Amsterdam Sensescapes: 1800-2018

Urban space is perceived on the basis of the senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste), context, and memories. The sensory landscape of a city is called the urban ‘sensescape’, and each city has its own, distinctive one. It has symbolic meaning and inspires a sense of belonging among its inhabitants. Changing a sensescape might therefore touch on emotions and fuel processes of contestation. This interdisciplinary programme explores the historical and present sensescape of Amsterdam and the processes of spatial contestation, due to urban renewal, increasing tourism and economic transformations, as expressed in activism and art.

Quick Facts

  • Student profile ⇒ Current BA, from any discipline
  • Housing dates ⇒ 13 July afternoon - 30 July morning 2018
  • Programme dates ⇒ 15 July - 27 July 2018
  • Academic Director ⇒ Dr. Thea Dukes

Why join this programme?

If urban sensescapes are subject to change (in whatever form), this influences the way in which people experience their urban environment and might influence their sense of belonging. This can therefore be a strong motivation for contesting urban space, for forming groups with similar interests and using particular (discursive) strategies, to defend them. As cities are densely populated, urban space is subject to constant negotiation and contestation.

In a rapidly changing and hyper-connected world, people have become global citizens. Seen from this context, nowadays it is often (colliding) local- and global interests that are at issue and fuel processes of negotiation. Due to globalization, contemporary urban sensescapes are under threat of both homogenization (standardization of spaces) and heterogenization. In Amsterdam this is reflected in heated debates on, amongst others, the impact of increasing tourism and widespread gentrification.

Amsterdam Series

This programme can be taken either alone or paired with/directly after Amsterdam Global City: 1500-1800. See the other programme page for more details.

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4 ECTS, 2 weeks
Language of instruction
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Published by  GSSS Summer Programmes Office