Sense of place in a neighbourhood in Groningen: request for a master student

The Rural Sociology Group is looking for a master student who is willing to do his or her master student in the city of Groningen. In Groningen an urban working group of citizens aims to establish an ecological walking route in their neighbourhood Helpman/Wijert. This working group needs support in their process. A group of students from Larenstein has already helped them with a plan and communication.

The aim is to involve the neighbourhood in an action-based explorative research approach, gain insight in the sense of place, values and motivations of the citizens and analyse if this can lead to agency and participation in the green development of this urban area.

This project is part of the wider programme of KIGO, ‘Green education in the city’, aimed at cooperation between educational institutions to enhance green knowledge and green education in the city. This means that the plan is to combine the work of the student with complementary research and implementation activities by other students from for example AOC Terra in Groningen. For this research one or more master students in social sciences are requested. The implementation and starting date of the project is flexible and can be further discussed with the local commissioner, chairman of the Working Group and with Frans Traa, coordinator of the KIGO programme.

Interested students can contact L.G. (Ina) Horlings, Rural Sociology Group, lummina.horlings@wur.nl.

Thesis: Studying the social effects of community gardens on the wider neighbourhood

3973780265_157e56b55fThis thesis concerns community gardens and their influence on the wider neighbourhood, especially people not involved in the gardens. The starting assumption is that people maintaining and working in community gardens meet others by doing so. That way these gardens create or strengthen their social relations. However, not all residents of the local community are involved in the community gardens and the gardens may be maintained by people from outside of the direct neighbourhood. To what extent does the social cohesion that exists and is grown at the community garden ‘spread’ beyond that garden, into the neighbourhood? Do local residents that are not involved benefit from the social cohesion created by the gardeners? (I.e. because they see the neighbourhood being beautified, because they stop and talk to those working in the garden, because they feel that something is brooding…). Continue reading