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Seed Grant Projects

Centre for Urban Studies

The Centre for Urban Studies is pleased to announce the projects that have been awarded a Seed Grant or Seed Grant XL for 2023. The awarded projects foster transdisciplinary dialogue, contribute to the CUS’ strategic focus on the urban commons and/or contribute to original research in the field of Urban Studies.

Please find a summary of the 2023 awarded projects below. For more information about the Seed Grants and Seed Grants XL, please go to our Grants & Funding page. Click on the links below for an overiew of all previously awarded Seed Grants and Seed Grants XL. 

2023 (Seed Grants XL)

  • 1. Institutional Financialization and Academia’s Historical Immersion into the Marketplace: Progressive Impacts to the University Campus as Illustrated through UvA and LSE

    Awarded to Prof. Dr. Tuna Tasan-Kok, Sean Lewis & Tim Verlaan

    This project aims to demonstrate how institutional financialization has gradually transformed the spatial realm of two urban universities in the Netherlands and England, augmenting the campus to reflect market-based influences. Following the evolution of the post-war Dutch and British welfare states and subsequent rise in neoliberal policy making, institutional academic focus transformed into a multifaceted set of needs, including complex property and fiscal requirements. These twentieth century socio-economic milestones had a profound impact on institutional physical configuration and specialization over time. This research proposes to illustrate how these events have altered university footprints and realigned academia with the free market.

  • Your House, My Memory. Tracing common histories in uncommon cities.

    Awarded to Olga Sezneva, Magdalena Szymków & Sarah Beth Woods

    This is a collaborative exploration of a little-known history of property transfers in Eastern Europe after WWII. A sociologist, a filmmaker and an artist, each with the roots in a different ethno-national community – Russian, Polish, and German-American – use their family biographies and histories of their native cities – Kaliningrad, Wroclaw and American Brazenau -- to understand place-making and belonging after a violent conflict. Through the use of moving image, ethnographic research, and site-specific artworks that focus on shared, lived experiences, we trace and document the practices of home occupation and sharing, the memories that these practices produced, and these memories’ material ecologies. The approach has a potential to further the research on the post-violence commonning. The research will result in a publication, research film and art exhibition.

  • Cruising: Urban Studies, Art Practices, and Queerness

    Awarded to Valentina Carraro, Carolina Sepúlveda, Fernando Schrupp Rivero, Jade Mandrake, Heiko Pfreundt, Galo Coca, Ignacio Lira

    The second phase of "Cruising" will focus on queer art practices by young people in a range of selected cities from the global north and south, including curatorial practices related to clubbing and partying. In Phase 1 the project examined the term cruising and their significance in art and cultural spaces. In Phase 2, the "Cruising" project will investigate emerging forms of cruising that expand beyond the traditional understanding of the term. The project will focus on young people and will explore queer art practices related to the emergence of new commoning methods in the public domain, such as partying. Through an interdisciplinary approach, the project aims to inform strategies for developing more equitable and inclusive urban environments, while also highlighting the potential of these practices to shape new forms of community, expression, and resistance.

  • Bolivian Amazon ports: Mapping extended urbanization in hydrosocial territories

    Awarded to Jannes Willems, Fernando Schrupp Rivero, Rutgerd Boelens, Ana Suarez Anzorena, Arie Christoffel Seijmonsbergen, Lies Jacobs

    Waterways are an expression of extended urbanization. The field of urban political ecology has examined conditions of extended urbanization through either more environmental (geomorphological) or socio-political (discursive) research methodologies. This research proposal aims to integrate both methodologies by conceptualizing waterways as hydrosocial territories, validating this conceptualization through a case study of ports in the Bolivian Amazon. By combining geomorphological and discursive analyses, we can reveal the heterogeneous meanings of (seasonal peasant/commercial/military) port infrastructure. The CUS grant will enable fieldwork and establish an interdisciplinary dialogue on extended urbanization with scholars from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

  • Human-to-more-than-human right to the city rhythm visualizer

    Awarded to Mendel Giezen, Debra Solomon & Pinar Sefkatli

    Institutions, communities and nature all behave according to their own rhythms. However, in the development and maintenance of urban greens, they are often not in sync, creating barriers to renaturing cities. Visualizing the rhythms and resource requirements of urban greens and how they engage with the social dynamics of neighbourhoods can be a powerful tool in the co-creation and co-management with local authorities and municipal organisations. Lefebvrian rhythm analysis could provide new understandings bolstering maintenance transformations that support a more-than-human’s right to the city and its renaturing.

