Welkom // Welcome

RianneIk ben een gepromoveerd sociaal geograaf met interesse in stedelijke (her)ontwikkelingen en openbare ruimte, specifiek warenmarkten en openbare bibliotheken. In de periode 2003-2008 heb ik promotie-onderzoek aan de Universiteit Utrecht (UU) gedaan naar de achtergronden en gevolgen van herontwikkeling van Nederlandse stadspleinen. Sinds 2012 werk ik als universitair docent Geografie, Planologie en Milieu aan de Radboud Universiteit (RU) in Nijmegen.

I am an urban geographer with a broad interest in urban studies and urban (re)development: ranging from gentrification processes occurring at the neighbourhood level to the design, management, use and perception of specific public spaces, including open-air markets and public libraries. I mostly conduct qualitative research, including in-depth interviewing and participant observation.

NIEUWS // NEWS

Aankondiging prijsSeptember 2021: Wat een eer om tijdens de opening van het academisch jaar de Universitaire Onderwijsprijs 2021 van de Radboud Universiteit in ontvangst te mogen nemen! Dank aan alle studenten en alumni Geografie, Planologie en Milieu (GPM) die de afgelopen jaren in mijn collegezalen zaten en naar verhalen over o.a. de Koopgoot, New York en natuurlijk mijn eigen Bunnik hebben geluisterd; met wie ik mooie excursies naar Utrecht, Berlijn en Tallinn heb gemaakt, en die ik bij hun scriptieproces heb mogen begeleiden. Met deze prijs op zak begin ik vol goede moed met het nieuwe academische jaar. 

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August 2021: Very proud to see my >15 years of volunteering in my local library resulting in this academic paper with Michael S. Merry: Retooling the public library as social infrastructure: A Dutch illustration.  

Public libraries are more than information providers; they increasingly serve as key social infrastructures. Financial pressures, decreasing membership and digitalisation require libraries to reinvent themselves as primarily spaces of encounter. This paper focuses on  the retooling of small public libraries in the Netherlands as social infrastructure and the formal and informal library practices (‘infrastructuring’) that are required for the library to function as space of encounter. It reports on an in-depth, single case study based on 15 years of volunteering, participant observations, repeated interviews with staff and informal conversations with patrons. By examining the multi-purposed features of a single site, we illustrate how the library, as exemplary public space, is being retooled by both staff and patrons. While encounters mostly seem to occur within rather than between groups, there are many meaningful acts of kindness between different people. Though the library is undeniably a social infrastructure, the paper also shows how difficult it is to document, let alone practice this social function. 

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July 2021: our 4-volume series on Global Reflections on COVID-19 and Urban Inequalities is now available!

Who are cities for? As societies reel from the impacts of COVID-19 across the globe, this question has never been more pertinent. Bringing together a collection of critical urban voices across a variety of disciplines, this four-volume Shorts series explores the challenges and the opportunities facing cities in the wake of the pandemic. The contributors draw from case studies across the globe and reveal how the pandemic and its economic fallout have created new inequalities while exacerbating existing ones. Offering crucial insights for reforming cities to be more resilient to future crises, this is an invaluable resource for scholars and policy makers alike.

“This collection on the impacts of COVID on a diversity of sites and communities gives a rich and textured account of the spatial and social inequalities produced and reinforced by this terrible pandemic.” Sophie Watson, Open University   

All covers horizontal

 

RECENTE PUBLICATIES // RECENT PUBLICATIONS

2021: Corble, A. & R. Van Melik. Public libraries in crises: Between spaces of care and information infrastructures. In: Van Melik, R., P. Filion & B. Doucet (Eds.). Global Reflections on COVID-19 and Urban Inequalities: Public Space and Mobility (pp. 119-129). Bristol: Bristol University Press.

2021: Timko, P. & R. Van Melik. Being a Deliveroo Rider: Practices of platform labour in Nijmegen and Berlin. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

2021: Van Melik, R. Introduction to the Forum: Bordering, ordering and othering. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 112(1), 1-3.

2021: Van Melik, R. & M.S. Merry. Retooling the public library as social infrastructure: A Dutch illustration. Social & Cultural Geography.