Encounters with an Open Mind: Relational Neighborhood Working in Amsterdam

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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 also 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 toward 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
Place of PublicationBingley
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781787144651
ISBN (Print)9781787144668
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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