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Awarded Fellowship Grants

In 2019 the CUS launched multiple Fellowship Grants. Fellowship grants are awarded to fund a stay at the University of Amsterdam. These grants are provided to support recently graduated master students who are aspiring a PhD position, or PhD students who are aspiring a Post Doc position, both from within and outside of the UvA.

The City as a Learning Laboratory: Researching Children's Mobilities

Awarded to Manuela Ferreira Torres

Urban children don’t enjoy freedom of movement as they used to. However, different ways through which we can and choose to dislocate (e.g. by foot, bicycle, car, or using public transit) have profound implications on our exposure to the city landscape. Engaging and learning to negotiate with social and spatial diversity in cities from early ages may lead to a broader comprehension of the environment and a sense of responsibility towards it. Acknowledging that there is a wide spectrum of variation between children, and therefore also in how they relate to their spatial and social environments, this study intends to contrast social agency to an acquired familiarity with the surroundings, or the exercise of citizenship. How does the level of autonomy in mobility practices influence children's familiarity with their social and spatial environment? And how does that relate to a sense of citizenship? The level of independence of a child’s mobility choices could be a good indicator to how the right to use public space is distributed.

Housing informality in the Global North. Exploring illegal occupancy of holiday homes in the Netherlands

Awarded to Daan Bossuyt

Scholars once assumed informal housing was exclusive to the Global South. Recently, empirical research has acknowledged the role of informal housing in housing systems of the Global North. Informal housing is a highly geographically uneven practice, which is often interwoven with formal economies of housing and land. The state plays a crucial role in the production of informal housing through using informality as a spatial categorization tool, which can legitimate intervention. This raises the question through what mechanisms the state produces informal housing practices. To investigate this, this proposal takes the case of the Netherlands, where in recent years there has been a proliferation of illegal permanent occupancy of holiday homes.

Going Away from the City: Emerging Ex-Urban Communities in Western Rural Areas of Turkey

Awarded to Gökçe Sanul

This research aims to understand emerging communities migrating from the metropolis of Istanbul to the rural areas situated at the west coast of Turkey. This spatial mobility –– not to, but away from the city -- points to an important sociopolitical transformation that our cities are facing today and deserves a deeper elaboration. Although there is no previous research on the profile of these communities, they indicate secular, educated people from middle or upper middle class of Turkish society. They are experimenting with ecological-communal life forms, organizing seminars on ecological farming methods or entrepreneurship in rural areas. Based on this preliminary observation, the main goal of the proposed research is to gain a more profound understanding about the acts of commoning and new forms of publicness developing through these emerging ex-urban communities in western rural areas of Turkey.

 

Creative Hangouts in Urban Spaces

Awarded to Lieke Prins

Over the last decades, street art has become a worldwide phenomenon and developed from an illegal practice into an appreciated popular public art form. The development of the street art movement has provoked local governments to reconsider policies and respond to the urban practice. In Amsterdam, the municipality recently installed a city curator, and in Medellín, the municipality installed mesa de graffiti to provide permits. The movement has triggered new dynamics, power relations, and raises questions about the people involved. For this Ph.D. research, Lieke Prins is interested in the following research question: “How do street artists, bystanders, and policymakers contemplate and appreciate street art interventions in public space in Colombia and the Netherlands?”

 

Finding Common Ground? - Governing Social Responsibility and Property Development in Amsterdam and Dubai

Awarded to Nagwa Kady

Property development is a key driving force in the development of contemporary cities. Not only has it crucial repercussions on urban planning processes, but the entanglement of public and private sector actors in property development is often considered as a major contributor to rising inequalities and injustices affecting regular urban dwellers.  Simultaneously, private sector actors’ increasing awareness of social accountability have led to the building of strategies that contribute to the welfare of the society. Despite this realization, the concept of social responsibility – referring to individuals and companies being obliged to act in the best interests of the environment and society as a whole, and addressed in the business sphere for instance in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – has not gained traction within the planning field. The envisaged research aims to explore new avenues to govern social responsibility in property development.