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Social integration within urban neighbourhoods: promoting networking and encounters in disadvantaged areas
Client:Forschungsinstitut für gesellschaftliche Weiterentwicklung (FGW)
Partner(s):Ruhr-University Bochum, Institute for Geography; Planerladen e. V.
Time frame:09/2016 – 08/2018

Social mixing strategies in the urban and housing policies of numerous European countries are based on the assumption that spatial proximity between different social groups promotes social cohesion in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods. However, experience from mixing policies shows that spatial proximity does not necessarily lead to social proximity in heterogeneous housing estates. There is empirical evidence that the institutional frameworks and structures facilitating encounters constitute crucial conditions promoting or impeding interaction between residents with different social backgrounds. Nevertheless, there is a lack of reliable studies and precise information on the conditions under which households establish social relations to different social or ethnic groups and how these can be promoted.

Our empirical research project is directly linked to this research gap. It identifies mechanisms of social (dis)integration and lists measures necessary to boost social interaction and thus to promote good neighbourhoods and residents’ satisfaction with their living environment. In close cooperation with local players, especially housing associations, tailor-made measures aimed at boosting the transfer of social capital will be developed.

To analyse a neighbourhood’s significance for social interaction, Hafen/Nordstadt and Scharnhorst-Ost, two disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Dortmund with different characteristics with regard to housing stock, opportunity structures and stakeholder networks were chosen. The research project consists of three different methodological modules: a) a quantitative survey, b) qualitative interviews with residents, and c) interviews at specific local foci such as schools, cultural associations or neighbourhood centres, accompanied by local dialogue formats. In the course of the project, these formats aim to bring together institutional and informal stakeholders to identify starting points for future intervention.

Apart from the City of Dortmund, the local housing associations DoGeWo21 and Spar- und Bauverein serve as key strategic partners for this research project. Regular exchanges between these strategic partners and the project team will be ensured through the establishment of a project advisory board.

Results (in german)

Farwick, Andreas; Hanhörster, Heike; Ramos Lobato, Isabel; Striemer, Wiebke (2019): Neighbourhood-based social integration– The importance of the local context for different forms of resource transfer. In: Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning, online first October 1, 2019. doi: 10.2478/rara-2019-0046.

Farwick, Andreas; Hanhörster, Heike; Knorn, Tobias; Ramos Lobato, Isabel; Staubach, Reiner; Striemer, Wiebke; Zilske, Dennis (2019): Soziale Integration im Quartier – Förderung von Netzwerken und Begegnungen in benachteiligten Sozialräumen. FGW-Studie Integrierende Stadtentwicklung 11 (Projektabschlussbericht) (pdf, 96 Seiten)

Staubach, Reiner; Zilske, Dennis; Knorn, Tobias (2018): Soziale Integration im Quartier – Förderung von Netzwerken und Begegnungen in zwei benachteiligten Sozialräumen Dortmunds. FGW-Impuls Integrierende Stadtentwicklung 11 (pdf, 4 Seiten)

Further information (in german) here

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