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Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyper-diversified Cities

Final Report Summary - DIVERCITIES (Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyper-diversified Cities)

Executive Summary:
Today, cities in Europe are more diverse than ever. Immigration, socio-economic inequality, and spatial segregation, coupled with a diversity of identities, activities, mobility’s, and lifestyles all contribute to a condition we call hyper-diversity. The accumulation of these factors in urban settings poses significant challenges to policy-makers and institutions. On the one hand, there are positive discourses on urban diversity. The European Union sees diversity as a driver of growth and social progress. Many city authorities are inspired by Richard Florida’s work and see diversity as an asset that can attract the creative class. On the other hand, increasing diversity engenders fear among substantial parts of the population. The election of Trump, the impending Brexit, and the rise of populist movements across Europe are all related to anxiety about immigration. Many national governments have reacted by enforcing stricter immigration policies and adopting an assimilation agenda.
The central proposition of the DIVERCITIES project is that urban diversity is an asset. The principal aim of the project was, therefore, to provide evidence for the range of positive socio-economic outcomes that emerge from greater urban diversity and to document the significant role that urban policy and local governance can play in stimulating those positive outcomes.
A basic assumption underpinning the DIVERCITIES project is that while diversification is partly an outcome of immigration, it should be understood in a broader sense. Therefore, we prefer to use the term 'hyper-diversity' instead of the increasingly popular 'super-diversity'. The latter term is mainly associated with the variety within and between categories of immigrants. By advancing the concept of hyper-diversity, we offer a critique of the prevailing discourse. This new concept underscores our conviction that diversity should not only be understood in ethnic, demographic, and socio-economic terms. Rather, we should also look into differences with respect to lifestyles, attitudes, and activities. Urban society is growing more diverse every day, not only because the number of new identities is growing but also because identities are becoming more complex and fluid than ever.
It is not possible to address the needs of increasingly complex and diverse urban societies with standardized policies and policy instruments. So doing may only exacerbate social and spatial inequality. Citing the ethnic or cultural background of an individual as a primary reason for failure or success (with a standard expectation of ‘integration’) may not be realistic today. Instead, considering the complexities and dynamism of urban life, an individual’s success or failure may be affected by the possibilities that a particular city (or area) offers to develop new relationships, businesses, lifestyles, activities, etc.
In light of this, the DIVERCITIES project is suggesting innovative policy instruments and government arrangements to help view urban diversity positively, further interaction between urban groups and expand participation.
Our multi-method research deployed an interdisciplinary approach, which drew on urban geography, political science, organisational studies, law, history, urban planning, economics and sociology. It aimed to provide a comprehensive approach to the governance of complex urban dynamics and understand the case-specific characteristics of diversity in different contexts, to analyse new policy approaches that recognise and manage hyper-diversity, and to suggest instruments that can work in a range of contexts. Field research has been conducted in 14 cities by 17 teams, which made up the project partnership.

Project Context and Objectives:

The concept of the divided city is at the heart of the discourse on this project on urban diversity. Cities consist, almost by definition, of various neighbourhoods, each with their own functions, character, architectural styles, attractions, and advantages and disadvantages for various residents and visitors. Urban commentators have developed a large quantity of typologies that tend to focus on urban dichotomies between prosperous and impoverished areas, or between gentrified neighbourhoods and areas where the poor are more or less forced to live, because of the lack of alternatives elsewhere in the city. Western cities have variously been described as divided cities, dual cities, polarised cities, fragmented cities and partitioned cities. In most cases, a clear connection is made between a divided society and a divided city: if a society is divided, urban space must also be divided. It is a matter of the connection between social polarisation and social inequality on the one hand and spatial segregation on the other. Polarised incomes and ethnic divisions form the heart of many studies into socio-spatial divisions within cities.
The increasing polarisation in cities and neighbourhoods can have positive as well as negative implications. Twenty-five years ago, Reich's The Work of Nations (1991) provided a first line of reasoning. He argues that local forms of social solidarity become less important, because elites show an increasingly international orientation and are becoming less dependent on the services of the lower status groups in neighbourhoods. Webber's (1964) old idea of ‘communities without propinquity’ seems to have become more important for those at the upper end of the economic spectrum today. For the very poor, by the same token, their spatially defined neighbourhoods become more and more irrelevant to the functioning of the mainstream economy Wacquant (2008) talks about advanced marginalisation and the formation of urban pariahs. An obvious result is an urban society that is increasingly socially and spatially disconnected, fragmented and polarised.
A second line of reasoning focuses on globalisation as not leading to social and spatial fragmentations, but to socio-economic symbiosis within an increasingly polarised society, which can be seen in a growing number of highly-educated, wealthy persons and households, but also in an increasing number of people in the lower segments of the economy (those in low-paid jobs and the chronically unemployed). For Sassen (1991) the rich and poor in major cities, those included in and those excluded from the (formal) economy, have become increasingly dependent on each other. One group has the money for products and services that the other group can provide (see also: Butler and Watt, 2007). The emphasis on symbiotic relationships might end up with a society that is both more polarised and more interdependent and with spatial patterns characterised by a spatial mix of different groups.
A focus on urban diversity implies attention for different spatial levels. Although European cities are in general spatially less segregated than American cities (Marcińczak et al. 2016). Inequality and rising levels of socio-), population groups are also in Europe unequally divided within cities: some neighbourhoods contain an overwhelming majority of a certain group (for example: almost only low-income households or only a certain minority ethnic group), while other neighbourhoods may show an enormous mix between groups in a social, socio-economic, ethnic and cultural sense. In a research on urban diversity it is therefore necessary to focus on the city level as well as on the neighbourhood level.

The principal aim of this project was to provide evidence for the range of social and socio-economic outcomes that may emerge from greater urban diversity, particularly its positive aspects, and to document and highlight the significant role that urban policy and local governance arrangements can play in developing and stimulating those positive outcomes.

Cities are becoming more diverse, because of increasing immigration, increasing diversity associated with this migration, different lifestyles within and between groups, spatial segregation in terms of ethnicity, and socio-economic variables, leading to a diversity of opportunities for different groups. Thus, we call the European city a hyper-diversified city, which contains increasingly changing forms of diversities. In order to realise positive developments of diversity, new governance arrangements are needed to increase the interaction and communication between diverse groups and to facilitate social and economic developments.
We specifically wanted to describe, document, and critically analyse policies, initiatives, and arrangements that explicitly or implicitly aim at profiting from urban diversity. We used a broad and deep comparative frame to draw out the key factors that shape their success (or failure) and identify the barriers and opportunities to the implementation of successful urban policy programmes in other cities. The wider significance of this study is related to our firm belief that urban diversity is an asset: it can be used to stimulate urban, national and European economies and create more harmonious and creative cities. Having this as the central theme of our project and recognising the challenges of governing cohesion and diversity in urban contexts, this project has resulted in innovative governance recommendations that will increase the participation of a diversity of urban groups.
The study has been carried out in a comparative setting, which enabled us to link our research to different national, social, economic and political contexts. It drew on a multi-methods approach.


The central hypothesis of this project was that socio-economic, socio-demographic, ethnic and cultural diversity can positively affect social cohesion, urban economic performance, and social mobility of individuals and groups suffering from socio-economic deprivation. Programmes aimed at better social cohesion, higher economic performance and increased chances for social mobility will make European cities more liveable and more competitive. In this period of increasing competition from countries elsewhere in the world (like China, India, Brazil and Russia), it is important to find out how and under which circumstances Europe's hyper-diversified urban communities can help, nurture and create social and economic advantages. Many existing urban policies lack a positive view of urban diversity, because they generally focus on the negative aspects associated with diversity, such as intolerance, racism, discrimination and insecurity. New policies, instruments and governance arrangements are needed, and sometimes they already exist. And yet there exists a significant research gap; we know little about the circumstances in which urban policies have become successful and how they can be implemented elsewhere. When we acknowledge the hyper-diversity of our urban societies, we also have to acknowledge that these societies cannot flourish from standard or general approaches aiming at, for example, economic growth or better housing or more liveable neighbourhoods. Increasingly, more diverse and more tailored arrangements are needed; arrange¬ments that have an eye for that hyper-diversification and that are able to cope with the diverse needs of different groups in different local and urban settings. Our project has resulted in new and innovative policy instruments and governance arrangements that (a) recognise urban hyper-diversity as a positive aspect; (b) increase interaction and communication between the diverse groups in urban society; and (c) increase participation to satisfy the needs of the communities.


Diversity is defined as the presence or coexistence of a number of specific socio-economic, socio-demographic, ethnic and cultural groups within a certain spatial entity, such as a city or a neighbourhood. By socio-economic diversity we mean that rich and poor households, low-educated and high-educated persons live together in a city or neighbourhood. Socio-demographic diversity means diversity in age and household composition. By ethnic diversity we refer to the mix between different ethnic (in many cases immigrant) groups and to the mix between minority ethnic groups and natives. Cultural diversity refers to the co¬existence of groups with different kinds of norms, values and goals. Social cohesion can in a very general way be defined as the internal bonding of a social system. Economic performance is concerned with the way individuals and groups perform in the city as entrepreneurs, while social mobility refers to the possibility of individuals or groups to move upwards or downwards in society, for example with respect to jobs and income (and status and power). Governance is seen as a shorthand for a diversity of partnerships on different spatial and policy levels, leading to a certain goal.
In a nutshell the project aimed at finding out how urban diversity influences three core issues: social cohesion, economic performance and social mobility. Will a diverse city or neighbourhood, for example with respect to ethnicity, foster social contacts between different groups, or is the notion of parallel societies a more appropriate description? Will an area with a mix of low and middle-income households lead to viable economic shopping facilities in the neighbourhood or in adjacent areas? Will the same mix lead to possibilities for people to find better jobs (social mobility)? Our basic assumption is that the three core issues mentioned above are not affected by diversity in a deterministic way. Positive and negative effects of social cohesion are (at least partly) related to governance arrangements. Policies and governance arrangements do not only have an effect on diversity (e.g. by immigration regulations or social mixing policies), but also play a role in mediating the effects of diversity. One of the most significant questions in the project was: How can policies and governance arrangements lead to better solutions in terms of social cohesion, economic performance and social mobility?


The general goals of the DIVERCITIES project were:
1. to understand the positive and negative effects of socio-economic, socio-demographic, ethnic, and cultural diversity for society, the city and the urban economy;
2. to provide convincing evidence on the positive contribution of diversity to the crucial outcomes of social cohesion, economic performance and social mobility;
3. to analyse and interpret the role of existing policies and governance arrangements, in content as well as in form, in promoting beneficial aspects of urban diversity;
4. to improve the knowledge base for policy makers on different levels (EU, national, local) by translating the results of this project into innovative instruments and arrangements.

The main research question of this project was:
What evidence can we find of the positive aspects of urban diversity for social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance in European cities and how can these positive arrangements be enhanced by participatory policies and governance arrangements?
The explicit focus on social (social cohesion), socio-economic (social mobility) and economic (economic performance) aspects, as well as on ways to profit from diversity with the help of good policies and governance arrangements guarantees a comprehensive account of the effects of urban diversity.
The following more detailed objectives were central in this project:
1. To update and fine-tune the literature review (WP3).
2. To analyse the current approach of general EU policies, national and local policies with respect to urban diversity, to find out to what extent these policies recognise positive aspects, and to find out to what extent aspects of diversity in these policies are used as possible carriers of positive developments in cities (WP4).
3. To clarify how governance arrangements on the local (urban, neighbourhood) level help to increase positive aspects of urban diversity and to find out what their success and fail factors are, as well as make clear how these arrangements can be successfully used in other social and urban contexts (WP5).
4. To clarify how urban diversity and policies and arrangements with respect to urban diversity affect different population groups living in cities in terms of social cohesion and social mobility and to make specifically clear who (which social groups) profit and how they profit (WP6).
5. To analyse how urban diversity and policies and arrangements with respect to urban diversity affect different population groups living in cities in terms of economic performance and to clarify who (which social groups) profit and how they profit (WP7).
6. To assess how cities in different national contexts (also outside our research countries) can learn from the results of the project and especially how policy makers on different levels (EU, national, local) can learn from these results (WP8).
7. To assess what innovative and participatory policy initiatives can be created to make urban diversity work in a positive direction and to translate our results in concrete recommendations for policy makers (WP9/WP10).
8. To translate the project results in scientific publications (WP9/WP10).


