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UvA Placemaking wins Dutch Education Award 2023

UvA Placemaking wins Dutch Education Award

Published on 29-06-2023 17:10
How do you foster more engagement among students in the new University Library? How do you get refugees with a residence permit involved with a nature-inclusive garden? In the Placemaking programme, students tackle these kinds of issues.
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The UvA’s Placemaking programme (taught at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies) has won the Dutch Education Award for outstanding innovations in higher education. The prize amount of €1.2 million was presented by the Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf.

Working together with municipality, residents and users

In the Placemaking programme, students work for a client in one of the UvA campus areas. Together with residents, users of the area and other stakeholders, students tackle local issues. They pass on the lessons they learn to new student teams and to the local community. The Dutch Education Awards jury praised this transdisciplinary approach.

Less littering of drug waste in Sarphatiplantsoen thanks to Placemaking

Coordinator and initiator Rosanne van Wieringen: ‘A good example of what Placemaking has achieved is the redevelopment of Sarphatiplantsoen. A lot of drug waste was being littered in this small park. Together with local residents and users of the area, our students created a new design for the park. The municipality has implemented this design. The new park design provides a clearer overview, which means that users of the park are less likely to loiter. We wanted to prevent that this would lead to the loitering issue shifting to another area. To this end, our students made arrangements with the Rainbow Group to ensure that the homeless people who loitered in the park have access to an alternative safe space.’

Would you like to take part in the Placemaking programme?

You can take Placemaking as an elective during your Bachelor’s (in Dutch) or during your Master’s (in English). You can also take part in the Placemaking summer schoolExternal link. For more information, go to www.placemakingamsterdam.nlExternal link

How will Placemaking be spending the prize amount of €1.2 million?

Coordinator and initiator Katusha Sol: ‘We would love to tackle issues at many more locations in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, including outside of UvA campus areas. To this end, we want to invest in collaborations with students in senior secondary vocational education (MBO) and higher professional education (HBO). They have special skills to offer: they have engineering skills, can build things or have a creative perspective. Combined with UvA students’ analytical and conceptual skills, that will be a very valuable contribution.