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Focus Project “Arrival Neighbourhoods: Functions of Arrival Spaces for Socio-Spatial Integration”
Client:In-house Research Project
Partner(s):Science Po Paris; Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Vienna; City of Dortmund; City of Düsseldorf
Time frame:01/2018 – 12/2020

The increase in migration and refugee movements confronts cities and neighbourhoods as arrival spaces with particular challenges. This is reflected in the growing social and ethnic diversity and the increasing polarisation of cities. The significance of so-called “arrival cities” and “arrival spaces” has become the focus of media and political discussions in recent years (cf. Saunders 2010; BBSR 2017). However, a scientifically based analysis and systematic classification of the concept of “arrival neighbourhood” or “arrival space” as well as an exploration of its spatial form and functions for socio-spatial integration has yet to follow.


The aim of the focus project is to get a better grasp on the type of neighbourhoods that we define as „arrival neighbourhoods“, both in Germany and internationally. This also includes the question of the spatial delimitation of “arrival neighbourhoods” and their social and spatial permeability.  To understand the function of “arrival neighbourhoods”, the project employs three interconnected theoretical approaches: social networks, which facilitate everyday coping (getting by) and social mobility (getting ahead) (Briggs 1998), Micro-publics (understood in Ash Amin's (2002) sense as structures providing opportunity for the negotiation of diversity) and governance structures as well as social resilience in sense of local and city-wide negotiation and steering processes (Schnur/Drilling 2009; Swanstrom et al. 2009).

The cities of Dortmund and Düsseldorf are used as case studies. In both case studies quantitative characteristics are used to map small-scale characteristics and dynamics of the entire city. Based on this data base the neighborhoods, which represent different types of arrival quarters according to a developed typology, will be identified.

Selected neighbourhoods or subareas will be subjected to a more detailed qualitative analysis in both cities. First empirical results concerning the “arrival neighbourhood” Nordstadt in Dortmund can be added from different third-party funded projects, which explore the importance of local neighbourhoods for contacts going beyond group boundaries (f. e. KoopLab, Social integration within urban neighbourhoods).  Outcomes from the case studies are to be compared with other research areas in Germany and other countries (USA, Austria, France).

The project’s aim is to develop theoretical contributions about the significance of social networks, micro-publics and governance structures for inclusion and exclusion processes in “arrival neighborhoods”. Furthermore, the project aims to develop a more conceptual and analytical approach to the predominantly politically or normatively employed concept of “arrival neighbourhoods”.


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