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Placemakers consist of an interdisciplinary team of (landscape) architects, urban planners and sociologists. We focus on the interconnections between the physical and the social in our research, design and implementation of successful urban spaces.

The board of Placemakers consists of Roderik Schaepman (co-initiator De Buurtcamping, R&D Development), Martje van Ankeren (SIA) and Dennis van den Berg (Kennisland).

Naomi Hoogervorst (co-founder, architect)

As one of the founders of Placemakers, Naomi envisions co-creation concepts that allow for a diversity of stakeholders to communicate ideas and demands, translated into a plan that may be implemented collectively. Naomi works for Placemakers in the quickly expanding urban area of Nairobi, Kenya. Here she investigates the possibilities for placemaking as an integral part of the urban development of Nairobi. In collaboration with a.o. INTI, UN Habitat and the International Federation of Housing, Naomi takes the lead in the Placemakers program Making Cities Together.

Contact Naomi

Katusha Sol (co-founder, sociologist)

Katusha is one of the founders of Placemakers and shares her knowledge and experience of cities – their energy, citizens and initiatives – by doing research, writing and teaching. She iteratively uses social scientific knowledge in Placemakers’ projects and inserts empirical experiences in her role as a teacher and education developer at the University of Amsterdam. Katusha carries out local-scale research, finds creative ways to extract local knowledge and ideas and is able to translate these into small and large interventions. Katusha is a.o. advisor for fundraising and strategy of De Buurtcamping.

Contact Katusha

Anna Dekker (sociologist/urban planner)

With a background in sociology, urban planning and a MA ‘City Design and Social Science’ (LSE), Anna always reflects on the dialectics between the social and physical organization of cities. As a Placemaker, Anna connects large themes to small scale interventions that combine the expertise of citizens and professionals. Anna is furthermore co-founder of spatial design Studio LONK, co-founder and board member of non-profit Stichting Thuismakers Collectief and the academic director of the UvA summer progamme ‘The Everyday City and Beyond’.

Contact Anna

Karin de Nijs (urban sociologist/geographer)

Karin is an interdisciplinarily schooled social scientist with an unstoppable fascination for the dynamism and diveristy of cities. She combines an analytical attitude with a sense of practical applicability and employs placemaking methods to contribute to inclusive, creative and connected places. Alongside Placemakers, Karin works at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), where she is part of the Research Group ‘Coordination of Urban Issues’. Within the HvA, Karin also coordinates living labs for students in Amsterdam New West as part of the BOOTprogramme.

Contact Karin

Mark Ojal (urban designer)

Mark lives in Nairobi, Kenya and has completed a BA in Urban Design at the TU Kenya. Mark has been affiliated with Placemakers since 2014. Being very familiar with Nairobi’s social and spatial networks, he is a master in connecting ideas, people and places. With his gathered experiences at Placemakers, Mark currently participates in the research and strategy development for Nairobi’s city wide public spaces, commissioned by the local administration and UN-Habitat.

Contact Mark

Brechtje Boeke 2016_filter
Brechtje Boeke (visual ethnographer)

With a background in Visual Ethnography, Brechtje creates documentary films that explain macro developments in health, economy, innovation and urban development through a micro and humanistic perspective. As a documentary maker and community manager, Brechtje is an innovative intermediary, combining academic skills with creativity and an open visual attitude. For Placemakers, Brechtje developed the tool Buurtpraat; a short documentary series followed by a screening + debate for and about locals in Amsterdam North. Currently, Brechtje is the community manager at our project BuurthavenAs a side project, she initiated, programs and hosts DUS; a multi disciplinary inspiration program at the Volkshotel

Contact Brechtje


Whenever possible and necessary we collaborate with experts to assemble the best team for a project:

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