Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
University of Amsterdam
My research explores new avenues to govern social responsibility in property development. It builds on my master thesis, Engaging Corporate Social Responsibility in the Governance of Sustainable Urban Redevelopment Projects, which connected corporate social responsibility (CSR) to urban planning in order to tackle challenges in a neoliberal context. In this study, I examined CSR policies and discourses of public institutions and property developers to identify the potential of CSR as a planning tool. The findings from an Amsterdam case study displayed variegated forms and multiple interpretations of ‘the social’ in CSR, embedded in actors’ values and beliefs, and was in turn reflected in their practices and decision-making processes. For my PhD, the aim is to further develop an in-depth understanding of social responsibility from private actors operating in real estate, in the contexts of Amsterdam and Dubai. Approaching CSR from a planning and governance perspective in two global cities provides new grounds of comparability and can be used to draw out context-specificities as well as the interconnectedness of property development processes. Currently, I am involved in building a social sustainability framework for an Amsterdam-based sustainability consultancy, in addition to drafting social interventions and developing governance models for area development projects.