Daniel Otterspeer on Gouwplein

Since September 2011 Daniel Otterspeer has been attending the master Public Management (a variant of Public Administration) at Erasmus University. In the autumn of 2011 he went searching for a fun, instructive, and particularly challenging internship with a complex task for his thesis. “Something with process management seemed interesting, because this is an area which I would like to work in after I graduate”, he explains. “After a broad orientation I found Field Academy. Here I was offered the job to evaluate the process that emerged from the citizens. It concerns the process of making Gouwplein a comfortable meeting spot again including a playground. This task, the informal working atmosphere and the practical research approach appealed to me. Last February I started with this assignment.”

Daniel and sign

At present, Daniel is collecting data, by means of interviews. Meanwhile he found that such processes as Gouwplein are more complex than you think in advance. “That’s nice,” Daniel explains, “because in that way I am confronted with new aspects that make my research interesting. During the interviews, I notice that several respondents interpret the procedure differently and they explain why they think this way. For example, some respondents found Gouwplein an unattractive place, while others valued it more as a criminal place’. One respondent called it an outdoor hotel, because tramps slept in the square. What I like about this process is that it is transforming from a crude and disgusting place into a soft and inviting square, where there is room for bird houses and large photos containing children’s drawings processed to the fences. Speaking about bird houses, I think this process is unique, because a lot of creativity is present and enabled. For example there is the work and activity centre that will make bird houses for Gouwplein.

The group members of the project are generally proud of the process and positive about the procedure so far.  Most of the goals of the group members have been achieved or are expected to be achieved. 

Daniel is being supervised by Professor J.F.M Koppenjan.