Butler, T. and P. Watt (2007), Understanding Social Inequality. London: Sage.
T. Tammaru, S. Marciczak, M. van Ham, & S. Musterd (Eds.) (2016) East Meets West: New Perspectives on Socio-economic Segregation in European Capital Cities. London/New York: Routledge.
Reich, R. (1991), The Work of Nations. New York: Random House.
Sassen, S. (1991), The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.
Wacquant, L. (2008), Urban Outcasts. A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Webber, M.M. (1964), Order in diversity: Community without propinquity. In: L. Wingo (ed.), Cities and Space: The Future Use of Urban Land, pp. 23-54. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Project Results:
Our research was undertaken in eleven EU cities: Antwerp, Athens, Budapest, Copenhagen, Leipzig, London, Milan, Paris, Rotterdam, Tallinn, Warsaw; and three non-EU cities: Istanbul, Toronto, and Zurich. The research areas within these cities were selected so that they share some predefined characteristics: they are relatively large (around 100,000 inhabitants), deprived (low individual income, high rates of unemployment, low quality of urban environment), diverse (in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, age, lifestyles) and dynamic (change of sociodemographic composition and of land uses).
In this section we describe the main results that relate to our first six objectives (as described above). Objectives 7 and 8 relate to our dissemination activities and will be discussed in the next section.


The output of WP3 was our report “Towards Hyper-Diversified European Cities A Critical Literature Review” (Tasan-Kok et al., 2014). In this report we have explored and assessed some of the key literatures on contemporary urban diversity and its relationships with the broader themes of governance, social cohesion, economic competitiveness, and social mobility. We have argued that European cities are entering a new era of hyper-diversity that goes beyond traditional understandings of urban and demographic change. Too much of the existing literature is wedded to simple conceptions of population difference, often characterised through binaries between ‘host’ and ‘migrant’ population groups.
The reality in many EU cities is one of much greater forms of diversity as expressed through class, identities, social position, and structural economic changes. Academic and policy research, we argue, urgently needs to address emerging forms of hyper-diversity and its implications for governance, social change, and economic competitiveness.
Too much of the writing on contemporary cities, we have shown, over-simplifies the activities, values, and norms of citizens and communities. People with the same characteristics, as postmulticulturalists argue, may have very different orientations, values, and activity patterns. Most of the ‘multicultural’ literature misses intra-group diversity that is related to one of their main – and untested – assumptions, namely that each ethnic group is characterised by a distinct culture, a different ‘vision of the good life’ (Kymlicka, 2010); in other words, they effectively assume that values and preferences are a matter of ethno-cultural difference rather than differences along the lines of factors such as class, gender, region, profession, and neighbourhood.
The concept of hyper-diversity, we contend, captures the quantitatively and qualitatively diverse forms of urban diversity that are now emerging. First of all, it suggests bringing the increasing population diversity beyond the ‘standard’ migration and ethnical dimensions. Secondly it proposes analysing multiple diversities in groups that ostensibly seem to be similar. Thirdly, it argues that diversity in cities should be approached as a case-sensitive concept within a specific context to address the issue in a clearer way. It means that specific contextual elements for the comprehensive study of hyper-diversity should be considered and that in some cities the characteristics of diversity may be dominated by socio-economic factors, while in some others it may be dominated by cultural factors. An emphasis on hyper-diversity encourages researchers to look beyond bounded neighbourhoods and refrain from the long-running tendency to concentrate on fixed or closed spatial categories in general. This, as authors such as Fincher and Iveson (2008, p. 3) argue is important because, “ ... if planning is to craft more just cities in a context of diversity, then this cannot be simply a matter of ‘accommodating’ or ‘embracing’ diversity as such. Rather, it is a matter of disentangling the different kinds of diversity which characterize city life and distinguishing between those forms of diversity which are just and those that are unjust, in order to promote what we will refer to (...) as a ‘just diversity’”.

We have argued throughout the report that the intensification of globalisation processes during the 1990s and 2000s has shifted the scale and character of socio-economic changes in cities and created new problems and challenges for policy-makers. New mobilities are emerging in which identities and territorially-based political allegiances are increasingly being questioned.
The changes brought about by intensified globalisation in recent decades have challenged the assumption that citizen and community identities in cities are territorially-based. Cosmopolitan writers now claim that identities are more fluid, relational, and global in nature and that policy interventions that cling to territorially-based, collective understandings of citizenship are doomed to failure. At the same time policy-makers are faced with new challenges over how to govern and manage cities that are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. The growth of ICTs and transnationalism may also be leading to the decline of place-based local communities as a greater variety of places (i.e. the community of origin, but also other places where friends and family members have migrated to) other than the place where one resides may remain or become more important. This, we have argued, can have major implications for the everyday life of neighbourhoods. If residents are more interested in places elsewhere the question should be asked how important the residential neighbourhood still is and how policies aimed at neighbouroods can be effective. These more relational and fluid forms of political identification, we argue, represent one of the greatest governance challenges associated with hyper-diversity.
We have also argued that policy climates across and within the EU have been subject to policy shifts and a hardening of positions towards migrants and diversity, particularly in the wake of economic recession and the post-2008 financial crisis. Growing social and political tensions will have their biggest impacts on the poorest people and places within EU cities. We have shown that the presence of hyper-diversity in this context may act as a lightning rod for wider discontents and there may be a tendency for existing prejudices and tensions in cities to be seriously exacerbated. Its impact on different cities and countries has also been uneven and new geographies of austerity are emerging with differential effects. Many nation-states within the EU have now developed more robust policies towards diversity and migration in response to internal political pressures and concerns over the effects of austerity and economic crisis.
The question of ‘too much diversity’ is even being raised along with wider calls for the greater assimilation of diverse groups. For some on both the political left and right there has been a growing emphasis on promoting the negative aspects of diversity as something that undermines a ‘sense of place’ and social cohesion. It is a view that has now reached the mainstream of political debates at the nation-state level and it forms the backdrop to many of the policy discourses and interventions that will be explored through this research project.
However, as we have also noted, it is possible that austerity may encourage policy shifts towards more diversity as one way of enhancing future economic resilience and competitiveness. The positive economic aspects of diversity may become more appealing to policy-makers in such circumstances. In some cities across Europe, notably major urban centres such as London, local policy-makers have been particularly vociferous in their appeals for more diversity and the creation of hyper-diverse societies.

Our review has also examined the relationships between hyper-diversity and social polarisation and the geographical variability of emerging patterns of inequality. It explored the importance of social capital as a resource and its relationships to hyper-diversity. We argue that this resource can be used as a means to reach social mobility of individuals or groups. The literature shows that the relationships between polarisation and inequality and the ways in which citizens and communities handle their day-to-day lives is never an automatic one and cannot be assumed to take on generalisable forms. Residents and entrepreneurs in cities face growing economic challenges and threats to social integration. However, much of the existing research is too broad-ranging and pays insufficient attention to subdivisions within basic categories or groups. Moreover, because data in such studies are based principally on residence, they only give a limited view on the spatial diversity of the urban realm. While segregation patterns in themselves can tell us a great deal about the housing market and its differentiation and inequalities, more sophisticated research is needed to shed light on the social consequences of these patterns have to be found. Hyper-diversity is definitely not a central concept in segregation studies.
All in all, we do know something about the relations between urban diversity and social cohesion, but it is by no means clear in which circumstances and contexts diversity has a positive effect on social cohesion. Social justice itself is a normative concept concerned with the question of ‘who gets what, where, and how’. The concept has a material dimension (i.e. distributive justice seeking to redress class inequalities) as well as a cultural/moral dimension which refers to the recognition and empowerment of marginalised individuals and groups, and to the elimination of what Young (1990) calls the five faces of oppression: exploitation, marginalisation, powerlessness, cultural dominance and violence. Geographers and planning theorists have added a territorial and spatial dimension to debates about social justice but in-depth studies on how mechanisms behind social mobility work, and on the specific role of urban or neighbourhood diversity on social mobility are scarce. Nor do we know the extent to which urban policies and governance arrangements directly affect these relationships. Therefore, a renewed focus on this relation is important. It may for example be the case that in some urban areas (for example large-scale housing estates with a high population turnover), the relation between the population diversity of an area and social mobility is much less strong than in more stable residential neighbourhoods where contacts between people might be more intensive. The importance of neighbourhoods for crucial outcomes like social mobility is poorly understood, because many people will probably have their activities in much wider areas than the residential neighbourhood.


WP4 examined the core relationships between diversity and contemporary forms of urban governance. It examined some of the dominant trends in thinking about urban diversity that are found across the EU (and beyond) and set out some policy implications and suggestions. In each case the research teams explored understandings of diversity amongst policy-makers, business leaders, and civil society actors. The main focus was on the city-wide (or metropolitan) scale of analysis and area-based policy initiatives in various policy fields (e.g. intercultural dialogue, public participation, education, economic development, rights and equality). All partners produced institutional maps of key organisations, carried out a forensic analysis of documents, strategies, and funding regimes, and conducted between 12-20 interviews with local stakeholders.

The research showed that in cities there is a tendency towards more pragmatic and positive approaches to diversity, sometimes supported by EU policy. In short, it argues, that diverse cities act as incubators for the creation of more engaging and more effective forms of social and urban policy. We show that large metropolitan and diverse cities represent new spaces of hope for the creation of more progressive policy arrangements and outcomes in a wider policy environment that is becoming more hostile to the presence of diversity. In contrast to some of the more regressive views that are fueling populist politics, we therefore found that where there exist higher concentrations of diversity, more pragmatic, progressive, and forward-thinking forms of urban policy emerge. Under certain conditions, we also see the emergence of diversity regimes in cities. These regimes may consist of well-organised networks and constellations of actors and institutions that seek to fix imaginations of diversity in order to pursue political agendas. These regimes vary across the case studies but provide a potential base for the mobilisation of more positive forms of local diversity policy.

Our findings are particularly relevant in the wake of new events in Europe and North America. The so-called ‘migrant crisis’ and the influx of refugees to Europe in 2015-2016 exemplifies the ways in which political imaginations and policy-framings are still shaped by imagined territorial concerns, rather than an acceptance of post-national cosmopolitan principles and responsibilities. Recent terror attacks have cast doubt on existing and future policies and encouraged growing support amongst political groups who oppose the growth of socio-cultural diversity. Similarly, in the UK the vote to Leave the EU in June 2016 represents a significant challenge to the authority of the EU and to economic and political elites. The outcome was, in part, based on political campaigns that openly presented growing diversity as a ‘threat’ to social cohesion and economic well-being. As a consequence of these factors, it is increasingly clear that earlier eras of policy that focused on increasing flows of people, investment, and goods across national borders have come under growing strain, along with more ‘welcoming’ policies towards the presence of diversity.

For city governments, the promotion of ‘positive agendas’ focussed on the ‘benefits’ of diversity can fulfil a number of roles, depending on the specific urban contexts in which they are mobilised and put into practice. In major global cities, there may be particularly strong agendas of support for greater diversity amongst public and private sector organisations. Diversity, within such contexts, is often equated with the attraction of workers in a range of sectors including high-performing, knowledge-based firms and relatively low-skilled service sector companies and public organisations, whose work is necessary to the functioning of an urban society. The presence of socio-cultural diversity can also be converted into a marketable commodity to attract foreign investment and mega-events. In other contexts, regimes may form to promote an image of urban diversity to meet very different ends, such as an imagined mark of recognition of a city’s ‘modernity’ or true ‘accession status’ to an imagined set of (western) European ideals.

However, the WP4 research also showed that a new culture of diversity recognition is required within policy-making communities. This should be supported by a more honest and open set of agendas about the benefits of diversity. Smarter planning controls and forms of mainstreaming are also required in the delivery and formulation of urban policy. And more support should be given to local initiatives and welfare policies that promote equalities of outcome as well as equalities of opportunity.

More specifically we have identified 6 comparative themes that emerge from the analysis. Despite some notable exceptions, what is striking is the commonality of experiences.

In most countries there has been a clear move away from multiculturalism and an increased use of the terms assimilation and integration. The growing hyper-diversity of societies and cities is increasingly viewed as a threat to social cohesion. Existing policies that promoted greater pluralism and multi-cultural understanding are being widely criticised. It is claimed that these help to divide communities and individuals and undermine a collective sense of identity and co-existence. In dealing with new levels of diversity policy-makers are now stressing the urgent need for integration and an official recognition of the similarities rather than the differences between diverse groups. In some instances this is also being driven by imagined threats to social order, such as religious extremism or the insecurities caused by growing social inequalities. The extent to which this is happening in different countries and the form it is taking in specific cities reflects their particular histories and conditions.

We are witnessing a growing divergence between policy agendas at city and national scales. In many cities a more pragmatic approach to diversity is emerging that promotes the positive aspects of difference for competitiveness and social cohesion. This is often in tension with national governments whose policies, as noted above, are generally becoming more restrictive and view diversity as a threat. Moreover, we have found that it is at the sub-metropolitan scale where some of the most progressive and innovative policies and understandings of diversity are now to be found. Local projects are working with the day-to-day effects of economic and social change on the ground and in many cases have adopted pluralist and open approaches. There is also some evidence that EU policies are supporting this process by engaging with local actors and ensuring that Member States fulfil their legal responsibilities to ensure freedom of movement.

