Graduate School of Social Sciences

The Everyday City and Beyond

Cities and the lives of inhabitants are intrinsically connected: both give meaning to and form one another. As citizens and visitors of cities move through urban spaces, how are their actions and reactions molded by their encounters with the urban environment? How does the methodology of placemaking play a role in understanding the connections and tensions between people and space?

Programme at a glance

Academic dates: 7 July - 25 July 2019*
Housing dates: 6 July - 26 July 2019*
Academic fee: € 1575
Housing fee: € 500 and € 75 deposit. For more information, see Housing and practical matters.
Credits: 6 European Credits
Who is this programme for? For current university students (Bachelors and Masters) in the arts and social sciences with an interest in placemaking and urban studies. For young working professionals with a desire to continue their education in this field.
Academic director: Anna Dekker

* These dates are tentative and subject to minor change: final changes will be anounced by 1 December.

Programme description

This three-week interdisciplinary course unravels the practice, theory, policies and politics of ‘placemaking,' taking Amsterdam as a site for analysis and action. Placemaking is more than a method; it is a philosophy for the development and experience of cities, combining disciplines such as sociology, environmental psychology, (micro)political science, architecture and urban design. Situating placemaking in a mixed academic context, this course focuses on topics such as public space, community, diversity and 'the right to the city'. Gain new insights into the fundamental choices and challenges involved in shaping the city. See how policy and design intentions play out in various Amsterdam neighborhoods and communities. And finally, develop a practical skill set by proposing a placemaking strategy for a selected site.

The three-week programme will consist of (guest) lectures, workshops and excursions within and outside of Amsterdam. In a parallel ‘RapidLab’, students work in interdisciplinary groups developing a Placemaking strategy for a selected site.

A core component of the Everyday City and Beyond programme is the RapidLab, a studio in which students work together on a specific case study in Amsterdam. Across the three weeks, students develop the practical skills involved in a placemaking process. From start to finish, these include research skills such as observation, mapping and stakeholder analysis, process management and communication, and visual/tangible presentation methods. The interdisciplinary groups spend the afternoons doing field work and following workshops on and off site.

Study load

The programme schedule from Monday-Thursday includes:

  • Morning lecture(s) and excursions (2.5 hours)
  • Lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  
  • RapidLab afternoons with workshops and field work (2.5 hours)

Credit Transfer

As a Summer Institute student you receive a participation certificate with an official seal from the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university. If you have questions about credit transfer, or need more information on the programme for your home university's administration, please email us at

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6 ECTS, 3 weeks
Language of instruction
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Published by  GSSS Summer Programmes Office