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Luciano Balestra (23), one of the best freerunners of the Netherlands, takes us to the beautiful Diamond neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Luciano uses the city as his playground. Playing with natural obstacles he moves from one point to the other as quickly and athletic as possible. Overcoming obstacles, perseverance and not giving in to his fears.

Detail Summary
Date 3 May 2019
Time 20:00

These values in freerunning are the same in people's daily lives, overcoming problems and playing the heroic role in your own life story. Against the backdrop of ‘Amsterdam School’ Architecture in the Diamond neighbourhood, we meet the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and hear their stories. These personal stories together form a good insight into the history and daily life within this beautiful Diamond district of Amsterdam.

On 3 May, the Centre for Urban Studies in collaboration with Pakhuis de Zwijger is screening Amsterdam Heroes; a documentary on heroism and freedom. In this movie, director Julia Strijland tells the stories of the 'real' Amsterdam heroes: the inhabitants of the Diamond district in Amsterdam. The Urban Movies night will be opened by a Centre for Urban Studies expert on the themes of neighbourhood belonging and sense of community. After the movie there will be a Q&A session with the director, the CUS expert and residents from the neighbourhood surrounding themes such as neighbourhood belonging, urban tranformation and sense of community.


20.00 Walk-in
20.10 Introduction
20.25 Movie
21.30 Q&A moderated by Francesca Ranalli


  • Julia Strijland is the director of the documentary ‘Amsterdam Heroes’.  According to Julia, there is a story to everyone’s life. Why only prize the winners or exceptional people? In this documentary, she tells the stories of the ‘real’ Amsterdam heroes: the inhabitants of the Diamond district in Amsterdam.
  • Nanke Verloo is Assistant Professor in Urban Planning. Her work specializes in processes of urban governance, conflict, citizen participation, and in- and exclusion of marginalized groups. She is trained in Anthropology and Political Science. Her research and teaching in Urban Planning take an interdisciplinary and ethnographic perspective on planning for inclusive cities. 
  • Henk Griffioen is founder of and volunteer at Plan C, a community centre in the Diamond district where local residents can share their talents and creativity.
  • Francesca Ranalli is an architect and urban designer by trade. Currently she is a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam where she researches 'sense of community' as part of the Urban Planning programme group.


Studio at Pakhuis de Zwijger
Piet Heinkade 179
1019 HC Amsterdam

Urban Movies

This series features documentaries about urbanism, suburbia, and issues that cities and urban areas around the globe face. Each edition has a different theme and during every edition the screening of the documentary will be complemented by a Q&A with the makers, a debate with experts around the themes addressed in the movie, a book presentation and/or a lecture by an international guest.