Encounters with an Open Mind: Relational Neighborhood Working in Amsterdam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Neighborhood governance has become a widespread approach to improving the quality of life in cities. The idea is that sustained interactions between public professionals and residents will better meet the needs of local areas and people. However, neighborhood working approaches purporting to provide tailor-made policies and solutions tend to perpetuate habitual practices and hegemonic institutions of hierarchy and competition. This chapter enquires how conditions can be created for different kinds of conversations and relationships to emerge that lead to innovative practices and sustainable change. I argue that public professionals need not only interact extensively with residents but should engage in encounters with an open mind. Empirically illustrated with an innovative approach to neighborhood working in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), I explain how they can go beyond habitual practices by letting new shared views and actions emerge in-between them. Doing so fosters deeper institutional transformations towards a relational grounding for urban governance and public administration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Austerity to Abundance?
Subtitle of host publicationCreative Approaches to Coordinating the Common Good
EditorsMargaret Stout
PublisherEmerald
Chapter9
ISBN (Print)978-1787144668
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
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