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Research Projects

Members of the Centre for Urban Studies take part in numerous Research Projects on various topics, often in close collaboration with universities from all over the world and at times with organizations operating in the public sector. All current Research Projects are listed below.

Housing markets and welfare state transformations: How family housing property is reshaping welfare regimes (HOU-WEL)

In February 2012 a new five-year research project was launched in the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, funded through the European Research Council’s Starter’s Grant Scheme. Abbreviated to the moniker HOUWEL, this study is concerned with housing  markets and welfare state transformations, and looks to how family housing property practices have interacted with different welfare regimes.

Affiliated CUS members: Richard Ronald, Christian Lennartz, Oana Druta, Rowan Arundel


Integration and International Migration: pathways and integration policies (INTEGRIM)

The INTEGRIM research training programme aims to establish a multi-site network of early stage researchers (predominantly PhD students) at the eight partner institutions fostering a multidisciplinary research career on International Migration and Integration within the European context. The network will apply a qualification framework with a compatible set of qualifications/knowledge/skills across the national systems for graduates of the INTEGRIM programme. Besides, the INTEGRIM research training programme will address the integration challenges that migration flows pose to policy makers, civil society and industrial partners in Europe.

Affiliated CUS member: Floris Vermeulen


Social Innovation - Empowering the Young (SocIEtY) for the Common Good

SocIEtY is an international, interdisciplinary and collaborative research project funded by the Europeans Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. Thirteen partners from 11 European countries are working on the development of innovative social and institutional ways of improving the quality of life of young disadvantaged people.

Affiliated CUS members: Jan Willem Duyvendak, Evelyne Baillergeau


Action oriented planning, regulation and investment dilemmas for innovative urban development in living lab experiences APRILab

The University of Amsterdam leads this large international research project on the contemporary dilemmas in developments at the urban fringe. Together with Aalborg University (Denmark), Yildiz Technical University (Turkey), and Aalto University (Finland), and the municipality of Amsterdam, a range of urban development projects are researched in five different cities. Central in this research are the way planning dilemmas are manifested and dealt with in the projects.

Affiliated CUS members: Willem Salet, Federico Savini, Dr S.J.H. Majoor, Maarten Markus


Interethnic coexistence in European cities: A comparative and applied oriented analysis of neighbourhood-related policies (ICEC)

The ICEC project will compare the aims, features and outcomes of neighborhood development programmes in three different cities: Amsterdam, Vienna and Stockholm. In September 2013, the ICEC project team had their first meeting in Vienna. After selecting the case study neighborhoods, the team members in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Vienna began work on identifying important policy measures that will be crucial to their analysis.

Affiliated CUS members: Sako Musterd, Myrthe Hoekstra, Fenne M. Pinkster


Neoliberalism and segregation. A comparative sociology of urban renewal in Amsterdam and Rotterdam

This research project investigates the modalities and effects of urban renewal in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The main research question is: How and why did urban renewal policies affect (reinforce or attenuate) patterns of income segregation in cities since 1995? 

Affiliated CUS member: Justus Uitermark


The popular culture of illegality: Criminal authority and the politics of aesthetics in Latin America and the Caribbean

This research will study the popular culture of illegality: the music, visual culture and material culture through which the socio-political authority of criminal gangs is produced. Through which aesthetic practices are people mobilized to accept and support criminal authority? How is the popular culture of illegality central to forms of governmentality? How do visuality, aurality and materiality work to constitute and legitimate authority?

Affiliated CUS members: Rive Jaffe, Tracian Meikle


(Post-)Yugoslav LGBT Activism: Between Nationalism and Europeanisation

Explicitly challenging the systematic absence of discussions of (post-)Yugoslav LGBT and other activist initiatives in recent sociological scholarship, this project wants to put gender and sexuality-related issues higher on the regional sociological research agenda and start redressing the imbalance between Western and Eastern European research on LGBT activism and politics.

Affiliated CUS member: Bojan Bilic


‘Data for Development’: the ethical and practical implications of sharing digital data in the field of international development (D4D)

This proposed research will explore the implications of ‘data for development' – the use of new types of digital data, for example from mobile phone traces or social media activity, to shape development interventions by governments and international institutions. The research is specifically concerned with how the availability of such data is drawing new actors and institutions into the field of international development.

Affiliated CUS member: Linnet Taylor


Mobility and inclusion in multilingual Europe (MIME)

The core assumption of the MIME project is that “mobility” and “inclusion” are not incompatible, but that they do not necessarily converge, and that societies (and even individual citizens) are often confronted with a trade-off between them. In general, more mobility may compromise inclusion and cohesion, while a focus on inclusion and cohesion may impair mobility. This assumption will be investigated and evaluated in several of the case studies MIME will produce, and pave the way for the next step in the MIME approach. How can we ease these tensions through well-designed policies?

