As of mid-December, Chérie van der Meer will be stepping down from her position as area manager for the City Centre Campus. For the past two years, Chérie served as initial point of contact for students and staff on all matters relating to the City Centre Campus and as a conduit between the UvA and its surrounding environment. ‘It’s a remarkable area development project in a beautiful part of Amsterdam. However, it’s also a pretty dynamic process with plenty of difficulties along the way. That makes it even more interesting. It’s been great to be a part of such a special project’, Chérie explains. Thomas Vernooy has taken over from Chérie as of 14 December.
Thomas Vernooy is thoroughly familiar with the Amsterdam city centre: ‘I was born and bred in Amsterdam, and I know the centre well. Having worked on construction projects for the municipality of Amsterdam, I’m also familiar with the often complex problems involved in building in the city centre. Projects such as the City Centre Campus are characterised by a great many stakeholders, who all tend to have their own individual interests and perspectives. It’s my duty to strike a good balance between all these factors. As a first step in that process, you need to make sure you’re visible to all the parties involved by engaging in dialogue with local residents and the organisation itself. I’m looking forward to contributing to this very special area development project, as Chérie called it.’ In addition to his activities in Amsterdam, Thomas also worked as a programme and area manager in the municipalities of Utrecht and Zeist, and is thoroughly familiar with the ins and outs of area and real estate development.
The area manager serves as a point of contact for the surrounding area, identifies the interests of all parties involved in campus development and works to align them with the interests of the development project as effectively as possible. The area manager ensures timely communications with all stakeholders (students, staff, local residents, business owners, municipal authorities, etc.) and involves them in the progress of campus development. He or she will also monitor and ensure accessibility, liveability and safety during all construction work and other activities.