Urban Studies Blog Series

Every month one of our full professors, assistant professors, postdoctoral researchers, PhD-students, visiting professors or students enrolled in the research master’s programme write about their views on a variety of urban aspects. The contents of the blog-entries vary from striking and conspicuous urban encounters, to the latest developments and trends in urban studies research.

  • Graph Safety Index Scores

    Exclusion as Urban Policy: The Dutch ‘Act on Extraordinary Measures for Urban Problems’ - by Wouter van Gent, Cody Hochstenbach & Justus Uitermark

    The Rotterdam Act forbids certain groups of poor residents from moving into particular neighborhoods. This paper analyzes the rationales behind the Act and evaluates its effects.

    Read more
  • Post Feminism Book Cover

    The feminizing city? - by Marguerite van den Berg & Carmen Ferri

    How are we to understand the contemporary urban gender revolution? Are cities feminizing as a result of changing patterns of production and reproduction? Or are we to understand persistent gendered poverty and violence statistics as signs of ...

    Read more
  • Master’s programme Sociology: Urban Sociology

    Re-assessing the scholarship of the Chicago School of Sociology - by Dennis Rodgers

    The widely known Chicago School of Sociology is generally acknowledged as a highly innovative and foundational current of sociology, but has arguably been fundamentally misunderstood.

    Read more
  • Blog Cycling first picture

    Learning by doing: a closer look at the exportation of Dutch cycling knowledge – by Meredith Glaser

    The City of Amsterdam estimated, conservatively, that in 2015 over 150 international delegations of varying size came to Amsterdam to, generally, learn about Dutch cycling. With nearly half of all trips made by bike (depending on neighborhood), ...

    Read more
  • Jane Jacobs bij een persconferentie

    Jane Jacobs: Planning Guru or Planning Gorilla? - By Nanke Verloo

    Jane Jacobs is often celebrated as the Guru of today’s planning. Her approach to the city as a place for diversity – in uses, spaces, inhabitants, and buildings became enormously popular among planners across the world. In Amsterdam, planners are ...

    Read more
  • Mumbai barbers

    The Urban Auditory Experience: Sound Awareness and Understanding our World of Sound - by Edda Bild

    A blog by CUS Member Edda Bild where she states that we can understand how cities are being used, appropriated and negotiated by learning to listen and becoming more aware of the auditory environments we are embedded in.

    Read more
  • Jane Jacobs book cover

    Vital Little Plans: Seeing Jane Jacobs Whole - by visiting Associate Professor Samuel Zipp

    In 1984, Jane Jacobs visited Amsterdam. What did she say about the city and how can we relate this to her whole body of work?

    Read more
  • Home Ownership

    The end of mass homeownership? Looking at housing career diversification and inequality in Europe - by Rowan Arundel

    What factors are undermining the entry to homeownership and how are these transformations in housing contributing to growing inequalities?

    Read more
  • Master’s programme Sociology: Urban Sociology

    Anthropology and the city: Standing on the shoulders of giants? - by Gareth A. Jones & Dennis Rodgers

    Over the past decade there has been a flourishing of anthropological texts dealing with the city.

    Read more
  • European Commission in Brussels

    The urban agenda for Europe: A win-win partnership between cities and the EU? - by Virginie Mamadouh

    The European Union (EU) is going through a tumultuous period: a Brexit referendum, EU-septic political parties on the rise, financial and economic crises, unemployment, large numbers of incoming asylum seekers, difficult relations with its ...

    Read more
  • Maps electoral dynamics Urban Europe

    The electoral dynamics of urban Europe - by Josse de Voogd

    A multicolored patchwork, that’s what the electoral map of Europe looks like. In a study published by World Policy Journal, I made a composition of all the political maps of the European countries together. This offers an intriguing insight in ...

    Read more
  • New Holland

    Czar Peter, New Holland and Urban Development in St. Petersburg - by Olga Sezneva

    There is a slice of Holland in the heart of Saint Petersburg. When Czar Peter returned from Zaandam in 1698 after learning, incognito, shipbuilding (he trained as a carpenter), he applied the new skill to building Russia’s own fleet as he ...

    Read more
  • Haus auf dem kopf

    The city that ‘we’ own - by Federico Savini

    Amsterdam inner city, 2015. Households buying a plot of land and building their own dwellings, with gardens and work space. A network of about 50 people gets together with an architect and design their own block, perhaps including a small theater ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam Canal bikes

    Intergenerational support shaping residential trajectories: young people leaving home in a gentrifying city - By Cody Hochstenbach & Willem R. Boterman

    Across many different urban contexts, young people are currently faced with increasing constraints on the housing market. Inflating housing prices and stricter mortgage lending criteria render homeownership out of reach for more and more young ...

    Read more
  • The land of many palaces

    China's most famous ghost city - by Adam Smith

    Ordos is China's most famous ghost city. Redesignated as a prefecture-level city in 2001, by 2010 it was hitting media headlines all over the world for its emptiness: an emptiness that gave its few thousand residents access to all the wonderful ...

    Read more
  • Old couple

    Cities for the Aged? - By Joos Droogleever Fortuijn

    Some years ago my husband and I made a hiking tour along Glyndwr’s Way in the Cambrian mountains in Wales. In the Mid Wales Inn in Pant Y Dwr we met a couple of around 70 years old. The couple moved from Birmingham to this small village in a ...

    Read more
  • Port of Spain in city

    Mega Cities Projects: the Case of Port of Spain - By Hebe Verrest

    In the recent past many cities have embarked on mega-projects as part of their neoliberal development strategy. While many of the best known urban mega projects in the global south, e.g. those related to the Fifa World Championship in South ...

    Read more
  • flickr.com / creative commons/M. Jeremy Goldman

    Cities and the Superrich - By visiting Prof. Ray Forrest

    The superrich are probably more visible in Hong Kong than Amsterdam, and probably richer. Hong Kong does superrichness better than most cities. But there is a pervasive concern with the impact of expanding economic elites on urban life and urban ...

    Read more
  • Almere

    Suburbanite 2.0 - by Yannis Tzaninis

    Almere is becoming international more rapidly than Amsterdam. The past few years one out of four new inhabitants that moved to Almere came from abroad, departing from more than 100 countries. Currently almost 40% of its total population has some ...

    Read more
  • Globe

    Big data: correlation is no substitute for causality - By visiting Prof. Nick Bailey

    ‘Big data’ has become one of those buzzwords we can’t escape in the urban field these days. There is a whole new industry of big data analytics companies, selling their services to cities that want to be seen as ‘smart’, promising insights that ...

    Read more
  • Urban Food Market

    Perfectly Disorganised Markets - By Freek Janssens

    Urban markets are hot. From Seattle to Sydney and from Turin to Toronto, marketplaces are popping up in cities to meet the interests of city dwellers in sustainable and healthy food and lively places to meet one another. This development has not ...

    Read more
  • La Defense

    Sentimental Journey - By visiting Prof. Nick Phelps

    Twenty or so years ago I stood on a cold and windswept spot in Almere New Town being a young lecturer at Cardiff University assisting on our Diploma in Town Planning field trip to the Netherlands. What better way to escape the crowds of gawping, ...

    Read more
  • Blog Luca

    Some Reflections from Hong Kong #UmbrellaMovement - By Prof. Luca Bertolini

    I spent my sabbatical in Hong Kong. With both extreme human densities and breathtaking natural landscapes, Hong Kong is an overwhelming city. This much I knew, and this alone would have made the stay a unique experience. Nothing however, had ...

    Read more
  • Flickr.com – Creative Commons – Damien du Toit (Dias Tribute)

    Bringing Amsterdam and Cape Town together - by visiting Prof. Dianne Scott

    Inspired by Jenny Robinson’s invocation to look for ‘new ways of bringing cities together’ in urban studies, one is struck by a strong feeling of connectedness between the cities of Amsterdam and Cape Town. Since 1652 these cities have ‘inhabited ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam Gilissen

    Phenomenal Urbanization Asks for Forward-Looking Visions and a Global Perspective - By visiting Prof. George Lin

    The city of Amsterdam has long occupied a strategic position in the history of global interdependent development. Visiting the city of Amsterdam for the first time I was deeply impressed. As an urban geographer, I was fascinated by the landscape ...

    Read more
  • City Heights

    'Best Practice' story telling on Smart Cities, and why we need better genres - By visiting lecturer Dr Dorien Zandbergen

    Recently, it has been argued that 'Smart Cities' are capable of addressing the urban challenges and problems of our time, orchestrating urban life in more efficient ways and making cities more engaging and livable. As an ideal of future urban ...

    Read more
  • Fietsers

    The Handicap of a Head Start - by Dr Marco te Brömmelstroet

    It is a hard job to stimulate the debate about cycling in the Netherlands. Literally everybody is a frequent user and most therefore also consider themselves to be an expert: 16 million professors on urban cycling. We could not be happier than ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam 2

    Reflections on Amsterdam - by visiting Prof. Richard Walker

    In Amsterdam one is struck immediately by the weight of the past. But I found the common tropes available to be inadequate in framing the story of the city for the visitor. I visited both the City and the Canal Museums, which have elaborate, ...

    Read more
  • Rembrandt

    Tracing Footsteps in a City - By visiting Prof. Ananya Roy

    In 1982, on the occasion of her 40th birthday, my mother decided to undertake her first travel to Europe. A high school teacher and a middle-class mother, she had diligently saved money for this trip over the course of many years. India’s ...

