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Untitled Document
Disadvantaged Urban Neighbourhoods and Communities

Previously: Poverty Neighbourhoods
Created in 2001

Eva Andersson
Stockholm University
Department of Human Geography
Mark Livingston
University of Glasgow
Urban Studies
School of Social and Political Sciences

Central Themes of the Group
This working group focuses on urban neighbourhoods and local communities. We are interested in the social mechanisms behind and the implications of concentrated poverty and deprivation, segregation between various socio-economic groups, and broader social inequalities between residents. Other topics of interest are social networks, social capital or social cohesion, and neighbourhood effects, as well as policies targeting these matters, such as social mix and de-concentration policies. Another focus concerns the question how neighbourhoods and their residents deal with the impacts of macro trends such as welfare state retrenchment, austerity regimes, and budget cuts.
While quantitative modelling has become prominent in the workshop, we very much welcome qualitative research. Furthermore, we are particularly keen to discuss new approaches focussing on analysis of register data, (linked) open data and social media feeds, specialised evaluation approaches (e.g. realist evaluation) and mixed-methods designs that innovatively combine qualitative and quantitative approaches. The workshop has always maintained very high standards in the research it selects and it is intended that this approach will continue.

Summary of the Tirana (2017) conference
In 2017, the working group convened once, at the conference in Albania. We had 11 papers scheduled over four sessions. We had two people contact us to say they were unable to come to the conference and two no shows, leaving 7 papers in three sessions. There was a good spread from across Europe (2 from Sweden, 1 from Belgium, 1 from Turkey, 1 from Hungary, 1 from the UK, and 1 from the USA).

Session 1

  • Title: A comparative study of segregation patterns in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden: Neighbourhood Concentration and Representation of Non-European migrants (Eva Andersson)
  • Title: Settling in the urban arrival neighbourhood or in the periphery? Exploring the arrival and transition infrastructure for immigrants in three different cases in Belgium (Elise Schillebeeckx)

Session 2
  • Title: Adolescent Neighborhood context and transition to parenthood: A longitudinal study (Bo Malmberg)
  • Title: Why neighborhood matters: coordinating planning, Economic development and schooling (David Varaday)
  • Title: Collaborative partnerships for affordable housing: experiences from the global south and lessons for the global north (Aysegul Can)

Session 3
  • Title: The processes of poverty decentralisation in two Scottish cities 1991-2011 (Mark Livingston)
  • Title: Changing patterns of spatial marginalization in CEE countries (Tünde Virág)

While numbers of delivered papers is down on the previous years, this was to be expected given the reduced size of the conference in Tirana. We had two people pull out before the conference, one worryingly could not get her payment processed by the organisers. We also had two no shows at two different sessions. Papers were generally of a high quality and with reduced numbers of papers there was plenty of time for discussion. Attendance at the sessions was good allowing for a wide variety of feedback.

Future Plans and Activities
The working group is planning meetings for upcoming ENHR conferences.
Because we expect that turnout will be slightly lower at the 2017 conference in Albania, we consider organising a joint sessions with other working groups at this conference. The co-ordinators are also considering opportunities for a themed working group session outside the yearly ENHR conference, e.g. in the second half of 2017 or Spring 2018, around one of the topics outline in our WG central theme.

Policy Implications
Many of the researchers involved in the WG are conducting cutting-edge research, sometimes with close involvement of policymakers.
In light of the complexities of making an impact on urban policies, both locally and nationally (let alone on EU level), we feel that we need to continue or even strengthen our efforts to disseminate research findings among policymakers. The rise of Urban Living Labs (ULLs) is a quickly rising phenomenon that we will take into account for this matter, not only in (EU-funded) research proposals, but also in terms of research.