In all of our case cities individuals have been given more responsibility for establishing and implementing urban policy. There is a widespread narrative of active citizenship and an unravelling of the safety-nets provided by nationally-funded welfare state systems. There is an unwillingness to accept structural explanations for the growing inequalities that exist between groups and individuals. The emphasis, instead, is on the social mobility of citizens and the role of policy in mobilising them to overcome the everyday problems that they encounter. Individuals should boost their own social mobility and integrate themselves into the mainstream of everyday society. In all of our case studies the policy emphasis has moved away from a concern with equality of outcomes to a focus on guaranteeing the equality of opportunities for individuals. There is a bias towards more ‘creative’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ citizens and groups who are valued for what they bring to cities.

There remains a strong emphasis in most cities on mixed incomes and housing policies. Area-based interventions continue to represent an important source of intervention, but across the EU there are signs that they are becoming less significant. The narrative of ‘sustainable communities’ remains strong and is incorporated into discussions on convergence, competitiveness, and neighbourhood cohesion. There is also a growing awareness of the importance of age and lifestyle differences in planning for cities and, in general, a more pluralist discourse over the open use of public space. There is much of value in the discourse of mixed communities in our case study cities. What we also found, however, is a growing separation between these positive official policy objectives and the changes that are actually taking place. Everywhere inequalities are on the rise and urban projects are becoming oriented towards gentrification and the construction of housing for creative groups of workers. The limitations of area-based interventions in tackling such inequalities are becoming increasingly evident and posing new challenges for policy-makers.

Whilst area-based approaches are still significant, there is a clear trend towards the mainstreaming of policy interventions on diversity. A truly integrationist policy, it is widely argued, is one that is blind to diversity and treats everybody in the same way. The French republican tradition of citizenship as a contract between individual citizens and the state is emerging in policy narratives across the EU and beyond. On the one hand, there is a progressive logic to mainstreaming. It is being used to promote more holistic forms of intervention that sees inequality as something to be tackled through concerted action. On the other hand, it represents a denial of difference and assumes that the more difficult structural challenges faced by some communities (for example, in prevailing forms of intolerance and discrimination in housing and employment markets) are relatively unimportant. Universalistic legal protections for individuals and groups are put forward as the main mechanism through which these opportunities will be guaranteed.

The echoes from the financial crisis of 2008 are still being felt in all of our case study cities. Austerity agendas are at the root of many of the policy shifts outlined above. There is little doubt that economic uncertainties and the threats posed by globalisation are having a negative impact on the effectiveness of social cohesion and mobility policies. There are three principal impacts that emerge from the research:

• First there is an enhanced emphasis of the importance of economic growth and the role that a diversity of skills, talent, and employment play in helping firms to maintain their competitiveness. In many cities policy-makers and business leaders have adopted an instrumental approach to diversity. They argue that the more diverse a workforce, the more successful a city. Business groups, in particular, have been amongst the strongest supporters of more open and tolerant migration agendas. In the wake of austerity reforms, such arguments are becoming stronger, particular at the city level. This, in part, accounts for the growing divergence that we found in many cases between the narratives of national governments and city authorities.
• Second austerity is having a major impact on government capacities and welfare budgets. Urban programmes and interventions have been down-scaled in almost all cases, even where the impacts of the economic downturn have been relatively light. In some cities, notably Athens and London, this is leading to a forced devolution of responsibilities onto individuals, communities, and civil society groups. It is also finding expression in a new localism in which national governments are handing powers to local actors to shape policy responses. However, these responsibilities are often being transferred with few resources and in some instances this is leading to the abandonment of vulnerable groups and interests. Moreover, in cities such as London and Toronto we are also seeing private actors playing a stronger role in picking up welfare projects that are, in theory, intended for civil society and voluntary groups. Privatisation is becoming more significant in post-austerity welfare, even though its costs and benefits to policy programmes and democratic systems have yet to be properly assessed.
• Third, economic crisis is fueling a more reactionary politics in some locations. At its most extreme neo-fascist movements are emerging, along with anti-immigration and anti-EU parties. There were also marked differences between those cities whose populations continue to grow (such as London, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Istanbul) and those that are experiencing outmigration and even decline (Leipzig and Tallinn are good examples). In the former, issues such as housing provision and the availability of employment have become contentious issues. In the latter, reductions in population numbers are generating different policy concerns with in-migration seen as a long term solution by some, whereas others are concerned about the effects this might have on existing populations.


Promote and Make Space for More Open Democratic Discussions and Encounters
Issues surrounding diversity need to be openly discussed. In many instances policy-makers and professionals have been unwilling to raise more ‘difficult’ topics such as discrimination, unequal treatment, and arguments for welfare-led redistribution. In formal policy narratives diversity is often converted into simple categorisations and treated as something around which all agree. We suggest that there should be a more honest discussion that gives due recognition to some of the core challenges and choices that policy makers and citizens face in hyper-diverse cities. It is only through the creation of new platforms of democratic engagement that more extreme views can be countered and the realities of life in cities can be brought to light. It is through such engagements that more efficient, effective, and legitimate modes of policy-making will emerge.

Support Local Projects and Initiatives
Some of the most innovative and proactive policies towards hyper-diversity are being undertaken by local communities and local-level authorities. However, in many cases they are not being adequately resourced and/or are being given responsibilities that require complex and professional judgements to be made that are beyond the capacities of voluntary organisations and/or overstretched local authority bureaucracies. There is also a danger that projects to support local interests become the preserve of a growing number of private consultants. Whilst this may have benefits in some places, it also has the danger of creating further layers of complexity and cost. Such activities must be closely regulated and only introduced if a clear case can be made.

Promote Diversity Awareness and Recognition
Efforts should be made to boost the awareness and recognition of hyper-diversity amongst policy-makers and state officials. This may require new formal training programmes for those working with diverse groups, particularly in welfare services and planning. Policy-makers should also be better informed as to current trends and fund research that identifies the true scale and character of demographic changes in cities and publishes information for a wide range of audiences. Recognising hyper-diversity is the first step towards the establishment of more effective policy-making systems.

Mainstreaming Diversity
Diversity awareness and thinking should be embedded into the formulation and implementation of all welfare and planning policies. It should not be seen as a bolt-on or afterthought. Nor should it be ignored, as is currently happening with ‘mainstreaming’ programmes in many cities. What seem to be ‘generic’ welfare cuts have a disproportionately large impact on more vulnerable groups. Other ‘diversity-neutral’ urban policies in fields such as housing and/or public space can similarly discriminate against particular groups. New regulatory requirements could be considered in which organisations and policy-makers are required to assess the impacts of policies on hyper-diversity before they are introduced and then monitor their impacts over time. These need not be overly-bureaucratic but could encourage a new culture within organisations and encourage a set of cultural changes in which policy actions are thought about in relation to a range of outcomes.

Pay More Attention to Equalities of Outcome as Well as Equalities of Opportunity
In every case study city inequalities have grown. Yet policy responses focus on opening up opportunities for citizens rather than seeking to ensure more equality in policy outcomes. More concern with the latter is a necessary prerequisite for policy effectiveness. By focussing only on opportunities policies are currently failing those who are least able and most vulnerable. Individuals and communities are being given responsibilities without the resources to support their actions. There should be more of a focus on job creation, wage increases, direct welfare support for housing, and an emphasis on the creation of more diverse economies, rather than a limited concern with so-called ‘creative’ industries.

Promote Diversity as an Economic Asset
EU businesses will be more competitive if they employ and empower workers from a diversity of backgrounds. Too much talent is currently being ignored and recruitment practices could be greatly improved. Much of this concerns diversity awareness. Voluntary partnerships between business organisations and urban authorities are having positive outcomes in some of our case study cities and this is a model that should be disseminated across the EU. Some consideration should also be given to the implementation of regulated quotas and target, although such policies would require a stronger evidence base that presently exists. There would also have be agreement on how their impacts could be calibrated, judged, and monitored.

Ensure That Legal Protections Apply to All Citizens
Under EU law all citizens have a right to access justice systems. The research has indicated how important legal protections are for vulnerable groups and citizens and how they provide guaranteed minimum levels of provision. With austerity cuts, however, legal structures have come under growing strain and there is evidence from some cities that they are becoming increasingly difficult to access for under-resourced groups. This constitutes a real and present threat to effective planning for hyper-diversity.


In work package 5, we investigated the contribution of smaller governance arrangements and bottom-up initiatives in positively using the wide potential of urban diversity. Local governance arrangements and initiatives have thereby been defined as policy networks or informal collaborations involving a horizontal style of decision-making in order to solve societal problems or to create societal opportunities. Such arrangements are mostly formed bottom-up – they are sometimes developed as cooperation between state and civic actors and sometimes as purely private or even individual arrangements. Hence, local governance arrangements and initiatives are understood as local projects dealing with urban diversity and pursuing at least one of the three overarching objectives investigated by the DIVERCITIES project: strengthening social cohesion, enhancing social mobility and boosting economic performance.
In this work package, we focussed on three research questions:
• How is diversity conceptualised within the selected governance arrangements and initiatives?
• What are the main factors influencing success or failure of the selected governance arrangements and initiatives?
• Can we identify new ideas for innovative policies and governance concepts?
Our comparative work shows that many governance arrangements and initiatives adopt highly innovative approaches and fill existing gaps in public services. In contrast to top-down policy programmes, local bottom-up arrangements make use of the positive potential that exists within diverse urban populations. Thereby, social connections and networks bring various forms of knowledge, expertise, and entrepreneurship to urban areas. These governance arrangements perceive the presence of diversity and difference as an asset rather than a problem. They show how positive aspects of diversity can be fostered and nurtured – for the benefit of the population, but also to complement existing EU, state, and city policies.

In each partner city, the research teams selected at least ten governance arrangements and initiatives within their selected case study area according to a systematic screening tool with comparable criteria. The governance arrangements could constitute forms of collaboration between private and public actors or perform purely as public, grassroots or commercial arrangements. The research teams investigated the selected cases by conducting semi-structured interviews with local project managers and undertaking systematic analysis of core documents and strategies. Preliminary conclusions were discussed in focus groups comprising the arrangements’ stakeholders and other stakeholders, such as national and local policy makers and researchers.
The 140 investigated cases give a powerful insight into the range and scope of contemporary governance arrangements in urban policy. The research activities have generated a huge amount of new and creative ideas for innovative policies and governance concepts, in line with the needs of the people living in the research areas of the cities mentioned above. They shed light on the relationship between conceptions of diversity and policy interventions and outcomes.

The general characteristics of the analysed governance arrangements and initiatives are always dependent on their specific context and frame conditions such as the historical background, the local political culture and city-specific social challenges and problems. Most of the arrangements deal with social cohesion in one way or another, other arrangements enhance social mobility or aim at strengthening economic performance. However, the focus is often multidimensional – targeting more than one of these objectives.
Governance arrangements and initiatives targeting social cohesion share the general idea of improving interaction amongst members of society and strengthening the sense of belonging and the willingness to participate and help.
• Spaces of encounter: Governance arrangements targeting social cohesion are often place-based and involve the population of a certain area. Such arrangements could include neighbourhood action groups, community centres, play streets or local festivities. One example is ‘Neighbours’ Day’ in the city of Antwerp – an attempt to reduce the anonymity in the city and to strengthen social cohesion, an arrangement run by the municipal administration and funded by the Flemish City Fund.
• Spaces of joint activities: There are several governance arrangements focusing on aspects of a hyper-diverse society by bringing together a large diversity of people in a common activity such as a choir, a theatre, a children’s circus or a cooking course. The target audience in such arrangements is not restricted to a certain neighbourhood or a specific population group, but adopts a universal approach. These governance arrangements bring people together who may be very different in terms of age, social status or ethnicity but share a common interest. An example is the ‘Intergalactic Choir’ in the city of Zurich – a purely private, bottom-up arrangement designed to bring people together from totally different cultural backgrounds by putting a common activity at the forefront.

Governance arrangements and initiatives targeting social mobility generally aim at empowering certain target groups and enabling equal access to educational attainments or job opportunities by enhancing their social capital.
• Group-specific support: Governance arrangements in this field are often group-based and focus on empowering disadvantaged groups that regular social services fail to reach such as immigrants, underprivileged adolescents, single mothers, homeless people or refugees. An example is the ‘Roma-Net’ in the city of Budapest – an arrangement run by the municipality with the objectives of, inter alia, facilitating the social inclusion of Roma, challenging negative attitudes by society, improving access to public services and supporting young Roma people at entry into the labour market.
• Tailor-made support: Taking into account the characteristics of a hyper-diverse society, several governance arrangements implement comprehensive, innovative and universal approaches tailored to different personal circumstances. These arrangements are not necessarily addressed at a certain group of people, but oriented towards individual needs or specific living situations, such as language courses taking into account the situation of single parents or the empowerment of adolescents through specific sports. An example is the ‘Club Guides’ in the city of Copenhagen – a joint arrangement of the local municipal authorities and the Danish Refugee Council aimed at increasing the social mobility of children from marginalised families through their inclusion into the associational life of the city.

