Brenda Hunt is Area manager (Gebiedsmanager) for the Oostelijk Havengebied and the Science Park of Amsterdam (District  Oost). Brenda, together with colleague Peter Groenendaal, joined the SPS Seminar on February 20 2014 to talk about the activity of area manager, as conceived by the municipality of Amsterdam.
As area manager, Brenda is  responsible for the areas Eastern Docklands and the Science Park of Amsterdam. Area managers develop  agenda that are area centered: They deal with  socio-economic aspects and  coordinate several partners with stakes in the area concerned (e.g. businesses, housing corporations, police, citizens) towards tackling issues that concern all. The aim os to achieve a vibrant, healthy and democratic urban environment by promoting concerted dialogue among civil society, businesses and the city administration.
From her position as area manager, Brenda takes a bird eye view and  and is able to zoom in and out,and therefore is able to spot opportunities to enhance partnerships and collaboration. She is also able to spot threats and can promote actions to avoid them. The area manager is, according to Brenda’s account, a network organiser and articulator, working to promote better governance, participation and integration of actions. Since each area has its own unique characteristics, there are no ready made formulas.  The area manager is a facilitator and articulator between people and opportunities.
The talk was well attended, including several colleagues from the Department of Real Estate and Housing, to whom Bremda’ definition of “area management” came as a surprise, as it differs from the understandings of “area management” in Real Estate and Housing. Wilson Wong, from the BLOG Gebiedsontwikkeling has written a report on Brenda Hunt’s talk, available in Dutch HERE.
Brenda Hunt was invited to the SPS Seminar by Ceren Sezer, PhD candidate at the SPS Group (Department of Urbanism, TU Delft)
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