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Challenging spatial policies in multi ethnic contexts

Existing ways of looking at diversity and multi-ethnic concentrations in urban cities in the EU have been challenged. This gives way to alternative methods of intervention, emphasising the role the public can play in policy formation.

Industrial Technologies

Rising immigration is a big issue across Europe, particularly in certain neighbourhoods of large cities where most new immigrants are concentrated. The problematic aspects that can arise from this influx have spurred debate concerning urban space. Within that, in the last 20 years, spatial policies have tried to lessen methods of concentration. This has mainly been done through social mixing initiatives. Assessing such initiatives is what the EU-funded 'Contested mix: Towards a reframing of spatial policies in multi-ethnic environments' (CONTESTED MIX) project set out to do. The main goals were to explore certain assumptions that have not been proven yet influence public debate, pinpoint alternative ways of intervention, and create intellectual approaches and policy recommendations. Experiments were carried out in two segments and entailed literature reviews as well as case studies to meet each of the objectives. It was evident that though there is much talk of the value of diversity and social mix, policies are not as in step with this in urban areas. To what degree stigmatisation influences policy intervention was also part of the experiments. The research was successful in achieving its goals and most of all has shed light on how beneficial it can be to further investigate spatial economic and social aspects of mixed neighbourhoods. Also important is having a glimpse of daily life as it is happening in these spaces. In so doing, an important understanding of how to best deal with diversity can be obtained.


Multi-ethnic neighbourhoods, diversity, spatial policies, , urban space, social mixing

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