Governance arrangements and initiatives targeting economic performance are concerned with the way individuals and groups perform in the city as entrepreneurs making them more competitive and creating more spaces in which local businesses can operate – as an essential condition for the economic performance of a city.
• Enclosed space for development: Our research revealed numerous place- or group-based arrangements such as design street fairs, career days for specific groups or job centres in neighbourhoods aiming at strengthening the economic performance of groups or areas. Quite often, arrangements targeting economic performance are also coupled with aspects of spatial urban planning such as using and/or regenerating vacant industrial sites. An example is the ‘Golden Drops of Fashion and Design’ in the city of Paris – an arrangement that seeks to cluster the garment and fashion industries of the historic immigrant neighbourhood of la Goutte d’or (Golden Drop) and aims at promoting a positive image and identity of the area.
• Free space for creativity: Several governance arrangements take a universal approach and implement projects targeted at certain groups or places, for instance hubs for creative industries or networks for start-ups. An example is the ‘Creative Factory’ in the city of Rotterdam – a public-private cooperation that supports young businesses active in the creative industries (e.g. architecture, consultancy, design, entertainment, music and media) and enables the growth of start-ups.

How is diversity conceptualised within the selected governance arrangements and initiatives? Within most investigated arrangements, the concept of diversity is used in a positive way and regarded as an asset and enrichment to society. The main dimension of diversity thereby pertains to ethnic and cultural aspects, and to the need to improve the social inclusion of minorities into society. Although most local governance arrangements understand diversification of the population as a positive feature, it should be noted that ethnicity and equality are still very sensitive topics: poverty, racism and discrimination are highlighted in many cases to emphasise the importance of recognising the vulnerabilities with respect to ethnic diversity of the population.
The approach of many small governance arrangements and initiatives clearly differs from the discourse related to public policies. While city policies often pursue a strategy of integration or assimilation, the analysed arrangements focus instead on interculturality – on cultural dialogue and spaces for interactions. They have a more pluralist and inclusive approach than city governments and sense the need to create spaces of encounter where people meet on equal footing and mutually learn from each other. While the complexity of diversity is not adequately mirrored and supported by public policies and bodies, local governance arrangements often do have an eye for the potential advantages of diversity. Their organisers and leaders are convinced that a diverse society comprises many non-financial resources to solve societal problems and to create societal opportunities.
With respect to hyper-diversity, several governance arrangements and initiatives are not only people- or place-based, but also focus on the huge diversification of the population in terms of lifestyles, attitudes and activities. Although the concept of hyper-diversity is seldom explicitly on the agenda, there are cases aiming at including all people in a certain neighbourhood rather than a specific target audience. They address people interested in a certain activity or lifestyle – for instance by means of the dramatic arts, sports or culture. A certain focus on hyper-diversity is perceivable in Toronto and London, where diversity has a broader meaning than ethnic diversity and most of the arrangements promote a pluralist conception of diversity. In London, however, local governance arrangements are premised on the belief that opportunities for community interaction are becoming more limited in a context of growing hyper-diversity. In a cosmopolitan and economically dynamic city there is a threat that social bonds and interactions are becoming more disconnected. Hence, these governance arrangements and initiatives aim at encouraging greater use of public spaces by different groups and are opposed to privatisation that impacts on the use of such public spaces.

What are the main factors influencing success or failure of the selected local governance arrangements and initiatives? The most crucial factors of success or failure are internal to the arrangements:
The high commitment and strong voluntary engagement of the persons working in the sampled governance arrangements seems key for the successful operation of these projects. They have shared objectives, common interests, and this allows participants to connect. Furthermore, if the arrangements’ leaders have strong personal and professional networks, the daily work, the fundraising and the handling of difficult situations are facilitated. It is often a challenge though for local governance arrangements to find volunteers who can perform complex and responsible tasks.
Regarding the programme and content of the investigated governance arrangements, most of them are oriented towards the actual needs of certain population groups. Arrangements are successful if they tackle current problems in everyday life and are able to act as bridge-builders between public policies and gaps in public services. They are flexible enough regarding their goals and programmes to meet shifting needs of the community and newly emerging problems and challenges.
With respect to the organisational structure of the governance arrangements, bottom-up structure, flat hierarchies, and consensual decision-making foster the identification with the project, dialogue and communication among the participants and strengthen their feeling of belonging and the commitment towards the objectives of the arrangement.
Another factor influencing the success of governance arrangements is their local base and ability to network. Cooperating with other organisations in the neighbourhood for instance broadens the opportunities to build on existing talents, to reach different target groups, and to learn by exchange. Preconditions to do so seem to be organisational stability and time resources. Furthermore, successful arrangements draw on extra-local networks and resources and spread their progressive ideas to other places and institutions. In order to receive public funding and political approval, organisational structures need to be flexible enough to enter partnerships with public institutions where decision-making is based on the hierarchic principle. If local governance arrangements are not able to handle such complex networks and are mainly based on voluntarism and individual enthusiasm, they will have difficulties to successfully implement their primary goals in the long term.
Spatial and locational factors are important as well: the physical location of an arrangement is key to reach the target audience. Governance arrangements and their activities need to be visible and accessible. Hence, it is in many cases an advantage if they have a central location in the neighbourhood. Some arrangements are defined by their location: using vacant urban plots, for instance by successfully mixing business and community spaces, by establishing a place to visit for local people and tourists and by providing spaces for start-ups, workshops, public events and exchanges between residents with diverse backgrounds and skills.

Besides these more internal factors affecting success or failure, there are crucial external factors that should be considered:
Stable internal structures, engagement and sustainable activities are no guarantee for success, especially where governments pursue inconsistent and shifting policy agendas. The ongoing shift from a pluralist approach to an agenda promoting integration and assimilation as well as the impacts of austerity and the shrinking of the welfare state open gaps for private actors and NGOs and give them a ‘raison d’être’.
On the other hand, the availability of public resources is crucial for the long-term existence of many governance arrangements and for maintaining the quality and continuity of the services. However, the significance of this factor varies across cities: in Warsaw and Paris for instance, the innovative character of arrangements is strongly based on the role of the city authorities, which provide institutional and financial schemes for cooperation and coordination. Whilst in most other cities, arrangements are far less influenced by public authorities or cannot expect much public support at all. Collectively, projects that exclusively rely on state funding are particularly vulnerable to change. Therefore a diversity of funding sources is a success factor. The charitable trust model in London – a form of trust established for charitable purposes and therefore exempt from most forms of tax – or examples of alternative resources derived from ‘commercial’ activities (e.g. rents, donations, incomes from services) can be mentioned as particularly innovative and successful.
In this context, there is often a contradiction between the advantages of voluntarism and flexibility, and the required formal structure and clear legal status in order to receive public funding. Thus, the division of the public administration often hampers systematic and sustainable support and funding of governance arrangements since they may not be assigned to a specific administrative unit. Also, different parts of a programme may need to rely on numerous governmental bodies for funding which undermines the addressing of needs through an integrated approach. Our research shows that public funds are often rather selective, isolated and not very sustainable, given the absence of a global, long-term policy regarding the implementation of measures and subsidies. However, there are examples where public administrative structures appear to be more flexible in dealing with the arrangements’ flat hierarchies. The Danish system for instance carries an innovative potential through an extensive collaboration between state, civil society and market.

Can we identify new ideas for innovative policies and governance concepts? As the analysis of the broad database shows, an important potential of the governance arrangements and initiatives investigated is the creation of effective programmes which adopt a bottom-up approach and proactively utilise the positive assets that exist within target groups. Through the involvement of key persons or direct participation of residents, the effectiveness and credibility of an arrangement may be considerably enhanced.
Unlike many public policies, small governance arrangements implement a tailor-made and personalised approach to address the diverse needs of a specific population group or a specific neighbourhood. By using case-specific, innovative and creative approaches, often combined with experimental and trial and error methods, they embrace the complexity of local conditions, individual requirements and societal problems in a manner that public authorities and policies are not able or restricted to do.
The arrangements’ added value is providing spaces of interaction and encounter where people meet on equal grounds without hierarchical structures. Creating spaces of interaction and encounter with a focus on activities may be more effective than traditional integration measures since people do not feel patronised. Thereby, the provision of visual events and spectacles involving music, art or theatre seem very promising, since they are accessible to a wide range of people as they do not require proficiency in the local language. Several innovative governance arrangements promote a modern ‘urban culture’ that accommodates different lifestyles. It attracts people from diverse ethnic origins and all layers of society. Such area-based cultural arrangements (e.g. festivals, dance workshops or song contests) help to construct an inclusive identity for the neighbourhood and contribute to new forms of local diversity, for instance, when residents with diverse backgrounds start new projects or develop new products.
Some governance arrangements and initiatives clearly demonstrate that interdepartmental and intersectional platforms or bodies could improve the efficiency of interventions by strengthening the cooperation with and between governmental and non-governmental actors. Community centres and/or professional coordinators can be highly important regarding the success of local governance arrangements as they function as an umbrella institution and facilitator providing support to the otherwise independent arrangements.


Policy-makers should show their appreciation of local initiatives
Local initiatives often fill important niches in public service provision and play a crucial role in enhancing social cohesion in the neighbourhood and transmitting a positive image of social diversity. Local policy-makers should therefore consider these initiatives as valuable governance input and provide appropriate support, so that the projects gain legitimisation and may broaden their social impact. Since politics and society highly profit from this voluntary engagement, policy agendas should be opened up for new bottom-up topics. Governments should support initiatives by acknowledging their importance for the community, by recognising the significance of and collaborating with the people who initiate and lead local initiatives and by giving them more responsibilities.

Allow space for bottom-up initiatives so they are not over-controlled and over-powered
Governmental strategies should consider the importance of open and consensual decision-making to better support initiatives dealing with diversity issues in European cities. This means that legislation should be flexible enough to support and to fund initiatives, which are less formally organised, have open and participative structures, and show problems to fulfil certain quantitative requirements. Local initiatives often experience tensions between their flexible approach and their reliance on volunteers and the formal and legal conditions required to receive funding. Policy-makers should therefore be careful when imposing their policy priorities and leave sufficient space for local actors to respond to local needs. Integrated and comprehensive social policies are required to ensure the continuity and effectiveness of these initiatives.

Implement a global approach cutting across different units of administration
Several local initiatives experience difficulties with financial contributions by public administrations since many projects may not be assigned to a specific administrative unit. Such arrangements are often situated at the interface of subjects such as integration, community work, culture, youth or sports, and therefore, the division of public administration sometimes hampers a reasonable use of funds. The administrative systems are often not geared to handle the hyper-diversifying city. Therefore, a system of intersectional cooperation covering all relevant administrative units is to be promoted instead of letting the initiatives compete for the same money – at least as long as the initiatives render services complementing rather than competing with each other. However, it is also crucial that the political level is part of this integrated approach and that the coordination happens as well among the elected politicians. Most departments do not want others to intervene in their affairs. So, without this political steering, it is hard to organise and fund ‘diversity’ across various departments. Governments should thereby clarify, whether local initiatives can play a crucial role in their overall strategy and whether they belong to long-term processes or not.

Offer platforms for exchange or forums of interaction
To be involved in diverse networks and to compete for political support and funding is time-consuming for local initiatives and requires specialised skills and professional know-how. This danger could be diminished, if public authorities offer platforms for exchange or forums of interaction and cooperation to interconnect these initiatives with different administrative units, experts or local entrepreneurs around the common targets of strengthening social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance. It would surely be helpful to set up such a dynamic and long-term framework in cities and neighbourhoods, which supports voluntary policy coordination and mutual learning and strengthens synergies and complementarities between different local activities. Although financial support is crucial for small initiatives, the non-material support enabled through such interaction structures – such as networking possibilities, legal and technical expertise, the provision of public space and logistical support – should not be underestimated.


