Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
University of Amsterdam
My research explores the conditions to build a Sense of Community (SoC) through participatory urban governance and space. My approach combines participatory planning, urban design, and community psychology to analyse the socio-spatial dynamics in the transforming fringes of European cities. I based my method on a new definition of SoC that I designed from the community psychology theories and developed in order to address a socially inclusive and place attached community. The peripheries and peri-urban areas in the European context are an extremely dynamic environment for urban development. Those areas tend to show fragmented social and spatial patterns with a diverse and ever-increasing population, and they demand targeted policies able to mitigate social tensions and bridge bonds between different types of citizens. Participatory planning governance and a coherent urban design are more valuable in enabling social ties and building SoC in those areas than in core-cities and old satellite towns with historical community roots. During my PhD, I develop my analytical framework through research and integration into practice. This exercise in the usability of my study aims to provide advancements in the existing gap between planning theories and professional exercises in participatory urban governance and space.