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Community work in the social city - development potential between services of general interest, urban development promotion and social work
Client:Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR)
Partner(s):Vienna University of Technology/ Faculty of Architecture and Planning/ Department of Spatial Planning/ Center of Sociology (ISRA); location³ - knowledge transfer
Time frame:04/2018 – 03/2020

Preserving and strengthening social cohesion is a task for society as a whole. The urban development support programme "Social City" promotes this, but is dependent on complementary support strategies from other ministries, the pooling of resources and comprehensive action. Community work can also contribute to this. The study therefore aims to show how community work is structurally anchored in the neighbourhoods of the "Social City" and what it can achieve. Experience and evaluations to date show that the "Social City" programme is doing a very good job in eliminating housing and urban planning problems, but that this is not sufficient in some cases to improve the living situation in the “Social City”-areas on a sustainable basis. For many residents, the quality of life is still restricted by social and economic exclusion. To eliminate exclusion, there are indeed case-specific help systems, some of which work in a social space-oriented manner and act across target groups, but community work that is independent of individual cases has not become a regulatory structure.

The aim of the study is to examine the possibilities that municipalities and neighbourhoods have for structurally anchoring community work - especially in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The aim is to examine community work in all its breadth and diversity. According to the understanding of research, all strategies that holistically address the neighbourhood and not only particular individuals are conceived as community work. The work is carried out using a mix of methods based on literature research, interviews with experts, a survey in the programme areas, 12 selected case studies and an expert opinion on social law. A project advisory board with experts from research and practice is active in an advisory capacity.

Further information (in German) here.

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