WP 6 examined how diversity affects city dwellers in terms of social cohesion and social mobility, as well as the relation of city dwellers with diversity-related urban policies (the latter were analysed in WP4). The research team adopted a broad definition of “diversity”, including in this notion not only ethnicity, but also socio-economic inequality, culture and gender. Furthermore, research focused on diversity at the neighborhood level.
With regard to social cohesion, WP6 gave insight to the connections between diversity and various dimensions of social cohesion that are identified in the literature (e.g. attachment, social ties, trust, common values). With regard to social mobility, WP6 examined whether diversity affects the dynamics in the individual income and labour market position. Last, WP6 examined inhabitants’ awareness and evaluation of urban policies.
Research was conducted in the 14 cities of the project and comprised approx. 50 interviews per city. All research teams used a common questionnaire of 28 questions. Although emphasis was on diversity in the place of living, some information was also gathered on practices and representations of diversity associated to the places of work and leisure. We were thus able to compare the situation of the place of living and those of work and leisure, as well as to reconstitute the overall relation of urban diversity and social cohesion/social mobility in interviewees’ social life.

Examining the relationships between diversity and urban life at the neighborhood level, WP6 found, in general terms, that diversity has been ‘normalised’ in most urban contexts and has become a background element of everyday life. At the same time, however, specific social groups have become more diversity-conscious in both positive and negative ways. For some of them diversity may create urban spaces of tolerance and freedom, while others see increasing diversity as a factor in the disappearance of old ways of life. The research also shows that inhabitants remain mostly unaware of diversity-related policies that are implemented in their neighborhood. As such, there is a need for increasing visibility in relation to policies, and for connecting policies with inhabitants’ concerns and priorities.
An important preliminary remark is that inhabitants’ experience of diversity differs from one city to the other first of all because of differences in the nature of diversification and in the public policies that regulate diversity-related issues (immigration, gender relations, gentrification etc.). Diversity has not the same content in different cities. Ethnic diversity takes different characteristics depending on whether it stems from the colonial past (London, Paris), the imperial past (Istanbul, Tallinn), postwar guest worker policies (Rotterdam, Antwerp) and current globalisation-driven immigration (Milan, Athens, Copenhagen, Antwerp). In cities in strong welfare states, socio-economic diversity at the neighbourhood level is in part an outcome of housing policies fostering a social mix (Paris, Rot-terdam). In many cities socio-economic diversity is linked to intra-city housing mobility and gentrification processes (Paris, London, Milan, Warsaw, Budapest, Athens, Tallinn, Antwerp). In Istanbul socio-economic and ethnic diversity is also connected to current internal migration from rural to urban areas. In a shrinking city like Leipzig, the presence of an ageing population significantly dif-ferentiates the demographic composition of neighborhoods. Diversity-related policies also differ, with main directions as different as those of multiculturalism, neo-assimilationism and emphasis on social mix. Other policies related to urban issues (i.e. allocation of rented dwellings, urban regeneration programmes that favour gentrification etc.) affect inhabitants’ experience of diversity as well.
Bearing this remark in mind, we can codify the findings of WP6 in six points:

Although diversity affects the life of residents, they do not prioritise “diversity” in their daily discourses and practices. Besides the term “diversity” itself is hardly translated in other European languages. Urban diversity in its different forms (ethnic, socio-economic, gender etc.) results as a side effect of individuals’ choices and collective practices. For example, individuals choose to live in our research areas for reasons that include the availability and the affordability of dwellings, good location and access to transport, the vicinity to family and friends, etc. Diversity occupies a secondary place in their motives for moving to the area. Thus ethnic, socio-economic, cultural etc. diversity comes as a non-planned result of many individual choices which follow their own logic.
This trend entails that people often experience diversity in a ‘natural’ way through everyday practices. Public spaces in the neighbourhood (parks, playgrounds, squares, etc.) and networks among families whose children go to the same school are very important from this perspective as they bring people from different backgrounds together. These everyday practices constitute a framework for socialisation in diversity for young persons.
At the same time, the experience of diversity is often rather superficial. Everyday practices bring together diverse people, but they do not necessarily mix with each other. Diverse people share public spaces like parks and playgrounds but social interactions tend to be contained to among friends and members of the family. Everyday practices and public spaces do not seem to contribute to the creation of meaningful encounters and bonds between the individuals of different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds who live in the same neighbourhood. Community centres constitute an important exception, hosting more substantial interaction among neighbours.
While for most people diversity tends to operate as a background element of urban life, for some categories of individuals diversity is a more ‘organic’ part of their social trajectory. Persons who have grown up in diverse neighbourhoods take diversity for granted and tend to have more diverse social networks which are created in the school and in local public spaces.
In many cities, low-income individuals tend to have more ethnically diverse networks than the middle classes. This is mainly the result of low-income individuals having a larger dependency on the social life of the neighbourhood. The middle classes maintain city-wide and homogeneous ethnic and social networks (largely connected to their job environments). Lower class people tend to depend upon solidarity at the level of the neighbourhood. When the neighbourhood is a diverse area, lower class peoples’ local networks tend to be diverse.
From this point of view, diversity contributes to social cohesion of specific categories of population. While generally people tend to maintain social networks with people with similar characteristics (ethnicity, income, religion etc.), for people who have particular ties with diverse neighbourhoods diversity can be easily incorporated in relations of trust and mutual support.

Diversity is seen as a cultural and/or aesthetic value. Some inhabitants, mainly young and highly educated persons, appreciate diversity as an asset of their neighbourhood. They see it as an element of cosmopolitanism or “Europeanness” and they are proud that they live in such a neighbourhood. For these individuals diversity is a pull factor to move to the neighbourhood. However, these inhabitants do not necessarily maintain diverse social networks. They mostly appropriate diversity through commodified services and products (ethnic restaurants and bars, ethnic grocery stores, etc.). From this point of view they ‘consume’ diversity passively rather than actively through the creation of diverse social relationships.

Diversity is often greatly appreciated by groups which are threatened by social exclusion (minority ethnic groups, homosexuals). These groups may prefer to live in diversified neighbourhoods because diversity frees them from multiple pressures. On the one hand, they escape from stigmatisation by dominant groups, while on the other hand, diversity protects them from excessive social control from within their own group (for instance, from social control of an ethnic community). Diverse neighbourhoods emerge then as spaces of tolerance where people may experience a sense of freedom as they are not required to follow a strict normative standard, whether of the dominant group or of a minority group.

Skepticism against diversity often concerns the limits of diversity. People may appreciate what they perceive as an equilibrated mix. ‘Too much’ diversity (for instance the presence of many immigrants) may be considered as a negative element of neighbourhood life. This skepticism expresses tensions between social groups and mainly takes the following forms: a. International in-migrants often appreciate ethnic diversity as long as there is not one ethnic group that dominates. They are not concerned about being in a minority group in an area since there is no another ethnic group having a majority position, b. Ethnic diversity may be seen as the cause of the downgrading of the neighbourhood (in terms of housing prices, urban environment, etc.). This stereotype may be part of discrimination, or even openly racist discourses, by native residents, c. Long-term inhabitants may complain that the presence of too many in-migrants in the neighbourhood (relatively poor immigrants) or affluent middle class people (in gentrified areas) affect the old local way of life and social cohesion negatively, d. ‘Too much’ ethnic diversity is often seen as a negative condition for the good functioning of schools. Parents, without being necessarily hostile to immigrants, consider that if the ‘percentage of native students in the school population falls too much then the quality of education provided is reduced, e. Long-term inhabitants and low-income individuals may complain about ‘gentrifiers’ because their in-migration in the area leads to inaccessible housing and amenities (such as expensive coffee shops, butchers, bakers and even supermarkets).

Our research did not reveal a strong relation between diversity and social mobility. However, it showed that diversity does affect professional trajectories in some non-negligible ways:
Diverse and deprived neighbourhoods may facilitate social groups with weak economic resources (low-income in-migrants, young creative people) when they enter the labour market by supplying them affordable housing which allows them to save money. Furthermore, local social networks may help members of the lower classes to find a job either indirectly, by providing them information, or, less often, directly by providing an occupation within the neighbourhood (while middle classes tend to find a job through formal ways and through their citywide social networks).
Diverse and deprived neighbourhoods may also affect social mobility in a negative way. In some of our research cities, interviewees stressed that the bad reputation of their neighbourhood stigmatises them when they are looking for a job. Residents blame local governments and the press for creating such a stigma.

A surprisingly common finding in almost all of our research cities is that inhabitants are not aware of the policies which are implemented in their neighbourhood (urban regeneration projects, initiatives fostering multiculturalism, etc.). They have a rather vague idea of municipal action and are not in a position to evaluate it. Similarly, the participation in local associations of any kind is minimal as a result of the general alienation from politics (Tallinn) or traditions of a weak civil society (Athens). In these general trends there are three exceptions: firstly, people are aware and appreciate festive events (e.g. festivals) which are visible and attractive. Secondly, social activists and members of local associations are usually better informed of local policies than other residents. Members of local associations may be old inhabitants, who are very much tied to their neighbourhood, or ‘gentrifiers’ who expect the upgrading of the area. Immigrants participate only rarely in associations. Lastly, there are cities with a tradition of civic participation where local associations involve a significant part of neighbourhood inhabitants (Zurich, Paris, Copenhagen).


WP7 aimed to define the relations between diversity and entrepreneurship and presents evidence on connections between entrepreneurship, diversity and economic performance, and the role of entrepreneurship in social cohesion. In this work package, we have focused on the economic performance of enterprises, but also at conditions that make this success happen. We especially wanted to find out if there is a relation between urban diversity and the success of entrepreneurs. More specifically, we wanted to define why some neighbourhoods provide conditions for individuals or groups to liberate their creative forces and enhance their economic performance. In this respect, we examined first, why and which entrepreneurs start their businesses in diversified neighbourhoods and what are the factors that define their economic performance. Second, we evaluated the motivations and market conditions that are important for the economic performance of entrepreneurs. Third, we explored the role of policies and measures at different levels and the institutionalisation of such policies.

In the beginning of the research, firstly, in each city in-depth interviewees with the key economic actors of the city and neighbourhoods are conducted to get information on the changing dynamics of entrepreneurship and defining the existing composition of enterprises, since official statistics were not available in most of the cities. Following interviewing with key informants, 40 in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs engaged in different types of businesses are completed, which are expected to reflect the diverse entrepreneurship patterns in the case study neighbourhoods. In selecting and approaching interviewees, some of the key informants enabled the researchers to get into contact with possible respondents. In total, 560 interviews are completed. A common interview schedule is used by all teams from different cities and countries.

The studies on entrepreneurship in diversified neighbourhoods in Work package 7 have important findings as can be summarised as below:

There is a strong degree of entrepreneurialism in diverse and deprived neighbourhoods. In recent years, diverse and deprived neighbourhoods have been attracting new businesses leading to an increased diversity of entrepreneurship in these areas. They represent not only booming creative industries but also other types of new enterprises. Through the fieldwork, it was possible to observe increasing numbers of new types of entrepreneurs, such as social, professional, cultural and senior entrepreneurs, besides other types of entrepreneurs. Fieldwork in post-socialist cities showed a dualistic nature of entrepreneurship with clear differences between older, traditional small firms and newer ones, which aim to answer new market needs and new customers. Firms belonging to the first group are mainly shopkeepers who are mostly elderly and who fight steadily for survival. Recently set-up businesses tend to supply to the young middle-class arriving at the area, tourists and another well off brackets of the population. Creative enterprises are noticeable in the most gentrified areas; they avoid mainstream business models and try hard to distinguish their enterprises from others. In Southern European cities, where the number of employees and the added value produced by micro enterprises is high, the economic crisis of 2008 brought negative outcomes. While some of the micro enterprises had to close their doors, others used of a certain degree of informality in order to cope with negative market conditions. However, this doesn't mean not new types of enterprises are emerging in the last few years; especially creative, cultural and social enterprises, besides enterprises initiated for the formalization of a personal interest, or a complementary income on top of other personal or family revenues. New forms of entrepreneurship are more evident in Western European cities, which results from commercial gentrification and the emergence of new forms of services. The growing visibility of niche products (e.g. design stores, biodynamic beverages or food) and consumption practices (e.g. trendy coffee shops and restaurants) are also the outcomes of new types of entrepreneurship, which contributes to the transformation and commercial gentrification in diverse and deprived neighbourhoods. The main change in the composition of enterprises is due to the increasing number of creative enterprises, which are initiated by different types of entrepreneurs, including the ones that turned their hobbies into enterprises.

Ethnic entrepreneurship, however, is still important in almost all neighbourhoods. Apart from many examples confirming the conventional view that ethnic entrepreneurs predominantly work in low-end sectors such as retail, pubs and restaurants, we also found highly skilled ethnic entrepreneurs working in health care, judicial and financial services as well as in creative fields. However, creative people are predominantly native entrepreneurs or immigrants coming from other EU countries. Based on the findings of the fieldwork, it is possible to say that while limited opportunities available for ethnic entrepreneurs and push factors were important in choosing the line of activity in old businesses, although recently they are motivated by pull factors and try to use opportunities that they can exploit in changing market conditions. Therefore, some of them with an ethnic background do not see themselves as ethnic entrepreneurs, since they do not only serve ethnic products for ethnic clients but have customers, who belong to different backgrounds. However, this trend should not overshadow the disadvantaged position of many immigrant enterprises struggling for survival.

