Cities are increasingly diverse, not only in ethnic, cultural or socio-economic terms, but also with regards to activities, attitudes and lifestyles. These changes are frequently met with (policy) concerns about social cohesion at the neighbourhood scale. While in many urban settings encounters with differences are inevitable, incidental contact is generally not deemed sufficient to enhance interaction between diverse individuals. When do encounters become meaningful? When do they bring diverse people together and provide new ways of relating beyond presumptions and stereotypes? And can we plan for those encounters?
The ‘mobile urban lab experiment’ brought together a small group of participants from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds. During an organized walk in Amsterdam Oost, they explored different spaces and initiatives, and talked to community-based organizations in order to gain insight into the practices, challenges and opportunities of creating meaningful encounters.
During this evening Jasper Boesveldt (Municipality of Amsterdam), Brieuc-Yves (Mellouki) Cadat (Movisie), Anna Dekker (Placemakers), Nanke Verloo (University of Amsterdam) and Ron van Wonderen (Verwey-Jonker Instituut) will share their experiences of the urban walk and perspectives on the topic, after which the discussion will be open to the audience.