CUS members Fenne Pinkster and Myrte Hoekstra have published the article: 'We want to be there for everyone’: imagined spaces of encounter and the politics of place in a super-diverse neighbourhood.
In the context of increasingly diverse urban populations in European cities, neighbourhood organizations are often seen as offering spaces of encounter that can foster a sense of belonging. As a result, they have formed an important element in urban policies on community identity and social cohesion. Yet everyday encounters in such micro-publics may not necessarily be experienced as positive, and these spaces themselves might become sites of contestation and exclusion. Through an ethnographic study in a super-diverse neighbourhood in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, this paper investigates how residents’ sense of belonging to the neighbourhood is informed by competing claims on a neighbourhood centre. Although envisioned as a collective space, contestations between different groups of residents over the centre as a functional and meaningful place illustrate how governing institutions shape informal politics of place through their own vision for the neighbourhood and their selective support of some initiatives over others.
Authors: Myrte Hoekstra and Fenne Pinkster
Social & Cultural Geography
Publication Date: June 7, 2017