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- Author or Editor: Nils Björling x
Everyone with an interest in the urban will consciously or unconsciously compare earlier experiences of other urban environments with what is experienced at hand; they will be ‘thinking (cities) through elsewhere’ (Robinson, 2015: 195). It is therefore difficult to imagine any other situation where such comparative activities play out more distinctively than in urban situations induced by migration and other forms of mobility. Who is ever better set to do urban comparison than migrants constantly reminded of places left behind and trying to make sense of places of arrival? Therefore, migration is ultimately connected to comparative urbanism in what Jacobs calls ‘an everyday comparison’ (Jacobs, 2012: 910).
This chapter describes comparative knowledge production by way of bringing together already existing research financed by other means and local development projects within a defined area of research and intervention. The projects were all dealing with migration but based in different urban contexts, and they were brought together in a systematic way we call clustering. This methodology was developed through a joint venture of comparative knowledge production involving researchers, practitioners and civil society actors at the Local Interactive Platforms (LIPs) in Gothenburg (GOLIP), Skåne (SKLIP) and Kisumu (KLIP). Based within the Mistra Urban Futures agenda for comparative research and its understanding of co-produced transdisciplinary research (as discussed in Chapters One and Two), this was a natural starting point. The project originally stemmed from a need to better understand international migration, and in particular refugee reception and integration, as this developed in Gothenburg and Malmö following the so-called refugee crisis in 2015.