Seen through the eyes of parents, mainly mothers, “City survivors” tells the eye-opening story of what it is like to bring up children in troubled city neighbourhoods. The book provides a unique insider view on the impact of neighbourhood conditions on family life and explores the prospects for families from the point of view of equality, integration, schools, work, community, regeneration and public services.
“City Survivors” is based on yearly visits over seven years to two hundred families living in four highly disadvantaged city neighbourhoods, two in East London and two in Northern inner and outer city areas. Twenty four families, six from each area, explain over time from the inside, how neighbourhoods in and of themselves directly affect family survival. These twenty four stories convey powerful messages from parents about the problems they want tackled, and the things that would help them. The main themes explored in the book are neighbourhood, community, family, parenting, incomes and locals, the need for civic intervention.
The book offers original and in-depth, qualitative evidence in a readable and accessible form that will be invaluable to policy-makers, practitioners, university students, academics and general readers interested in the future of families in cities.
This original book builds on the author’s research in Phoenix cities to present a vivid story of Europe’s post-industrial cities pre- and post- financial crisis. Using varied case studies the book explores how policy responses to the economic crisis have played out in different European cities, with their contrasting conditions, history and performance generating contrasting reactions. The book compares changes between Northern and Southern European countries, bigger and smaller cities, over the past ten years. Across the continent social cohesion, community investment and social enterprise have gained momentum as Europe’s crowded, resource-constrained cities face up to environmental and social limits faster than other less densely urban countries, such as the US. The author presents a compelling framework to show that Europe’s cities are creating a new industrial economy to combat environmental and social unravelling.
This moving book about the lives of families in London’s East End gives important new insights into neighbourhood relations (including race relations), through the eyes of the local community. What hope is there of change?
Using an up-to-date account of life in East London, the authors illustrate how cities faced with neighbourhoods in decline are changing.
· gives a bird’s eye view of neighbourhood problems and assets;
· provides policy recommendations based on real life experiences;
· tackles topical issues such as race relations, mothers and work, urban revival and social disorder through the eyes of families;
· is authored by leading experts in community studies.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students in social policy, sociology, anthropology, urban studies, child development, geography, housing and public administration should all read this book. Policy makers in national and local government, practitioners and community workers in towns and cities and general readers interested in the life and history of urban neighbourhoods will also find this book an invaluable source of information.
Through a close look at major British cities, using Birmingham as a case study, the book explores the origins of Britain’s acute urban decline and sprawling exodus; the reasons why ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ in cities of the future and the potential for smart growth, mixed communities and sustainable cities. Based on live examples and hands-on experience, this extremely accessible book offers a unique ‘insider’ perspective on policy making and practical impacts. It will attract policymakers in cities and government as well as students, regeneration bodies, community organisations and environmental specialists.
This chapter examines evidence to support a neighbourhood focus for delivering social policy. It presents some findings on how neighbourhood renewal in practice addresses the problems of integration and urban recovery. The central questions are: Why does the neighbourhood affect social conditions? What is the evidence of progress in neighbourhood renewal? Are more mixed urban communities likely to emerge through neighbourhood renewal? The chapter draws on several long-run studies about low-income areas and their prospects. The Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics and Political Science has been tracking 12 highly disadvantaged areas, covering the different representative types of deprived neighbourhoods in England for the last eight years. The Neighbourhood Renewal Unit is trying to help in the recovery of up to 3,000 such areas.
When New Labour came to power in 1997, there was great enthusiasm within government for tackling deprivation, particularly area concentrations of problems. There were several important reasons. First, the growth of inequality during Margaret Thatcher’s years had not been reversed. Second, social housing had become far poorer as a result of targeting access more systematically at the most deprived and vulnerable households. Third, levels of worklessness, benefit dependency, and lone parenthood had all risen steeply and became more concentrated in the poorest areas, particularly in large council estates. This chapter considers the government’s attempts to regenerate poor neighbourhoods and inner cities, drawing on extensive work carried out by CASE researchers in 12 low-income areas across much of New Labour’s period in office.
This chapter looks at neighbourhoods as the basic building blocks of all cities and towns. It observes that there are many serious problems and a general atmosphere of decay and decline, but there are also many promising changes and historic assets. It notes that the two Northern families are very committed to their areas, one as a ‘gentrifier’, who chooses to live in a diverse inner-city area, the other as a long-standing ‘born n bred’ old-guard resident. It observes that the London families cope with a much tougher environment, torn between strong local ties and the inescapable pressures to get out. It further observes that the neighbourhoods are difficult places for families, but the families find many things to defend, many positive assets they like.
This chapter describes the study of how families live in troubled city neighbourhoods in the North of England and East London. It notes that this book is based on yearly visits over seven years to 200 families in four highly disadvantaged city neighbourhoods in England, 100 in East London, and 100 in Northern- and outer-city areas. It notes that these families are struggling with much harsher neighbourhood conditions than most people can imagine and this directly affects the families’ ability to cope. It further notes that twenty-four families from four low-income, unpopular neighbourhoods, six from each area, explain over time, from the inside, how neighbourhoods in and of themselves directly affect family survival. It explains that the book is organised around six main themes reflecting layers of local family life that emerged from difficult families’s stories — the neighbourhood, the community, the family, parenting, ‘incomers’, and civic intervention.
This chapter explores communities within neighbourhoods — the smaller-scale, more informal social links that make life more secure and less threatening for families. It observes that the four families in this chapter find some community support around them and they all believe that community spirit is vital for family survival. Four mothers are interviewed who have had terrible experiences — divorce, domestic violence, demolition, crime — that make them ask whether social conditions, council action, and cities themselves may combine to destroy a sense of community within neighbourhoods, thereby threatening the survival of families in cities. It observes that the London families seem to have a tougher time identifying with their community than their Northern counterparts, and one London family left the area during the course of the study.
This chapter looks at the active role parents play in teaching their children to reach out from the family towards the wider world in order to survive. It notes that this is the essence of all parental responsibility. It observes that in these neighbourhoods, parenting responds to a fear of surrounding dangers that constrains the essential maturing and distancing process of growing up. It notes that parents invest heavily in protecting their children from terrifying threats and actual dangers. It observes that the parenting experience combines all the problems of neighbourhoods, communities, and families in one intense activity — bringing up children in troubled areas. It further observes that the risk of their own children getting involved directly, and being influenced indirectly by happenings around them, is both real and undermining to parents.