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Rob Schoonman


Role in CIRCLE-2: Advisory Board Member

Institution: Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, The Netherlands


Rob Schoonman is a policymaker working at the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment in the Netherlands. He is working at the Division for Spatial Planning in a Directory in which units for Spatial Planning and for Environment are joint together. As in origin an Town and Country planner at the moment he's involved in the translation of the effects of climate change on the physical environment in accordance with policy. He participates in the unit ‘Adaptation to Climate Change' within his Directory and he holds the position of the knowledge co-ordinator for the sub programme ‘Climate proof urban development and reconstruction' of the Dutch Delta Programme.

Rob Schoonman is ministerial project manager for ‘Knowledge for Climate'. ‘Knowledge for Climate' is an ambitious research programme that aims to develop applied knowledge, through cooperation between the Dutch government, the business community and scientific research institutes, in order to ensure that long term decision making takes into account the impacts of climate change. 

Wageningen University and Research Centre, the University of Utrecht, the VU University, KNMI and TNO/Deltares have combined forces in this research programme to generate the applied knowledge, together with other academic institutes, the business community and the government (central government, provinces, municipalities and water boards), necessary to assess investments in spatial planning, infrastructure and institutions in terms of their resistance to climate change and to make changes where necessary. The aim is timely and cost-effective climate proofing of the Netherlands, in an international context. The Dutch Government grant a subsidy of € 50 million for the programme to be multiplied by two by the involved partners for the period 2009-2013.

Rob Schoonman participates in the ‘International Delta Alliance'. The Delta Alliance is an initiative to promote international cooperation of experts, town and country planners, water managers, other practitioners and their governments. It aims to raise awareness, share information and develop tools for sustainable development of low-lying areas all over the world in times of a changing world and a changing climate.

He participates in EC Working Group on Knowledge Base on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation and in climate relevant EU Joint Programming Initiatives.
He represents his Ministry in the Joint Steering Committee 4 Party Memorandum of Understanding VROM/V&W - Indonesia.


1973: Hogeschool Larenstein (Engineer Rural Development)

1982: Radboud University (Master Town and Country planning)

Previous Appointments

1989-2007: Secretary National Committee for Spatial Planning at Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment 

1982-1989: Town and Country planner at Province of Gelderland

1974-1982: Rural cultivation / rural planning