Students invited for the course ‘A Global sense of place’

For whom?
We invite all master students interested in sustainable development, spatial development, community building, place-based policy, rural socio-logy and anthropology for this course.

This course gives an overview of place-based approaches in development. A relational place-based approach is key to the understanding of interrelated rural and urban transformation processes and sustainable development. Places are considered as contingent but in time and space differentiated outcomes of three interrelated, unbounded, transformative processes: political-economic, ecological and social-cultural.
We will have discussions about:
• Sense of place
• Places as sites of negotiation and power struggles
• The constitution of identities, subjectivities and difference.
• Politics of place.

Why should you follow this course?
• Interesting international guest lectures (if enough students attend the course)
• Inter-disciplinary approach
• Urban and rural cases
• Interactive discussions in small groups

Some practical information:
Course code: RSO 55306; ECTS: 6, When: Period 2;
Lectures and Workshops on: Monday-, Tuesday-, Thursday- mornings.
Interested? For more information on the course see the detailed Course outline RSO-55306 (2012-2013) final

Sense of place in National Park Galicica – using new media in MSc-thesis research

By Bojan Rantasa, MSc-student International Master of Rural Development

Last Friday, 23 March 2012, I presented my MSc-thesis research proposal for fellow students and researchers of the Rural Sociology Group. My thesis research is titled “The Sense of Place of National Park Galicica” is part of my Msc-study International Master Rural Development ( Joost Jongerden of the Rural Sociology Group is my sepervisor. My thesis presentation can be viewed at, a website on my thesis research where I will post research proceedings as well.

In my research I will use new media as tools for communication with the public but also as research method. I developed a website at the proposal stage of the research ( It enables dedicated communication with stakeholders and public, by offering updates on the research and a contact form. The web page also hosts the questionnaire on the sense of place of “Galicica”, thus becoming an important and integrated tool to the research. The information on the research currently presented on the web page is limited. This is not to lead the visitors of the web page, thus creating biased answers in the questionnaire.

To spread the questionnaire, I will use Facebook and targeted e-mail messages that are disseminated by the participants, causing a domino effect. This approach resulted in more than 50 completed questionnaires in the first week.

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Politics of place making in urban farming – an essay

By Anke de Vrieze

Last trimester, I had the opportunity to join the Capita Selecta course `A Global Sense of Place´, taught by Joost Jongerden and Dirk Roep. From my current working experience in the field of urban agriculture, the subject of the course – place-based approaches for sustainable development- interested me and proved valuable. In the course, different approaches to ‘place’ were discussed and related to culture, politics, economics and leadership. As we were a small group of students, we met in a weekly reading group, to discuss the literature and our written assignments.

Personally, I was most inspired by the work of Doreen Massey. Her perspective on place and space is a relational one, as she describes places as ‘temporary constellations’ or ‘bundles of space-time trajectories’. In one of her articles, she connects this relational perspective to ‘geographies of responsibility’ and shows how the ‘global’ is embedded locally as well. Taking the example of the City of London, i.e. it’s financial district, she argues against generalised understandings of the local as a product of the global, and demonstrates that indeed much of what we call ‘the global’ stems from local areas, such as the City of London. This leads her to plea for alternative globalisations, based on ‘a challenge of place’. I think, Massey’s perspective can prove meaningful for anyone studying ‘place’, whether it be in urban or rural settings.

For the final essay, ‘Growing community? Urban agriculture in the context of place-based urban development’ of the course, I discussed the ‘politics of place-making’ in a case of urban farming. By drawing on the example of an neighbourhood-based urban agriculture project, I showed how the different perspectives on place, as employed by various actors involved, creates a dynamic fields of interests regarding the ability of UA to address urban issues, and to achieve sustainable community development. Based on this short analysis, I argued for the need of a relational perspective on place, taking into account place-frames and positionality of actors, in (future) cases of neighbourhood-based urban farming.

Anke de Vrieze, anthropologist and project coordinator of FARMING THE CITY (, contact: