Vital Cities and Citizens

Vital cities and citizens

Contribute to the quality of city life

Over half of the world’s population lives in cities. This will have risen to 66 percent by 2050. Cities in Asia and the sub-Sahara in particular are faced with mass migration from rural areas. As a result, the poor population in these cities is growing at a rapid rate. Globalisation, technological change, international migration and growing inequality are increasing the complexity of the social structure and cultural makeup of cities worldwide.

With the Erasmus Initiative ‘Vital Cities and Citizens’, Erasmus University wants to help improve the quality of life in cities. In vital cities, the population can achieve their life goals through education, useful work and participation in public life. The vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, a safe meeting place for different social groups.

By exploring how social changes affect city life, researchers can help cities to flourish. In this Erasmus Initiative, researchers from different disciplines work closely together to identify the conditions for equal opportunities in life, safe living environments and harmonious co-existence for an increasingly diverse population.

Responsible dean for the initiative is prof.dr. Victor Bekkers.

The faculties involved - Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) - defined three sub-themes:

Migration and diversity

More people are migrating over longer distances, with cities often forming key nodes within the various global migration networks. The population of migration cities is often very diverse – in some cases, more than half of the urban population has an international migration background. The boundaries between permanent and temporary migration are blurring: some migrants return home; others continue their journey; still others stay.

This mass migration often leads to inequality between newcomers and those who have already lived in the city for some time. This increasing diversity engenders feelings of loss and insecurity. How do social organisations and institutions respond to this?

Projects, see:

Title

Main applicant(s)

Appointed researcher

2nd Theme

3rd Theme

Intergenerational contact and intergenerational relationsDr. Maja Djundeva (ESSB/DPAS)Maja Djundeva--
In search of trust: understanding and improving youth-police interactions in contemporary 'superdiverse' societiesProf.dr. Pearl Dykstra, Prof.dr. Marise Born, Prof.dr. Arjen Leerkes (ESSB/DPAS)Willemijn BezemerSecurity and Resilience-
Making Rotterdam’s children more resilient: Closing the socio-economic/ethnic gap in students’ school performances by strengthening partnerships between parents, schools, and childrenProf.dr. Renske Keizer (ESSB/DPAS)Talitha StamSecurity and Resilience-
Branding as governance strategy to enhance identity and resilienceProf.dr. Erik Hans Klijn (ESSB/DPAS), Prof.dr. Thea Hilhorst (ISS)Vidar StevensSecurity and ResilienceCulture and Creativity
Urban CitizenshipProf.dr. Willem Schinkel (ESSB/DPAS)Maja HertoghsCulture and Creativity-
Cities of Migration: Theorizing the 'Diversity of Migration-related Diversity' in CitiesDr. Peter Scholten (ESSB/DPAS)Zeynep Kasli, Asya Pisarevskaya--
Growing up safely in adversity: Risk and resilience factors in children exposed to stressful family life?Prof.dr. Peter Prinzie, Prof.dr. Ingmar Franken (ESSB/DPECS)Donna de MaatSecurity and Resilience-
The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Urban Cultural OrganizationsProf.dr. Susanne Janssen (ESHCC)Karen KlijnhoutCulture and Creativity-
The Development of Cultural Literacy in Everyday Urban Life: How young citizens of diverse backgrounds experience and respond to “otherness” in the context of education, media use, and cultural consumptionProf.dr. Susanne Janssen (ESHCC)Zouhair HammanaCulture and Creativity-
Imagining the CityProf.dr. Stijn Reijnders (ESHCC)Emily Mannheimer, Shirley NieuwlandCulture and Creativity-
Sport in the City: Football Fandoms in Rotterdam, Calcutta and BangkokDr. Gijsbert Oonk (ESHCC)Wesley van den Breul--
Transnational Political Engagement of African Diaspora CommunitiesDr. Kees Biekart, Prof.dr. Alan Fowler, Prof.dr. Jurian Edelenbos (ISS)Antony Otieno Ong'ayo--
Mixed method in-depth case study of refugee initiatives , governance and assistance in selected cities in LebanonProf.dr. Thea Hilhorst (ISS)Saba KuntarSecurity and ResilienceCulture and Creativity
Prince Claus Chair in Migration and Human security. Reseach on diaspora politics: comparison across different African diasporas and their relation to The Netherlands.Prof.dr. Des Gasper (ISS)Dr. Cathy Wilcock--
Displacement due to environmental degradation in IndiaMausumi Chetia (ISS)Mausumi ChetiaSecurity and Resilience-
Human security, vulnerability and human trafficking in South Asian CitiesJaffer Natier Najar (ISS)Jeffer Natier NajarSecurity and Resilience-

 

Security and resilience

Although urbanisation creates numerous opportunities for education, employment and new services, many city-dwellers have to deal with poverty, crime and social exclusion. This particularly applies to minorities. For effective measures, it is important to identify the conditions for a safe and comfortable life in an urban environment.

Projects, see:

Title

Main applicant(s)

Appointed researcher

2nd Theme

3rd Theme

International comparative study of citizen initiatives in various citiesProf.dr. Jurian Edelenbos, Prof.dr. Joop Koppenjan (ESSB/DPAS)Vatan Huzeir--
Emerging resilience, engagement / well-being, and (business) performance among self-employed workers and their spousesProf.dr. Arnold Bakker (ESSB/DPECS)Dewi Kanters--
Social stress, self-regulation and antisocial behavior developmentProf.dr. Ingmar Franken (ESSB/DPECS)Miranda Lutz--
Characteristics and Consequences of Social Media Use by Rotterdam TeenagersProf.dr. Rolf Zwaan (ESSB/DPECS)Arnout Boot--

 

Culture and Creativity

Cities serve as breeding grounds for new creativity. A rich cultural scene improves quality of life and helps create a city in which a diverse population can feel at home. At the same time, culture is subject to constant change and is also strongly influenced by this diverse population. The question, then, is how to stimulate the creativity of individuals and organisations? And: what is the role of the media and the creative industry in this process?

Projects, see:

Title

Main applicant(s)

Appointed researcher

2nd Theme

3rd Theme

Performing Urban Pasts: Historical Reenactments with Sensitive HeritageProf.dr. Maria Grever (ESHCC)Lise Zurne--
Urban Media EngagementProf.dr. Jeroen Jansz (ESHCC)Anne van Eldik--
The Aesthetic Dispositions of Cultural AudiencesProf.dr. Koen van Eijck (ESHCC)Femke Vandenberg--
Historal Reenactment as Simulation of the Past: a New Paradigm for ResearchProf.dr. Maria Grever (ESHCC)Dr. Robbert-Jan Adriaansen--

 

About Erasmus Initiatives

Erasmus University Rotterdam invests in science that matters. The connection and interaction between science and society, between theory and practice, are part of our DNA. Talented researchers who enter into international collaborations with an open mind move science forward.

The Erasmus Initiatives are three ambitious plans that streamline our academic activities to increase the social and economic impact of our work.

Contact: Francesca Moretto | moretto@essb.eur.nl (programme manager)

 

Foto: Jan van der Ploeg