THE DIFFERING ROLES OF NEIGHBOURHOOD DIVERSITY FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENTERPRISES FOR STARTING A BUSINESS Only a few entrepreneurs deliberately settled in diverse and deprived neighbourhoods. In the research, we did not find clear evidence that the enterprises directly seek to locate their businesses in diverse neighbourhoods, at least not because of the diversity per se. In relation to the motivations for choosing the location of their business, the immigrant/ethnic entrepreneurs mentioned the proximity to potential customers, other businesses and their homes. Ethnic entrepreneurs tended to start businesses where there were high concentrations of co-ethnic residents and where networks form among ethnic groups. Besides ethnic entrepreneurs, others were attracted to these neighbourhoods because they are home to a wide range of social groups in terms of lifestyle, race, ethnicity, culture or income, to which they can cater their products and services. If diversity is not the main concern, what are the important factors when choosing to locate to one of these neighbourhoods? The answer is almost the same in all cases: the availability of new and/or relatively affordable physical space for their businesses provides many opportunities for different types of entrepreneurs in relation to relatively low property prices and rents, and diversified markets due to its mixed population. Location plays an important role. The provision of good public transport and a central location of the area at the metropolitan scale are important pull factors.

There are considerable differences in the economic performance of enterprises; the ones struggling to survive and the ones quite successful. There is a clear difference between two groups of enterprises in terms of their performance in general, and profitability in particular: new and/or creative enterprises were doing well while small businesses serving local residents in traditional sectors maintained low-level profitability. Small enterprises (retailers, pub and restaurant owners), had the most complaints concerning financial hardships, while highly skilled entrepreneurs in the new service and creative sectors were more positive about their economic performance. In general, the businesses that perform best do not rely on the neighbourhood for their customers, and therefore do not capitalise on local diversity. Some of the enterprises see their businesses as part of a wider, thriving and diverse urban economy. This is especially true for creative enterprises, as they do not sell everyday products and services. These companies have significantly larger catchment areas than other enterprises and they are more dependent on economic trends. In some cases, entrepreneurs in creative industries were attracted to the vibrant atmosphere that local diversity brings to the neighbourhood.

Changing market conditions are decisive factors in the performance of enterprises. Weaker economic performance within the sector of crafts and handicrafts and small-scale retail is the result of new consumption patterns and changes in customers’ tastes and lifestyles. Enterprises in poor neighbourhoods face the additional problem of operating with a customer based with low purchasing power. When addressing a local clientele, businesses in these neighbourhoods need to offer low prices for products they sell to synchronise with the limited income of residents and have low rates of profit. In order to change their economic performance, several enterprises followed different strategies. Firstly, some ethnic entrepreneurs, who started their businesses in response to the needs of their ethnic community improved their economic performance by opening their niche business to a broader market of diverse customers in the neighbourhood. Secondly, several businesses in diverse neighbourhoods, especially the ones located in and near the city centres, provided services that attracted not only local clientele but also customers from other parts of the city. Having multiple customer groups makes their business more resilient to economic fluctuations.

Regeneration projects and the processes of gentrification have different impacts on entrepreneurship and neighbourhood diversity. Several entrepreneurs reported that their firms had benefited from an increase in their customer base, new and wealthier clients and the changing image of the neighbourhoods as a consequence of wider gentrification processes. They consider that the recent immigration focused on highly skilled labour, the rising relevance of the creative class and ongoing gentrification mutually reinforce each other. Others were certain that regeneration and gentrification processes were rapidly increasing housing and business costs as well as being responsible for changes in built-up areas and the social composition of residents. The general idea is that gentrification usually weakens the position of small enterprises, which along with the falling number of older, long-standing residents would see a loss of their traditional customers, who move to other neighbourhoods due to increasing property values and premises. Similarly, most of the migrant entrepreneurs faced difficulties in sustaining their activities following the gentrification process, since their customers are often forced to move to the suburbs.

Small enterprises (retailers, pub and restaurant owners) fulfil important social functions in deprived neighbourhoods, although the low purchasing power of local customers creates difficult conditions for small retail and service companies. The findings show that they play an important role in the neighbourhood in several ways. They offer affordable and specialised goods and services that cater for the needs of the local population, they provide employment for people disadvantaged people seeking for jobs. In some cities, they also create demand for a high proportion of the commercial buildings that are already vacant. In many deprived neighbourhoods, they also function as spaces of interaction, which is important for increasing social cohesion. Differently, along with the absence of a diverse, locally embedded networks of creative industries, we discovered that their contribution to these neighbourhoods is limited. The findings show that business owners who include cultural, creative and social enterprise frontrunners, mostly do not reside in the neighbourhoods where they are located. Moreover, existing job seekers in the neighbourhood are not qualified for jobs generated by these types of enterprises. Their existence is, however, important to create a new image of the deprived neighbourhoods and attract new customer groups, which has spillover effects on other businesses and further employment generation.

Institutional support by local and central governments and existing measures have a low impact on both new start-ups and the performance of existing enterprises. Entrepreneurs know relatively little about local and national-level business initiatives and EU policies. Scepticism regarding local authority’s plans for existing businesses was commonplace among many of the entrepreneurs with ethnic minority backgrounds and those firms who had been blighted by regeneration. In general, the research findings show that local, citywide and national government policies do not aim to use diversity as an asset or to foster the diversity of entrepreneurs, except a few examples. At the same time, some of the policies indirectly support the production of economic inequalities and diversity can be seriously eroded if the local business climate is not supportive of small enterprises.

In relation to policies and measures, there is a clear distinction between small and medium-sized businesses and creative and new enterprises. Small and medium-sized businesses, particularly those with local clientele, often feel unappreciated, and sometimes even worked against or discriminated by, regulatory institutions. Public policy was perceived to be becoming increasingly hostile towards small firms, especially in recent years with the expansion of austerity-related cut-backs in many cities. On the other hand, creative enterprises are more positive in their perceptions of central and local policies. Small start-up enterprises run by highly educated entrepreneurs can receive substantial attention and support as is observed in the Rotterdam case. While many entrepreneurs do not evaluate the central and local policies positively, they are also quite sceptical to different types of NGOs, especially to business associations. In all cases, it is surprising to observe how entrepreneurs unanimously express a wish for better recognition by institutions for their positive contribution to local social and economic life.

These findings enabled us to define policy implications and provide recommendations. First, there is a need for the change in the governance of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are calling for a more open and inviting approach in which public sector actors take on a catalyst role towards entrepreneurship. According to findings, an increased provision of moral support towards small and medium-sized entrepreneurs is important. The entrepreneurs feel that there is a lack of moral support from the public sector, and at times, even negative attitudes are encountered towards concrete activities even though the general public narrative favours entrepreneurship and innovation. Better recognition of local level needs and a more comprehensive streamlining of bureaucratic and administrative processes are important. The top-down mentality of public institutions is questionable and should be adjusted towards a better recognition of local needs. Local governments should be able to reduce legal complexities and remove structural barriers for entrepreneurs. It is essential to define customised and tailor-made policies. The standardised implementation of regulations may have a negative impact on these entrepreneurs, as many are in a vulnerable economic position. In order to sustain different types of entrepreneurship in deprived areas, more support with customised and tailor-made measures are required to accommodate the highly diverse backgrounds, abilities, experiences and knowledge of the entrepreneurs. Increasing awareness on existing policies by information dissemination and improvement of communication between public officials and entrepreneurs should be achieved. Organising and improving dialogue between entrepreneurs, business organisations and other institutions can help to find practical solutions. In this respect, local business organisations and organisations with intermediary roles need more structural support from local governments. Strengthening intermediary organisations, such as training bureaus, consultancies and business associations can be a useful way to reach entrepreneurs.

Second, measures to promote entrepreneurship should be revised substantially. rather than remediating the deficiencies of entrepreneurs, more emphasis should be put on creating better economic opportunities. For many entrepreneurs, particularly those from diverse backgrounds, the provision of high quality, targeted and bespoke direct support is of enormous value. The provision of expert help, specifically training and mentoring, for entrepreneurs to assist them with general business advice on finance, the planning system, taxes and regulations, becoming an employer, and business growth models are essential. This requires funded programmes that ensure that the right types of training and advice are available, particularly for entrepreneurs from ethnically diverse backgrounds. Moreover, redesigning financial support measures to disadvantaged enterprises are important since entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds often face difficulties accessing finance in the private sector and this can act as a major barrier to their development plans and projects. Financial support can also be important to those firms looking to expand and take on new employees or move into new markets and limited attention to small enterprises should be changed. Large-sized businesses, creative and high-skilled enterprises are often perceived as more important and receive more attention and support. Some local governments pay little attention to small and medium-sized businesses in non-priority sectors in disadvantaged urban areas, as well as traditional businesses serving the needs of local, less affluent people. The limited attention to the latter group makes these enterprises feel excluded and undervalued. They need specific measures to continue their important functions, including different direct and indirect financial support schemes.

Third, local policies should be refined. Many entrepreneurs complain that their neighbourhoods are associated with poverty, crime and social problems, which present a negative image. Next to measures against crime, drugs, waste and other nuisances, new events and activities can successfully attract people from all over the city to the neighbourhoods, and therefore create a better image of the area. There is a need for local authorities to increase the quality of local services and the provision of business premises. New spaces or the maintenance of existing commercial properties for businesses is important to allow entrepreneurs to develop their businesses from the start-up phase through to maturity. Public resources for the creation of ‘incubator spaces’ for start-up businesses, the offering of reduced rents and guaranteeing the availability of affordable and appropriate premises for firms to expand would be required. Moreover, reconsidering regenerating and renewal policies and zoning regulations is a must. Effective zoning and planning policy measures are necessary in order to serve the individual and collective needs of entrepreneurs. The impacts of regeneration and renewal policies on small and disadvantaged businesses and on the vitality of street life should be taken into consideration. Many examples show that regeneration and renewal policies equate to the gentrification of neighbourhoods, which urge many immigrant enterprises and small businesses to leave their community.


WP8 focused on what policymakers and civil society representatives who are active on different levels (European, national, urban, neighbourhood), and are working in often very different contexts, can learn from the results of the DIVERCITIES project research on urban diversities.
WP8 is based on a cross-evaluation exercise, which was set up as a dialogue and mutual learning process between DIVERCITIES scholars and policymakers, civil society representatives and experts from a range of cities and countries. A cross-evaluation workshop brought together a broad array of expertise and knowledge, with the academic research results providing the basis for discussion. The cross-evaluation compares and discusses findings from different neighbourhoods and cities in order to learn about tailor-made arrangements that have an eye for hyper-diverse cities and communities in Europe. The cross-evaluation addressed three related themes:

One of the critical lessons is that more awareness of, and insight in, neighbourhood level diversity is necessary to inform public policymaking and social action. A dynamic knowledge base on the diversity of neighbourhood populations and their differing needs and habits, drawing on scientific research as well as hands-on practical experience, is a pre-condition to govern urban diversity in a positive way.
The reasons that motivate people to live in a diverse neighbourhood is one example of where public policies may be ill-informed. Following popular writings on the creative city, the ethnic and cultural diversity of the population is often identified and promoted as a factor that makes cities an attractive location for creative professionals to work and live in. The gentrification of neighbourhoods is also frequently explained on the basis of the lifestyle preferences of new urban middle classes, which are said to be more tolerant towards ethnic and cultural differences and often actively seek to live and spend time in places where these differences can be experienced. However, our research shows that housing prices and location, rather than cultural diversity, are the main reasons why most people choose to live in diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods, even for groups that are associated with the creative class profile such as artists, students and young creative professionals. Policymakers should therefore not work with a general expectation that diversity is an important factor of attraction for these neighbourhoods and focus on the affordability of housing and accessibility instead. However, as the presence of diversity may be a factor that stops people from moving to diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods, policy arrangements and actions that present diversity as an asset are required, for example, the promotion of multicultural shopping streets, cultural festivals, and publishing stories about living in diversity that generate local pride.
Of all places found in diverse neighbourhoods, it is in schools that diversity is most frequently seen as threatening. Schools are highly meaningful, and often contested, sites to neighbourhood residents, mainly because they involve children and constitute the most important channel for social mobility and social reproduction. Although schools may provide opportunities for sustained encounters between children and parents from widely different backgrounds, people also fear that diversity in schools may affect the future life chances of their children. However, it is important to note that school choice is as much, or even more, about socio-economic status than about ethnic background as middle-class migrants often also send their children to schools with a lower percentage of migrant children.
One of the threats to social cohesion is the negative perception of the neighbourhood. Negative images of these neighbourhoods are mostly spread by outsiders and often do not match the experiences of the residents of these neighbourhoods themselves. Policymakers and civil society organisations are advised to act against territorial stigma because they have an impact on the life chances of the inhabitants of a neighbourhood regardless of their individual characteristics, and may fracture the social cohesion of a neighbourhood as inhabitants attempt to blame other (groups of) residents for the stigma of the neighbourhood. To improve the capacity of the neighbourhood population to speak for itself and to counter negative images of the neighbourhood, policymakers and civil society organisations should support attempts by residents to influence media coverage of the neighbourhood, to invite well-known and well-regarded people (for example. members of the royal family, writers, high-level politicians) and to attract corporate headquarters to the neighbourhood. To (re)build trust between the residents in stigmatized neighbourhoods, policymakers and civil society organisations should avoid the deployment of stigmatizing language and images about neighbourhoods and use a more positive framing. Policymakers should be aware that (de)investing in the neighbourhood is interpreted as (de)valuing the neighbourhood and its residents. Investing in the refurbishment of public space (planting trees and flowers, installing benches) may contribute to local pride and trust among inhabitants of diverse neighbourhoods, while a lack of investment in the neighbourhood’s infrastructure (closing down neighbourhood centres or public transport lines) and public spaces have the opposite effect.
Neighbourhood representatives may also play a very important role in creating a more positive view of the neighbourhood. Policymakers should support them with training programs, logistical support and even financial support if they are living in a precarious position. Although these representatives can never represent the whole community, they do have the power to open doors, represent people in their attempts to improve their living conditions and position in society, or support residents in their collaboration with other groups and/or with policymakers. However, since working with neighbourhood and community representatives may strengthen the social control of elites over all members of minority groups, policymakers and civil society organisations are advised to use this only as a transitional strategy. When minorities and communities become fully socially integrated in society, working with community representatives is less necessary.