Affiliated CUS members: László Marácz, Virginie Mamadouh


DIVERCITIES Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyper-diversified Cities

The principal aim of DIVERCITIES is to examine how Europe can benefit from diversity. The project’s central hypothesis is that urban diversity is an asset.  It can inspire creativity and innovation. Create cities that are more liveable and harmonious. Stimulate local and national economies and make European cities more competitive.

Affiliated CUS members: Tuna Tasan-Kok, Sara Ozogul


The politics of security: The impacts of public-private security assemblages on governance and citizenship

This project will research how governance and citizenship are being reconfigured through public-private security assemblages, with particular emphasis on the role of the private security industry. The project will investigate to what extent public-private security assemblages function as hybrid governance structures, and the implications this has for how different groups enact and experience citizenship. It will examine how urban spaces and populations are governed, and how political subjectivities shift, as a result of these hybrid forms of security provision.

Affiliated CUS members: Rivke Jaffe, Thijs Jeursen, Lisette Damstra, Carolina Maurity Frossard


Transforming citizenship through hybrid governance: The impacts of public-private security assemblages (SECURCIT)

The project will investigate to what extent public-private security assemblages function as hybrid governance structures, and the implications this has for how different groups enact and experience citizenship. It will examine how urban spaces and populations are governed, and how political subjectivities shift, as a result of these hybrid forms of security provision.

Affiliated CUS members: Rivke Jaffe, Erella Grassiani, Tessa Diphoorn, Frank Müller, Thijs Jeursen, Francesco Colona, Carolina Froassard, Lior Volinz


Slum tourism in the Americas: Commodifying urban poverty and violence (Slumtour)

This research seeks to provide an ethnographic analysis and systematic comparison of the “slum tourist encounter” in marginalized neighborhoods in four cities in the Americas: Los Angeles, Mexico City, Kingston, and Rio de Janeiro. Focusing on these four slum tourism sites, it aims to explore how globally circulating representations of poverty and violence, embedded in popular culture and embodied in the slum tourist encounter, both reproduce and challenge urban inequalities.

Affiliated CUS members: Rivke Jaffe, Alana Osbourne


Cultural Conflict 2.0: The Dynamics of Religion, Media and Locality in North European Cities

This project is funded by: Research Council Noorwegen. This project investigates the impact of mediatised cultural conflicts on the local politics of religion and multiculturalism. Comparing Norway and the Netherlands, and focusing on four cities, the project’s main research question is, ‘How does mediatisation, (i.e. processes through which media come to permeate social systems and the rhythms of everyday life) impact on local community relations in Norway and the Netherlands?’

Affiliated CUS member: Christian Broër


From data subjects to data producers: negotiating the role of the public in urban geo-information data (Participatory Geo-information)

This research aims to bridge the gap between technical experts and citizens, and to provide a roadmap towards a new social contract for geo-information between data producers, intermediaries and users.  Taking Amsterdam as our focus, focus will be on the boundaries between volunteered, observed, and inferred data, with the aim of clarifying the kinds of permissions and sharing that should be attached to each type.

Affiliated CUS members: Linnet Taylor, Isa Baud, Karin Pfeffer, Christine Richter, Shaz Jameson


Between self-regulation and formal government: the challenges of self-build housing and facilities – BESEFOGO

The main research question is: ‘How is the capacity for self-regulation in practices of self-build housing and facilities related to formal governance and regulation domains and how can this relationship be optimized to create more socially sustainable forms of urbanization?’. This question is studied more in detail and with the use of different methodologies by addressing sub-research questions regarding the mapping of self-build practices, the experience of self-build practices by residents and their socially sustainable effects in terms of provision of affordable housing and enhanced networks in each locale.

Affiliated CUS members: Willem Salet, Josse de Voogd


Public accountability to residents in contractual urban redevelopment – PARCOUR

By studying diverse planning tools in Brazil, UK and the Netherlands, PARCOUR will engage in the comparative evaluation of public accountability in relation to residents. It is also important to acknowledge that both the realisation of the public interest through the use of these planning tools and the accountability of the public sector in contractual processes are under researched.

Affiliated CUS members: Tuna Tasan Kok, Martijn van den Hurk


Placing educational inequalities: Socio-spatial strategies for access to primary education

This project will integrate sociological and geographical perspectives on educational inequalities by studying how parents of disparate ethnic and social class backgrounds develop different socio-spatial strategies to secure access to 'good' schools. The main question of this research project is: How can educational inequalities be explained through the socio-spatial strategies of school choice of different groups of parents?

