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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.

Amsterdam 2
Flickr / Creative Commons

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.

Article Information

Authors: Myrte Hoekstra and Fenne Pinkster
Social & Cultural Geography
Publication Date: June 7, 2017