Overall, living in diversity-rich areas is easier when everyone has access to basic social services and welfare. This requires governments to invest in a universally accessible social infrastructure already present in the neighbourhood. When neighbourhoods are treated equally in terms of service provision, relationships of trust within the neighbourhood as well as with the city council are enhanced and living in diversity-rich areas becomes easier. Fears over gentrification are a case in point. Although the inflow of new urban middle classes is positively assessed by some neighbours as it may improve the neighbourhood image, it also invokes fears of higher housing prices, overcrowded services and the marginalisation of established lifestyles and activities. This concern is, however, much less when access to housing for low-income groups is protected. In the case of gentrification, policymakers should invest in equal access to basic social services and not just focus on intercultural tensions or the behaviour of people in poverty.

As far as the perception and approaches of diversity by policymakers and civil society actors are concerned, there are two important policy suggestions: (1) coherent and integrated diversity policies should be organised in such a way that there is a good division of roles between different layers of governments and civil society actors; and (2) initiatives should be taken to organise and strengthen communication channels and mutual trust between different partners.

Local initiatives that are concerned with urban diversity often work at the intersection of various policy domains, such as integration, culture, youth, sports and economic policies. As local governments organise their contacts with other actors and their funding instruments mainly according to policy sectors, local initiatives often encounter difficulties when contacting local governments and applying for funding. Local governments should take responsibility for the issue of urban diversity and engage in coordination of the relevant local initiatives. They should also try to minimise bureaucratic fragmentation and simplify procedures when it comes to contacting local administration and applying for support.
Governments on various levels can support local diversity initiatives in a variety of ways. Although direct funding is seen as the most efficient form of support, the provision of attractive public space, logistical support, funding and supporting supra-local networks, and the availability of legal frameworks that enable the activities of local organisations, is also very important. Providing systematic regulatory frameworks, as well as data, research and analysis on immigration and diversity issues is one of the main strengths of national governments. The strength of city councils has more to do with their ‘local knowledge’ and their ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The EU, together with umbrella organisations, can play an important role by empowering and scaling up local bottom-up diversity initiatives through funding and supporting networking activities.
It is important to guard the independence of local initiatives from (different levels of) government. We have already explained how government support is often necessary for bottom-up initiatives to sustain themselves, but we should not ignore how government involvement may also create a situation in which bottom-up initiatives can no longer speak on equal terms with government organisations. Policymakers should be careful when imposing strict policy priorities and leave sufficient space for local actors to develop their own approach and to respond to local needs. Still, the importance of government support is highlighted in the experiences from countries in which civil society initiatives are increasingly asked to be self-supportive, or to receive fewer resources to carry out the same tasks.
We advise both policymakers and civil society representatives to engage in mutual learning. Policymakers can learn about the positive potential of diversity from the wide variety of approaches of diversity explored by bottom-up initiatives, for example, language conversation groups, urban youth culture initiatives and ethno-marketing companies. Additionally, these initiatives can teach how to build bridges with various sections of the local community. Bottom-up initiatives may learn from top-down policies about the conditions that are required to make living with diversity beneficial (for example, integration courses and language requirements).
Aside from how diversity policies are organised, the existence of strong communication channels between the diverse actors involved in the governance of urban diversity is crucial. As different actors have their own agendas and approaches towards initiatives, there is a clear need to structure the dialogue between civil society organisations, government and local populations in a transparent way. City administrations must explain their policy goals and approaches towards diversity clearly and should take an active role in establishing contact and communication channels with all actors involved. The establishment of trust between policymakers, civil society actors and the various constituencies of the local community is highly important in enabling effective communication and dialogue about diversity policies. Creating relationships of trust is possible in a variety of ways, including the identification of gatekeepers and the integration of members of various communities in the city administration, for example, through positive discrimination or outreach campaigns targeting specific groups.

Policymakers and civil society organisations should especially build trust and communicate more with residents of disadvantaged and diverse neighbourhoods about what they are doing in the neighbourhood. We observe a clear disconnection between large parts of the population of diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods with the urban public institutions and policymakers that are officially governing these neighbourhoods. The increasingly diverse and rapidly changing population in these neighbourhoods challenges public institutions and policymakers in establishing effective contact and communication and building solid relationships with the diverse constituencies in the neighbourhood. This leads to a situation in which information about the policies and interventions of urban policymakers and public institutions does not reach significant parts of the neighbourhood population.

Attempts to generate trust at the local level may be severely undermined by negative national political discourses on diversity. This creates distrust towards public institutions and policymakers at the local level, which makes it more difficult to establish contact. In neighbourhoods where a lot of segregation and distrust between residents exists, establishing trust between different groups in the neighbourhood may be a pre-condition for establishing trust in policy.

One broadly shared observation is that many local policies have a one-sided focus on the highly-skilled, creative or innovative enterprises and disregard the many ‘non-innovative’ immigrant enterprises, which are often struggling to make ends meet. These numerous local enterprises includes small retailers, pubs and restaurants who play an important role in diverse neighbourhoods by providing affordable and specialised goods and services as well as employment opportunities for disadvantaged people, but they often feel underappreciated by governments. Policymakers are advised to develop policies that support all kinds of entrepreneurship in diverse neighbourhoods, perhaps with extra attention and support for those enterprises that are important sources of income for vulnerable families and/or have an important social role in the neighbourhood.

This can be done, for example, in the context of urban regeneration plans for deprived neighbourhoods. The inflow of creative entrepreneurs often leads to gentrification, resulting in higher costs of housing and living with original residents and small and migrant businesses being pushed out of the neighbourhood. Policymakers should recognise the displacement of these business as a problem and policy priority. They should develop policies to prevent their displacement (for example, by maintaining a stock of smaller and cheap business spaces, and support local business associations).

Smaller enterprises feel the impact of taxation and regulation more than larger enterprises and therefore expect more from local government in terms of the provision of legal and general advice, the organisation of ‘single points of contact’ and the fostering of connections with them. For example, migrant entrepreneurs often experience problems accessing finance. Micro-credit and financial advice are important to them, especially in the start-up phase. Local governments can also promote and support intermediary local organisations, such as training bureaus, consultancies and business associations to strengthen migrant entrepreneurs. Many small entrepreneurs also call for taxation regimes that differentiate between large and small enterprises and thus make small businesses more viable.

Migrant entrepreneurs in small business often lack trust in public institutions, banks and other formal organisations. This results in a lack of knowledge of governmental support programmes. Therefore policymakers should pay special attention to generating trust with, and creating accessibility for, migrant entrepreneurs. Policymakers can do this by investing in solid communication channels, minimising bureaucratic procedures and developing outreach initiatives. In order to avoid dependence on public institutions or banks, migrant entrepreneurs often lend resources from friends and family. There are ways to counter this, for example, by setting up micro-credit agencies, employing migrant employees to gain the trust of migrant entrepreneurs or replacing the filling in of administrative forms with oral interviews (and having a functionary complete forms on the basis of that). The same problems exist for business organisations. A more proactive approach to involve migrant entrepreneurs in business associations is necessary, one which also requires them to be more sensitive towards diversity, for example, when organising activities around festivities. Another strategy can be to ‘deformalise’ business associations (by appointing buddies for new members, developing outreach strategies and lowering formal entry barriers such as membership fees) so that asking advice from these associations feels more like asking advice from a friend.

As for the impact of diversity on social mobility, little evidence was found that diversity supports social mobility and out-of-poverty trajectories in diverse and disadvantaged neighbourhoods. When developing anti-poverty strategies, policymakers are advised to prioritise direct investments in people living in poverty (education, job creation, etc.) over policies that aim to create a higher residential social mix. Recognising migrant entrepreneurship as a valuable and often necessary source of income for migrants and newcomers, and highlighting the social role their businesses often play (in terms of access to information, social networks and informal mobility ladders) should not distract from the actual reality that, for many migrants, entrepreneurship is a survival strategy and in itself will not solve structural labour market problems. Policymakers should therefore, in no way see entrepreneurship policies as a replacement for inclusive labour market policies. Policymakers should focus on fighting discrimination in the labour market, the creation of jobs for the low-skilled and provide more flexibility in the recognition of foreign degrees.

By the end of the cross-evaluation seminars, the participants of the seminars were asked to give their opinion about the seminar. They told us to what extent they have profited from the seminar, especially with respect to the acquisition of new knowledge, and which specific policy innovation(s) they got to know as new and inspiring for their own practice.
In general, it was said that the combination of short plenary lectures with Divercities research results and round table discussions during which statements with the policy implications of the research were discussed worked really inspiring. The input from the researchers was experienced as giving focus to the discussion while the small group discussions left enough room for people to bring in their own insights. It gave the participants an idea of the overall tendencies in governing urban diversity in European cities as well as a sense of the variety of problems, practices and strategies in different contexts.
There was also a lot of data available on all aspects of urban diversity. The research material presented to the participants of the cross evaluation conference was based on intensive qualitative research in specific urban and neighbourhood contexts, but carried out in so many different cities and neighbourhoods that the participants really got an overview of how urban diversity is governed in European cities. The combination of highly contextualized research findings across a wide variety of cases was really enlightening and triggered many insights from the participants.

Also the researchers involved in the cross-evaluation seminars indicated what they have learned from the seminars and especially from the stakeholders present. The researchers stated that they heard a lot about good practices of governing urban diversity in specific neighbourhoods and cities. They learned as much from the informal discussions with the stakeholders and other participants during the breaks and meals as from the seminars and presentations of the Divercities researchers. The participants came from a wide variety of national and ethnocultural backgrounds, from policy-making as well as civil society circles, from small frontline organisations as well as large international NGO's and this was experienced as really enriching the debates.


Fincher, R. and K. Iveson (2008), Planning and Diversity in the City: Redistribution, Recognition and Encounter. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kymlicka, W. (2010), The rise and fall of multiculturalism? New debates on inclusion and accommodation in diverse societies. International Social Science Journal, 61 (199), pp. 97-112.
Tasan-Kok, T., van Kempen, R., Raco, M., & Bolt, G. (2014). Towards Hyper-Diversified European Cities. A Critical Literature Review. Utrecht: Faculty of Geosciences.

Potential Impact:
Our Communication Work Package (WP2) consisted of 8 tasks:

Our website was created in 2013, but was renewed in 2016 to make it more attractive for a broader public and to make it more suitable for mobile devices. The website functions as a focal point for communicating with our researchers, with internal and external stake¬holders, as well as with the general public. It provides general information about the project, our partners, researchers and research areas and allows visitors to access our latest reports and publications, information regarding our events and dissemination activities, and videos of our Master Classes. Until now, we had 56 thousand visits to our website (140 thousand page views). The average monthly number of unique visitors of our website has risen from 151 in 2013 to 1508 in 2017. The average monthly number of sessions rose van 297 (1315 page views) in 2013 to 2243 (5337 page views) in 2017.

The intranet (accessible to our partners and Policy Platform members via secure login) is used as a very effective way of communication within the consortium. Areas on the intranet include a file sharing area (similar to Dropbox) and a social network platform where researchers can engage in online discussions and share information and documents.

