Our interdisciplinary Urban Studies list examines how the built environment shapes behaviour and how to address complex problems like urban poverty, gentrification, climate change and educational inequality.
Subjects covered include urban planning, urban geography, urban policy, local governance and community-based participation, to offer a broad understanding of how urban dynamics shape both global interdependence and local spaces.
This chapter explores the vertical multi-ethnic coexistence or the socio-spatial dynamics of segregation and social mix in the same building, a residential apartment building in Athens, Greece. Over the last 25 years, Athens has become increasingly ethnically diverse. Athens is characterised by low levels of spatial segregation and high levels of ethnic mix both at the neighbourhood level and within residential buildings. However, living together does not mean that inequality disappears. Indeed, on closer inspection, in Athens, vertical social differentiation within buildings seems to offer an alternative to neighbourhood-level segregation, with quite a strong correlation between ethnicity and floor of residence. The chapter then considers the link between diversity and inequality, since this link is missing all too often from urban analysis.
This chapter studies neighbourhood choice and satisfaction, more specifically what attracts people to diverse and deprived urban areas, and how perceptions of local diversity play a role in this. The importance of diversity for neighbourhood choice and satisfaction has hardly been studied among non-middle-class residents. The chapter then presents a qualitative study of neighbourhood choice and satisfaction among residents of different social classes in highly diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands). The primary motive for choosing to live in a diverse neighbourhood is the availability of affordable housing. For poor residents and migrants, the presence of family and friends in the neighbourhood is also an important motive. Only for some interviewees, mostly of minority ethnic backgrounds, neighbourhood ethnic diversity is an important factor for their neighbourhood choice, mainly because they prefer to live in neighbourhoods that are not dominated by a majority group.
This chapter addresses the issues of segregation and social mix by comparing two socially diverse neighbourhoods in Chicago (Cabrini Green and Near North) and Santiago (La Loma and La Florida area). It aims to understand how social relationships can be modified by a change in spatial configurations, questioning whether intergroup physical proximity triggers other processes of integration, notably functional, relational, and symbolic integration. Social mix leads to more amenities and some institutional change, but not to upward social mobility for the poor. Moreover, intergroup relationships in these socially mixed neighbourhoods are marked by fear, distrust, and avoidance and governed by increased material and symbolic competition. Ultimately, the physical proximity of social mix conceals the persistence of inequality and the forces that are actively maintaining segregation.
This concluding chapter reflects on some important insights from the previous chapters on how urbanites actively and creatively live with and in super-diversity and how urban diversity interacts with social inequalities in disadvantaged and super-diverse neighbourhoods. These contributions also point to directions for future research and analysis. Analyses of super-diversity and conviviality should be brought in closer dialogue with more established debates on solidarity and social capital in the context of increasing ethnic and cultural diversity and normative philosophical debates on migrant incorporation. Since the former tends to see diversity as a threat to social solidarity and social capital, the super-diversity and conviviality literature offers a refreshing perspective of how diversity plays out in everyday urban life. Indeed, connecting super-diversity and conviviality research with these other fields of research is necessary to make a thorough assessment of both the potential and limitations of conviviality in nurturing social cohesion and solidarity.
How do people deal with diversity in deprived and mixed urban neighbourhoods? This edited collection provides a comparative international perspective on superdiversity in cities, with explicit attention given to social inequality and social exclusion on a neighbourhood level.
Although public discourses on urban diversity are often negative, this book focuses on how residents actively and creatively come and live together through micro-level interactions. By deliberately taking an international perspective on the daily lives of residents, the book uncovers the ways in which national and local contexts shape living in diversity.
The book will be a valuable resource for researchers and students of poverty, segregation and social mix, conviviality, the effects of international migration, urban and neighbourhood policies and governance, multiculturality, social networks, social cohesion, social mobility, and super-diversity.
This chapter discusses how residents of the London Borough of Haringey perceive the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of their local neighbourhood. The positive perceptions of neighbourhood diversity of Haringey residents revolve mainly around the opportunities for new experiences and greater levels of tolerance, understanding, and comfort, and access to more diverse places of consumption. The chapter then assesses the extent to which positive perceptions of diversity translate into meaningful and sustained practice across lines of difference. For the majority of the Haringey residents, relations with their neighbours are ‘pleasantly minimal’, and they choose to visit spaces run or attended by people with similar characteristics. Neighbourhood diversity is a natural part of everyday life for the residents, but this typically only extends as far as the public sphere. In the private sphere, the networks and activities of most residents are far more insular than perhaps their perceptions of diversity would suggest.
This chapter focuses on interculturalism in the context of emerging national and local models of incorporating international migrants in Italy, and the city of Milan more specifically. Italy is a latecomer in the debate on immigrant policies, but it is nevertheless an interesting case because (1) it has no policy legacy in this field and does not have an explicit and consistent immigrant policy; (2) it is at the forefront of localising migration policy in Europe; and (3) it explicitly uses an intercultural approach that is not based on a retreat from multiculturalism. Although interculturalism is often presented as a consistent policy approach, which seeks a middle ground between assimilationist and multiculturalist models, in Italy, interculturalism is a form of assimilationism that works through an implicit subordination of immigrant rights and life chances to the goal of social cohesion.
This introductory chapter provides an overview of super-diversity. Contemporary cities have seen an increasing diversity of migration in terms of countries of origin, ethnic groups, languages and religions, gender, age profiles, and labour market experiences. Complex migration and asylum regimes have further contributed to the process of diversification through the multiplication of immigration legal statuses (civic stratification). Super-diversity has become especially apparent in cities that are designated as ‘global cities’, on the basis of their ability to draw heterogeneous people from all parts of the world. This book is thus concerned with the question of how urbanites from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, occupying different socioeconomic positions, speaking different languages and often with different legal statuses, can make a common life together in their city or neighbourhood.
This chapter analyses which categories are mobilised by residents to describe the social groups in their area and which normative assessments are attached to those descriptions. This intersectionality approach allows one to see social stratification at work in how inhabitants of diverse neighbourhoods in Leipzig, Paris, and Athens perceive, describe, and judge their social environment. The three cities that are analysed represent different histories of diversification, and all three of them have experienced societal disruptions and change. The residents’ own positionality shapes how they categorise other residents and judge their social environment. Moreover, the construction of social groups in diverse neighbourhoods in these cities draws on a variety of rather classic social categories and is influenced by national discourses. Stigmatisation often occurs at the intersections of these categories. Also, neighbourhood change is an important factor in the construction of social groups.
This chapter analyses the relationship between super-diversity and solidarity, considering the potential of solidarity in diversity based on an extensive case study in Rabot-Blaisantvest — a super-diverse and poor neighbourhood in Ghent. It assesses if and how the introduction of a local currency system in an impoverished and super-diverse neighbourhood in the Belgian city of Ghent stimulates interpersonal practices of solidarity in diversity. The local currency triggered new activities and stimulated a more diverse group of inhabitants to participate, thus strengthening interdependency in the neighbourhood and generating new forms of solidarity, especially between residents in similar economically disadvantaged positions. Some of these new forms of solidarity in diversity have a transformative effect, that is, they question existing and normalised social structures and relationships.