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The Amsterdam Centre for Urban History (ACUH) represents the largest research group in the Netherlands for the study of urban history. With about 30 staff members and PhD candidates, we explore the history of urban societies from a long-term and broad geographic perspective: from Antiquity to the modern era, from Europe to Africa and from the Middle East to the Americas.

Key themes 

Scholars at the ACUH focus on a wide range of themes: from urban governance, economy, class and gender relations, to religion, ethnic identity, crime, health, housing, planning, leisure and representation. Most of the research, however, emerges from the basic yet fundamental question of how people from various backgrounds have been living together in densely populated cities. The role of institutions and the contested use of urban space figure prominently in many of our research projects.


The group offers a lively environment for the study of urban history for both researchers and students by organising seminars, workshops and conferences, as well as a joint BA course and a range of specialist courses and thesis supervision. ACUH has strong links with the centres for urban history in Leicester, Antwerp and Berlin. Members actively participate in major (inter)national platforms such as the Dutch-Flemish journal Stadsgeschiedenis, the national association Werkgroep Stedengeschiedenis and the European Association for Urban History (EAUH). Subscribe to our newsletter by sending an e-mail to or follow us on Twitter.

Societal relevance

The ambition of this research group is to discuss the long-term and global history of urban societies and spaces with urban policy makers, journalists, museum curators and the broader audience, thus enriching our understanding of contemporary urban trends and challenges.

Partner institutes

The Amsterdam Centre for Urban History has active links with the Centres for Urban History in Antwerp and Leicester, the European Association for Urban History, as well as the Centre for Urban Studies at the UvA and other Amsterdam-based partner institutes.


  • Dr. Laura van Hasselt (Dutch history)
  • Dr. Danielle van den Heuvel (Early modern history)
  • Vany Susanto, MA (Early modern history)
  • Dr. Tim Verlaan (Dutch history, co-director)
  • Dr. Rixt Woudstra (Architectural history, co-director)