Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

PiP Sustainability research Amsterdam West

The Lucas Andreas complex in Amsterdam West is a residential complex which contains privately-owned apartments, social housing, and also harbours a few offices and health care institutes. As a result, the complex has a very rich diversity of residents and users. Recently, the Home Owners Association appointed a committee to look into various possibilities to improve the sustainability of the complex, such as solar panels and green roofs. Adoption of these sustainability measures will require the Home Owners Association to invest additional funds, and hence need to be supported by the members of the Association. In addition, some of the proposed possibilities – such as the creation of a ‘tiny forest’ to increase carbon sequestration and mitigate fluctuations in rainfall - will require residents to volunteer to maintain the new green spaces, and hence equally depend on residents’ support. The sustainability committee invites a research intern to study the different visions of and support for sustainability initiatives among the various residents and users, to better adapt its proposals and include ideas generated by the residents themselves.

Marja Spierenburg

Sustainability and diversity

Within the field of sustainability sciences, there is an increasing awareness that ‘technological fixes’ are not sufficient to steer us towards pathways to sustainability. Human behaviour is a key factor in transformations towards sustainability. These transformations, however, depend to a large extent on socio-political contexts, which influence not only people’s capacities to change and adapt, but also influence their visions on the future. Hence, diversity and inequality are important issues to address in studies of proposed sustainability initiatives. This internship offers you a unique chance to study connections between diversity, inequality and sustainability in the context of local sustainability initiatives.

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