Merten Nefs studied architecture at Delft University of Technology and urban planning at USP São Paulo. After graduation in 2003 he worked as a researcher for both faculties in the Alfa-Ibis program of the European Union for ‘Globalization, Urban Form and Governance’. The research explored the relation between urban renewal, gentrification and cultural incubator projects. Besides this subject he has published on urban revitalization, transit-oriented development, gentrification, industrial heritage, urban shrinkage and urban wastelands.

From 2005, Merten worked as project architect with Andrade Morettin architects, with whom he designed the winning entry for the Living Steel Competition in 2007 and realized projects such as House RR. He continued as freelance architect in São Paulo with projects in the fields of urban planning and architecture, for example with Triptyque architecture.

In 2010 Merten joined the Deltametropolis Association in Rotterdam, which promotes development of the Dutch metropolitan region – known as Randstad – to maintain its competitive position in Europe. The association is a laboratory and think-tank for mobility, landscape and metropolitan functions.
As manager Design & Research of the SprintCity project, Merten focuses on opportunities for transit-oriented development: increasing homes and jobs around stations to support higher train frequencies, leading to a sustainable, diverse and better connected urban region.