Merten Nefs received his master degree at TU Delft (architecture, 2003) and studied regional planning at USP São Paulo. In 2004 he worked on a research involving both universities, concerning the relation between cultural policy, gentrification and urban renewal in three cities.

Since 2005, Merten worked as project architect with Andrade Morettin architects (São Paulo) and as freelancer in the fields of architecture and urban planning. He led a number of projects from first draft to completion and participated in winning and nominee competition designs.

In 2010, Merten joined the Deltametropolis Association, a network and laboratory for metropolitan development. He has led the SprintCity program for Transit-Oriented Development that has resulted in an interactive planning support tool implemented on several transport corridors, international presentations and workshops, as well as various publications in books, magazines and journals.

He has also led a research-by-design program on metropolitan landscape, focusing for example on new uses of the typical peat landscape in the centre of the Deltametropolis and the possibility to use valuable landscapes as an attracting factor in the metropolitan competition for talent and investments, in collaboration with renowned landscape architects and knowledge institutes.

Merten has coached master students from different universities and currently writes on two blogs, Urban Change and Verse Stad.