Affiliated CUS member: Willem Boterman


Safeguarding long-term stakeholdership in Smart Cities

In this project we develop ethical frameworks for the transparant cooperation between companies, governments and citizens, so that the resulting socio-technical arrangements will be considered as legitimate by all stakeholders. We also work with engineers to anchor important ethical values like privacy, participation, property rights, distributive justice, and the right not to participate in the technological designs themselves. And we present novel ways of engaging more people to partake in the reflection on their own digital environment.

Affiliated CUS members: Justus Uitermark, Dorien Zandbergen


Redressing Long-term societal challenges through space for Incremental urban development, small-scale and bottom-up initiatives to produce New Knowledge for vital and inclusive urban regions (R-LINK)

R-LINK aims to find smart solutions to address economic, social and environmental challenges through spatial transformations. These transformations affect and contest conventional urban development and governance models, thus requiring new action perspectives. R-LINK proposes to bridge the gap between the practice of large-scale, strategic urban ambitions and policies and that of the new alliances (government, market or citizen initiated) for CLIUDs.

Affiliated CUS members: Jan Willem Duyvendak, Michiel Stapper


Vernieuwd Handelingsrepertoire en Reflectiekader voor Participatieprofessionals

Participatieprofessionals geven aan zich dagelijks voor dilemma’s gesteld te zien. Er is dringend behoefte aan een nieuw reflectiekader en handelingsrepertoire. Zij vragen zich af waaraan zij de legitimatie voor hun werk ontlenen, hoe ze kunnen ondersteunen zonder te sturen, hoe ze om moeten gaan met tegenstrijdige belangen en hoe je een burgerverband versterkt. In de kern gaat het om twee vragen: Welke doelen moet ik nastreven en welke rol kan ik daarin spelen?

Affiliated CUS member: David Laws


Community Data-Loops for sustainable urban lifestyles (CODALoop)

There is tremendous urgency for reducing cities’ energy footprint through behavioral change. However, we hardly know how to enable individuals to learn to use energy responsibly in their daily lives. This newly funded project combines information, cognitive and social sciences into a real-life experiment in urban neighborhoods.

Affiliated CUS members: Luca Bertolini, Federico Savini, Karin Pfeffer, Alessandro Bozzon, Beatriz Pineda Revilla


Smart Cycling Futures

The new research programme 'Smart Cycling Futures (SCF)' investigates how smart cycling innovations ─ including ICT-enabled cycling innovations, infrastructures, and social innovations like new business models ─ contribute to more resilient and liveable Dutch urban regions.

Affiliated CUS members: Marco te Brömmelstroet, Samuel Nel’lo Deakin, Anna Nikolaeva, Arnoud van Waes, George Liu


Understanding the current wave in globalisation: The segmented outcomes of offshore service development in Mumbai and Manila

This PhD project is part of a larger 5-year Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) funded research project in which researchers from University of Amsterdam, Mumbai University and University of the Philippines collaborate to understand the local outcomes of contemporary globalisation by means of the international expansion of offshore service delivery.

Affiliated CUS members: Prof. dr R.C. Kloosterman , Drs. J.M. Kleibert, S. Krishnan, Dr N.P.C. Beerepoot


Opinion Dynamics and Cultural Conflict in European Spaces (ODYCCEUS)

Social media and the digitization of news and discussion fora are having far-reaching effects on the way individuals and communities communicate, organize, and express themselves. Can the information circulating on these platforms be tapped to better understand and analyze the enormous problems facing our contemporary society? Could this help us to better monitor the growing number of social crises due to cultural differences and diverging world-views? Would this facilitate early detection and perhaps even ways to resolve conflicts before they lead to violence? The Odycceus project answers all these questions affirmatively. It will develop the conceptual foundations, methodologies, and tools to translate this bold vision into reality and demonstrate its power in a large number of cases. 

Affiliated CUS member: Justus Uitermark


CYCLEWALK: Transitioning from car-based mobility to cycling and walking by influencing and transferring decision-maker knowledge

In general, there is a lack of standards regarding cycling and walking infrastructure in the EU and “best practices” and knowledge are unevenly spread – the Netherlands is sought out as a place for policy learning and Amsterdam is global epicenter for policy tourism on urban cycling and public space. While other local and regional administrations hastily build walking and cycling facilities, they may not necessarily be aware of the complex nature of transportation, land use, mobility, and human behavior. On one hand, this project provides an opportunity for local and regional administrations to share and transfer approaches to implementing active transportation policies and practices. On the other hand, it also provides a unique opportunity for researching the process, impacts and implications of policy learning of active mobility.

Affiliated CUS members: Meredith Glaser, Luca Bertolini, Marco te Brömmelstroet