Onderzoeksexpertise: de geleefde stad (thuisvoelen, buurtbinding, politiek van plaats) en ruimtelijke ongelijkheid (segregatie, gentrificatie, kwetsbare wijken, sociale menging)
Key research interests: geography of everyday life, home and belonging, politics of place, urban inequality and governing marginality.
As Associate Professor in Urban Geography, I am affiliated to the department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies and the Center for Urban Studies. What I love about Urban Geography, is that you can encounter the urban transformations and social challenges you read about in text books and academic papers as soon as you step out into the city. Much of my inspiration for research and teaching comes from such everyday observations, in Amsterdam where I was born and raised, but also in other cities that I have visited over the years.
My research agenda concerns the geography of everyday urban life, referred to as de geleefde stad in Dutch. I explore how residents experience, use and produce urban space, studying the different ways in which neighborhoods form meaningful places for residents (or not) and raising questions about place-based processes of in- and exclusion, feelings of belonging and loss, encounters with difference, and place-making and place-claiming. An important element in my research is how these lived experiences of the city are shaped by - but also contribute to - macro-processes of polarization, segregation and fragmentation of urban space. I have investigated these processes in a wide range of neighborhoods, from marginalized neighborhoods targeted by urban renewal to white working class areas and elite spaces in the city like the Amsterdam Canal Belt, but always focusing on how residents of different positionalities make sense of their urban surroundings and shape them ‘from below’.
My teaching responsibilities currently include the Bachelor courses Introduction to Human Geography and Master course Advanced Urban Geographies. I also supervise thesis projects for Bachelor, Master and Research Master students and individual PhD students. I am strategically engaged in our academic program as Academic Advisor for our bachelor and master programs in Human Geography and Planning.
January 2021: new appointment
In addition to my academic work, I am happy to announce that I have been appointed as member of the Programme Council of the Center for Urban Inequality. The center is a collaboration between the Municipality of Amsterdam and the four knowledge institutions UvA, VU, HvA and InHolland. Its aim is to generate new research insights in the persistent and cumulative nature of inequality in Amsterdam and thereby contribute to policy practices that can address these challenges for the city. I will contribute to the Programme Council through my interest in spatial inequalities, urban marginality and neighborhood effects. For more information, see https://kenniscentrumongelijkheid.nl/
December 2020: Home and Belonging in the pandemic city
I have been awarded a Center for Urban Studies Teaching Buy-out grant for my research project 'Home and Belonging in the City under COVID-19'. The project includes a survey, developed in collaboration with OIS Amsterdam, and qualitative follow-up interviews with Amsterdammers about the way in which the first lockdown has led them to re-evaluate their homes, neighborhood and city as a place to live. A short introduction to the study and some of the first survey findings can be found here: https://urbanstudies.uva.nl/content/blog-series/living-in-the-pandemic-city.html In February, I will presenting some first findings from the interviews on Emotional geographies of home in the ASCA lecture series on pandemic cities.
November 2020: book chapter on Interviewing in urban research
Very happy that I was able to contribute a chapter on Interviewing in urban research to the wonderful new edited volume Seeing the city by Nanke Verloo and Luca Bertollini on urban research methods. See https://www.aup.nl/en/book/9789463728942/seeing-the-city for this very interesting collection of methodological chapters.
January 2020: Paper on resident experiences of territorial stigmatization in Amsterdam Bijlmer
Very happy that our paper 'On the stickiness of territorial stigma: diverging experiences in Amsterdam’s most notorious neighborhood' is now published online by Antipod (open access), see https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/anti.12608. And for a shorter Dutch commentary about this study, see https://www.socialevraagstukken.nl/het-hardnekkige-stigma-van-de-bijlmer/
If you are writing a thesis in the field of Urban Geography or Urban Studies and are considering me as a supervisor, please have a look at my research page for potentially shared interests and at the list below for some examples of recent thesis topics that I have supervised:
My research interests include a wide range of questions about how people relate to urban places, focusing on how residents' everyday routines become locally embedded (or not!), how neighborhood enables or limits their opportunities to improve their lives, and how - when neighborhood forms a meaningful place to residents - it is then acted upon. I have studied these questions in different types of neighborhoods (from low income neighborhoods to the Amsterdam canal belt) and for different groups of residents, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Specifically, I have studied...:
- Dolly Loomans (2021-2025) Housing pathways of new migrants
- Robin-Jan van Duijne (2017-2020) Peri-urbanization in India, co-promotor
- Myrte Hoekstra (2013-2017) Governing diversity and experiencing difference, copromotor
- Annalies Teernstra (2009-2014) Processes of neighborhood upgrading and downgrading, copromotor
- Doske van der Wilk (2014-2017) Gentrifying public space, daily supervisor
- Thijs van der Steeg (2021), De vergeten rol van de bewoner in het klimaatakoord, Universiteit van Amsterdam (promotores: Prof Dr Arnold Reijndorp & Dr Nanke Verloo)
- Elise Schillebeekx (2019), Aankomstwijken in Vlaanderen, Universiteit Antwerpen/KU Leuven (promotores: Prof Dr Stijn Oosterlynck & Prof Dr Pascal de Decker)
- Alana Osbourne (2018), Touring Trench Town: Commodifying Urban Poverty and Violence in Kingston, Jamaica, Universiteit van Amsterdam (promotores: Prof Dr Rivke Jaffe & Prof Dr Michiel Baud)
- Emily Miltenburg (2017), A different place for different people, Universiteit van Amsterdam (Promotores: Prof Dr Herman van der Werfhorst & Prof Dr Tom van der Meer)