    Read more
  • New York Chinatown

    How generalizable is the Chinese case? - By visiting Prof. You-tien Hsing

    It was a great pleasure to present my research on China’s urban transformation at the Centre for Urban Studies in February this year. At the presentation I tried to theorize the intertwined relationship between urban building and state building. ...

    Read more
  • Red Light District 3

    Observations from behind an Amsterdam window - By Fenne Pinkster

    Recently, I spent the evening at a restaurant located in the middle of Amsterdam’s red light district, where we had window seats with a beautiful view of the Old Church lying on the opposite of the canal. Surrounded by coffeeshops and red lights ...

    Read more
  • UvA building the Agnietenkapel

    The Urban Revolution - By visiting Prof. Robert Fishman

    Among the many things I appreciate about the Centre’s generous invitation to lecture in March was the locale of the lecture itself – the beautiful hall where the University itself began in 1632. As I reflected afterwards, it was the perfect ...

    Read more
  • Flat

    Bos en Lommer: Amsterdam’s gentrification frontier? - By Marco Bontje

    Until early 2008, my housing career probably could be seen as a hybrid product of ‘how Amsterdam social housing works’ and the usual ‘early gentrifier’ frame as we know it from urban geography and urban sociology research. Born and raised in ...

    Read more
  • Slangenhuis

    Languages and Languaging in Multilingual Amsterdam - By Virginie Mamadouh

    In Amsterdam we speak many languages, as in any city across the world. Somewhat specific however is the high prevalence of English, next to Dutch, the national language of the country, and the wide range of languages represented. Moreover, the ...

    Read more
  • Insurgent Consumerism - By Rivke Jaffe

    In a recent CUS blog, Erik Swyngedouw laments Amsterdam’s current lack of insurgent citizens. Unlike other cities “where the multitude takes to the streets and squares and stages performatively new egalitarian modes of being-in-common”, Amsterdam ...

    Read more
  • Fiets losgebrand

    The battle of the ‘orphan-bike’: a citizen participation tragedy in Amsterdam - By Nanke Verloo

    In their quest to understand the city, urban researchers can choose to emerge into sociological theories or mingle into the everyday struggle of the street and learn from what they see. Let me tell you a ‘small story that rethinks a large issue’: ...

    Read more
  • Canal in Amsterdam

    The World’s Most Liberal City - By Prof. Jan Willem Duyvendak

    There are many Amsterdams. The city has a different meaning for each inhabitant and every visitor. The city’s slogan I Amsterdam seems to acknowledge this individualized experience (it is not ‘We Amsterdam’). In his blog, Erik Swyngedouw invites ...

    Read more
  • Political Science

    Goodbye, city district councils. You will be missed for at least one unexpected reason - By associate professor Floris Vermeulen

    Thirty years ago Amsterdam installed its first city districts. At the highpoint of this era, in 2002, there were 14 city districts (stadsdelen). Each had its own council (stadsdeelraad). And each thus provided a place where Amsterdam politics, ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam canal with bikes

    Where is Amsterdam? - By visiting Prof. Erik Swyngedouw

    Amsterdam takes a very special and privileged position in my intellectual trajectory. As a young and radical planning student in Belgium in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the stale, dogmatic, antiquated and plainly stifling intellectual and ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam Capital of Freedom - By Visiting Prof. Alan Mabin

    I’m sure most people among the millions who visit Amsterdam every year, do so to sit in cafés next to tranquil canals, party in extraordinary venues, view rich art collections, and do all those other things associated with the foreign experience ...

    Read more
  • Amsterdam, Leidseplein, Theatre

    Choose or Loose? - By Prof. Maarten Hajer

    It was in the mid 1990s. On our way to a family holiday in the Alps we made a stopover in Salzburg. Salzburg, the city of Mozart, of the fortress and, of course, The Sound of Music. Parking signs guided us to a parking house, which happened to be ...

    Read more
  • Canal in Amsterdam

    The Resilience of the Amsterdam Canal Belt - By Prof. Robert Kloosterman & Prof. Ewald Engelen

    The façade of the houses along the Amsterdam canals seems to have changed little in four centuries. Behind the doors, however, things are quite different. It is not just that the interiors are very different, but, even more important, significant ...

    Read more
  • Student Jasmin Thielen

    Starting in Amsterdam - By Cody Hochstenbach and Dr. Willem Boterman

    Amsterdam has significantly increased in popularity during the last decade: most of the inner city neighbourhoods are experiencing gentrification and the population has grown steadily – in 2012 the milestone of 800,000 inhabitants was passed. ...

    Read more
  • Academic Club

    The Republic of Amsterdam - By Prof. Zef Hemel

    In June some five professors of the Centre for Urban Studies of the University of Amsterdam, teaching urban sociology, ethnic entrepreneurship, economic geography, urban geography and urban planning, had dinner with the Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam, ...

    Read more