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Individual and group behaviours in EU neighbourhoods

EU-funded research has examined the latent orders (hidden factors in the social structure of groups) that drive urban residential dynamics, looking in particular at group versus individual residential behaviours. The work generates insights into how this impacts private and community housing.

Industrial Technologies

The project RESIDENTIAL ANALYSIS (Residential analysis - How do latent orders determine residential dynamics of minorities in East-London?) focused on east London, and the Bangladeshi Muslim community in particular. Research considered how sects lead to group segregation and social exclusion, and the effects of this on neighbourhoods in Western society. Development of a new conceptual model allowed investigation of the interaction between households and their environments, and the relationship between the attributes and behaviour of individuals. It also afforded study of the impact of social structure on individual households and the global attributes of social groups. A review of the relevant literature helped to elaborate a theoretical framework for project work. Upwards of 150 in-depth interviews were used to compare stated and revealed preferences in the households, and highlight formal rules of interaction between the individual householder and their sect/group. Spatial distribution maps were produced to reveal how sub-groups organise their spaces to match their needs. Work has enhanced understanding of the impact of cross-race/ethnicity variation and inter-sect relations on the spatial distribution processes. It also helped determine mechanisms of cooperation that are based on exploiting group-specific social codes. A simulation of residential patterns was done to assess difficulties of entering/living in the area, and to investigate what happens when a group disintegrates and it members behave as individuals. This line of work also enabled study of the spatial effect of latent orders that determine residential dynamics. An economic assessment was used to study the impact of group forces on residential decisions, such as the impact on spatial-cultural conflicts. Overall, project work has shed light on intercultural communication between sub-groups at the individual building and city levels. Research results have implications for the study of and approach to ethnic minorities in Europe and their socioeconomic impact on the spatial environment. The knowledge generated and the collaborations initiated by RESIDENTIAL ANALYSIS contribute to a multidisciplinary approach to socio-spatial analysis, and can be used in future research on smart cities.


Group behaviours, residential dynamics, private and community housing, minorities

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