Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Urban Management

Nieuw-West Field Lab

The Nieuw-West city district faces two major challenges: poverty and a lack of social cohesion among residents. The Field Lab is working on finding solutions to these issues in various research projects with the city district and partners.

Local people come together in collective vegetable garden in Nieuw-West Fieldlab

Since the summer of 2014, dozens of researchers and hundreds of students from several AUAS faculties have been involved in the intensive collaboration between the AUAS and the Nieuw-West city district in the Nieuw-West Field Lab.

Some of our current projects in the Nieuw-West Field Lab are stated below.



Poverty and debt are a big issue in Nieuw-West and are often attributable partly to inadequate financial and administrative skills among the residents. The Poverty and Participation research group is conducting a research and development project in the Nieuw-West Field Lab, aimed at promoting healthy financial behaviour by improving financial and administrative skills and thus limiting the need for debt counselling.

In the Kitchen Table ( de Keukentafel) programme, the family is counselled from this broad perspective by students from several faculties in cooperation with the primary schools and various organisations in the community. As part of this programme, research is being conducted in cooperation with the Urban Training research group to learn about the development of the child, the involvement and self-reliance of the parents and the creation of a learning environment in the family. Themes such as poverty, functional illiteracy, health, employment and social participation may also be addressed within the programme. 

In the My Street ( Mijn straat) Project research is being conducted in the Nieuw-West Field Lab on the ‘appropriation of spaces by residents’ and how this can lead to greater participation in the neighbourhood.

The innovative aspect of the approach is that, rather than investors, researchers, authorities and builders, it is the residents who are given an important role in the planning cycle. It becomes a joint process with the residents. One of the activities in which residents are involved is a design workshop. This way the process itself is also used to enhance the neighbourhood community.

We are conducting this research in collaboration with the Nieuw-West city district, housing associations with properties in the community (e.g. De Key and De Alliantie) and residents.

Published by  Urban Management 9 February 2016

Financial Self Reliance Explore Project

Video Urban Management