  • Food commons within European cities: democracy, commoning and municipalism

    Awarded to Federico Savini, Ying-Tzu Lin, Branwyn Poleykett, Ciska Ulug, Vincent Paul, Stella Archontaki

    The food commons has been celebrated as a means towards a food system that embed sustainability, justice, and care. Defined as food resources shared and governed by communities, the food commons have especially been gaining traction as a means to institutionalize efforts towards urban food sustainability. Drawing upon findings from a 2022 Seed Grant project on food commons in Amsterdam, this Seed Grant XL will look into food commoning in international contexts in Europe and foster knowledge exchange. Specifically, focusing on Barcelona and Ghent, we will carry out desk research, fieldworks and series of events around food governance.

2023 (Seed Grants)

  • Printed publication of Walking as a Research Practice Conference 2022 Proceedings

    Awarded to Alice Twemlow, Anna Nikolaeva, Tânia Alexandra Cardoso & Francesca Ranalli

    The presented proposal aims to conclude the follow-up strategy to the Walking as Research Practice (WARP) Conference held in September 2022, supported by the CUS. We strive to provide scholarly publishing opportunities for novel research methodologies to interact with and investigate urban space. Therefore, the follow-up strategy follows the form of a printed academic journal that allows for further dissemination of the WARP Conference Proceedings. While Soapbox Academic Journal, with whom we collaborate, mainly works as an online platform, in this instance there will be a printed version of the journal, designed for use during or in-between walking. The Seed grant will be allocated for the printing costs and to pay a small fee to the student designer in charge of creating the printed publication.

  • The City as a Palimsets of the Past and the Future. A workshop with AISSR visiting Prof. Diane E. Davis.

    Awarded to Nanke Verloo, Diane Davis, Julienne Weegels, Imrat Verhoeven, Tim Verlaan & Cody Hochstenbach

    The AISSR invited professor Diane Davis as the first AISSR visiting professor. Her presence provides an unprecedented opportunity to engage CUS scholars in her newest project on ‘Humanity’s Urban Future’. In this five-year international project, Davis brings together leading urban scholars across the world to study what the future of a good city looks like. The seed grant will be used for a workshop that engages the work of CUS scholars to explore whether and how they could contribute to this project and what we can learn from Amsterdam in rethinking the urban through the past, present and future.

  • Spaces of One’s Own: Analysing Housing for Solo-living Women in Amsterdam

    Awarded to Tim Verlaan, Noor Vet & prof. dr. Richard Ronald

    Over the last few decades, the Global North has undergone a Second Demographic Transition (SDT): the de-institutionalisation of the family (Lesthaeghe, 2014). A major contributor to the SDT is increasing gender-equality (Solsona, 1998). Though the number of solo-living women has therefore risen substantially, women living alone is not a recent phenomenon. Preliminary research shows that the way in which they are perceived by society, however, has markedly changed. Our study examines the development of their positionalities through the lens of housing: bridging the gap between gender and housing studies by taking a historical perspective (Watson, 1986).



  • Promissory Meatscapes of Mosa Meat & Co: The Political Ecologies of Urbanized Protein (Acronym: Meatscapes)

    Awarded to Frank Mueller, Willem Boterman & Luca Bertolini

    Animal protein production (meat and dairy) is a major contributor to CO2-emissions and land use. Cellular Agriculture (Cell Ag) aims to revolutionize meat production by developing a healthier and resource-efficient lab-grown alternative to animal protein. However, little is known about the ethics, politics, and aesthetics of cultured meat. Promissory Meatscapes aims to explore the potential disruption of current meat production's political ecologies and the integration of Cell Ag into urban areas. Through interdisciplinary research and input from practitioners, Promissory Meatscapes will use speculative writing to imagine alternative urban futures. How will animal welfare advocates respond to the shift and what might the production chain's integration into urban areas look like?

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