, and S. Fava. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1985.

Habitats for children: the state of the evidence (with J. F. Wohlwill).  Chapter 9, pp. 201-229, in Habitats for children: impacts of density, edited by J. F. Wohlwill and W. van Vliet.  Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1985.

Vandalism: an assessment and agenda.  Chapter 1, pp. 13-36, in Vandalism: Behavior and motivations, edited by C. Levy-Leboyer.  Amsterdam: North Holland, 1984.

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