Over the past year we have continuously been working on the development of the website. This has been a response to a change in Google’s policy in April 2015, which favours responsive websites in search results. The redeveloped site is responsive and viewable on smart phones and tablets.

The redeveloped site has more focus on the case studies, have a clearer look with easier navigation. There were dedicated sections for the Final conference, publications and a blog to help promote our research widely.

A colour leaflet was designed and printed in September 2013, and is used by partners to promote the project.

We produced seven Policy Briefs that are available on our website:
- Policy Brief no. 1: Hyper-diversity: A New Perspective on Urban Diversity (2013)
- Policy Brief no. 2: Governing Diversity (2014)
- Policy Brief no. 3: Governance Arrangements and Initiatives: Utilising Urban Diversity to Create Positive Outcomes (2014)
- Policy Brief no. 4: Living with Diversity (2015)
- Policy Brief no. 5: Diversity in Entrepreneurship (2016).
- Policy Brief no. 6: Governing Urban Diversity: What Can Policymakers and Civil Society Learn from DIVERCITIES?
- Policy Brief no. 7: The assets of urban diversity (2017).
The Policy Briefs are sent to a list of a 125 Policy Platform members. Next to that, the 200+ visitors of our end conference (see task 8) got a hard copy of the Policy Briefs in their conference bag. Finally, there have been 600 downloads of Policy Briefs from our website.

We have published twelve newsletters featuring interviews with researchers and stakeholders, recent project news and activities, updates on our research progress and announcements of our latest publications. The digital newsletters are emailed to our subscription list and are also downloadable from our website. Subscription to our newsletters can be arranged via the home page of our website or through our Facebook page. The number of subscribers has been steadily increasing to 352 by the end of the project.

DIVERCITIES has established an active online presence on multiple social media networks (Face-book, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube). Our goals are to:
• keep stakeholders and the general public informed about the project;
• share information and ideas that engage with the project’s themes and objectives;
• build an international, online community of like-minded people;
• increase visibility and awareness of DIVERCITIES.

Aside from sharing project news and announcements, ‘behind the scenes’ content such as photos from meetings and links to our newsletters and reports, we also post recent news and information regarding similar projects, upcoming conferences and related articles.
The figures grew in the course of the project by taking an active approach on the various platforms. More posts were created connecting back to our website. This also helped us to raise our website page views (see above). By the end of the project, we had 649 followers on Twitter and 134 on LinkedIn. Over the course of the project we have received 1746 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.
On the YouTube page we created categories for the videos with the aim of giving the Masterclasses more focus. This has given our views a boost. All the masterclasses including a short description can be found here:
Since the start of the Project we have had 6304 YouTube page views.

The last Master Classes was held in Milan in month 36. Video recordings of the Master Classes can be viewed on our website and on YouTube.

As part of the DIVERCITIES project we developed the Educational Program Diverse Cities, based on two pedagogic principles: community based education and enquiry based education. The program consists of a range of assignments that are aimed at students aged 12-15 and which give them the opportunity to learn about different aspects of diversity. Students design and conduct research in the classroom and within their school’s neighbourhood about how apparent diversity is. Based on their own research, students propose an initiative that aims to make the neighbourhood more liveable and harmonious. The inspiration for this assignment comes from examples of governance arrangements and initiatives from our DIVERCITIES case studies. The programme is available in 11 different languages and has been implemented in a wide variety of schools. It has led to positive results.

Under the direction of the program children acquired a much greater knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural backgrounds of their fellow pupils. In some of the cases, where we implemented the program in a school where parents came from many different parts of the world, some students even found out during the assignment that they were from the same country as other students. For teachers, the programme gave an opportunity to build a different connection with their pupils, grounded in their daily lives.

In the assignment on the diversity within the classroom, students were not emphasizing their differences. Instead, they focused mostly on their similarities concerning their everyday hobbies, the places that they hang out in the neighbourhood and their religion. By broadening the concept of diversity (which fits very well in our hyper-diversity approach) we shift away from the traditional focus on ethnic and socio-economic diversity and focus more on what unites us than on what separates us.
The Educational Programme also raised awareness about the different characteristics and diversity of the school’s neighbourhood and contributed to a process of active place building. Many students overcame their initial hesitancy in approaching members of the public and most reported a high degree of excitement in asking local residents about their thoughts about the neighbourhood and the diversity within it.
Additionally, pupils came in contact with social science and scientific methods probably for the first time. They appeared curious about the working of social research, and showed good autonomy and insightfulness in observing their neighbourhood. The pupils also enjoyed the opportunity to imagine new projects with classmates and claim improvements in their local daily life.
The Educational Programme will remain available at so that future pupils can learn and profit from it. Importantly, these school children will one day be able to cast their own vote, have their own say, and perhaps understand the value of a diverse society, thereby benefiting each and every individual socially, culturally and economically.

The Final conference was organised from 8-10 February 2017. The conference took place in De Doelen in Rotterdam. The conference was an international public event where the positive elements of urban diversity were presented in various ways. The conference was not targeted at showing scientific results, but was also aimed at discussion between, and a platform for, different stakeholders who could present creative translations of the future urban society. They showed and promoted the benefits of urban diversity. Especially with this part of WP10 the Communication team was involved. We organized a Diversity Mini Festival in the evening with an array of creative endeavours with drinks and snacks from diverse cultures.

The conference consisted of a mix of keynote addresses by leading scholars and interactive workshops with contributions from a wide spectrum of stakeholders leading projects in various cities including school teachers, neighbourhood workers, and community planners. Public and international by nature, the conference had a clear focus on the positive elements of urban diversity through a multidisciplinary programme of science, art, music, fashion and film. In total 205 people attended our conference
About a quarter of the participants were member of the DIVERCITIES consortium. Another quarter were invited guests. These people were invited to the conference as members of our Policy Platforms and/or as people who were asked to cooperate in the preparation of the workshop. Guests could attend the conference for free.
One of the goals of the conference was to attract a mixed audience of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. We managed to achieve this aim, given the fact that most of participants from outside the DIVERCITIES project were not working at a university or another research institute. We managed to attract many people who work within (usually local) government, but there were also substantial numbers of attendees who represented a NGO or a private company. There were nine teachers present who worked either in secondary education or at a university of applied sciences. Finally, we welcomed 17 (PhD)-students who had the opportunity to attend the conference for free.

As the conference was held in Rotterdam, it comes as no surprise that the largest group of attendees represented Dutch institutes. Nevertheless, two thirds of the participants came from other countries. No less than 25 countries were represented at the conference including six non-European countries: Australia, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Morocco and the US. After the conference, we asked our invited guests to complete an online survey about the conference. Overall, they were very satisfied with the conference. Their average grade (on a scale of 1 to 10) was 8.4.
A video with the highlights of the conference is available at our website and on YouTube.


The list in section A2 shows that the members of the DIVERCITIES consortium have given 228 presentations to a scientific event, out of which 152 for an international audience.

In total, 10 DIVERCITIES-papers are accepted in peer-reviewed scientific journals:
1) Raco, M., & Kesten, J. (2016). The politicisation of diversity planning in a global city: Lessons from London. Urban Studies, 0042098016674869.
2) Peterson, M. (2016). Living with difference in hyper-diverse areas: how important are encounters in semi-public spaces? Social & Cultural Geography, 1-19.
3) Visser, K. (2017). “Because we're all different”–Everyday experiences of belonging among young people from immigrant backgrounds in Tottenham. Geoforum.
4) Pastak, I. & Kährik, A. (2016) The Impacts of Culture-led Flagship Projects on Local Communities in the Context of Post-socialist Tallinn. Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 52 (6), pp. 963-990.
5) Tersteeg, A. K., & Pinkster, F. M. (2016). “Us Up Here and Them Down There” How Design, Management, and Neighborhood Facilities Shape Social Distance in a Mixed-Tenure Housing Development. Urban Affairs Review, 52(5), 751-779.
6) Ahmadi, D. (2017) Diversity and social cohesion: the case of Jane-Finch, a highly diverse, lower-income Toronto neighbourhood. Urban Research and Practice. Published online 10 April 2017.
7) Escafre-Dublet, A. (2015) Immigration et intégration à l'épreuve de la comparaison: Retour sur trois projets européens de recherché. Espaces et sociétés 4/163, p.73-88.
8) Boros, L, Fabula, S., Horváth, D. & Kovács, Z. (2016) Urban diversity and the production of public space in Budapest. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 65(3), 209–224.
9) Raco, M. (2017). Critical urban cosmopolitanism and the governance of urban diversity in European cities. European Urban and Regional Studies.
10) Albeda, Y. & Tersteeg, Oosterlynck, S. & Verschraegen, G. (2018) Symbolic boundary making in super-diverse deprived neighbourhoods. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie.

Only the numbers 1-8 can be found in section A1 of this report. Papers 4, 6 and 8 are open access Papers. Paper 5 is available in the Zenodo repository. Papers 1, 2, 3 and 7 will be made available in the Zenodo repository after an embargo period.
Papers 9 & 10 are accepted, but not published yet. They will be made available in Zenodo.

In the summer of 2017, a scientific book will be published with Policy Press, titled “DIVERCITIES: Dealing with Diversity in Deprived and Mixed Neighbourhoods” (Editors: Stijn Oosterlynck &
Gert Verschraegen, University of Antwerp). Furthermore, we expect that more scientific papers will be published in the coming years.

Output gives an indication of scientific impact, but the proof of the pudding is in the number of citations. As our scientific output is of very recent date, it is too early to say anything about that. However, the fact that the first publication of the (Towards Hyper-Diversified European Cities. A Critical Literature Review) is cited 59 times (Source: Google Scholars, 28-4-2017), in many cases by people from outside the consortium, is a hopeful sign that the message of DIVERCITIES is picked up by a wider scientific community.


DIVERCITIES has had an impact on policymakers and civil society in several ways:

Policy Platforms have been formed in all countries, generally comprising about 6 - 10 stakeholders. In all countries these platforms met several times during the whole period. In most cases experts of the platform met with the research staff. The primary aim of the meetings was to discuss the results of the project with these stakeholders. They gave valuable input for the organisation of the cross evaluation and the Handbook. In summer 2016 the members of the platforms were asked for their input during the cross-evaluation where they discussed on the statements developed in an earlier stage, with pears from other research cities. All partners asked three stakeholders to visit the cross evaluation. These Stakeholders were invited by the DIVERCITIES project, as planned to participate in the cross evaluation sessions and for the Final Conference. They had a central function in the discussions. The Policy Platform could discuss issues in a separate section of our website and were informed about the publication of our reports before we announce them publicly. They also received our Newsletters and Policy Briefs on which they could comment. During the final conference there were sessions especially organised by teams of academics and stakeholders.

On the basis of our empirical work Packages (WP4, WP5, WP6, WP 7) we produced 14 city books focusing on the question of how to create social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance in today’s hyper-diversified cities. These city books can be downloaded from our website.

At the end of the project we published a Handbook for Governing Hyper-Diverse Cities
This Handbook presents a framework for and examples of innovative policy instruments and governance arrangements that:
(a) Recognize urban diversity as a positive aspect of contemporary urban environments;
(b) Increase interaction and communication between groups in a diverse urban society;
(c) Increase participation to satisfy the needs of the communities.
For inclusion in this Handbook we selected initiatives that support social cohesion and participation, on the one hand, and initiatives that promote social mobility and entrepreneurship, on the other. The Handbook offers policy recommendations on the basis of our research and the cross-evaluation we conducted with policy-makers and civil-society actors.

As mentioned above we published 7 Policy Briefs. After the end of our project, we asked the Policy Platform members who visited the conference to complete an online survey about the conference and the Policy Briefs. In total, 26 of the 42 people completed the questionnaire. This amounts to a response of 62%, which is very high for an online questionnaire. A few of these respondents did not answer our questions about the Policy Briefs, possibly because they had not had to chance (all of) them yet. On our question to assess our Policy Briefs on a rate of 1 (very poor) to 10 (very good), the average score was 8.7 (n=22). Our respondents also think that the Policy Briefs add value to their knowledge on the issues at stake (average score 8.2; n=23). We are also very pleased to see that the average score (7.9) was also high on the question ‘To what extent are you able to work with our recommendations in practice?’ (n=22).

Divercities researchers have given 66 presentations to a wider public (see section A2) and have published dozens of professional publications in their own language. Next to that, the project coordinator has published a paper in Impact 2017(3), pp 26-28, titled “DIVERCITIES, Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today's Hyper-diversified Cities”. Impact is a series of high-quality, open access and free to access science reports designed to enable the dissemination of research impact to key stakeholders. The publication features content from the world’s leading research agencies, policy groups, universities and research projects. Impact is published under a CC-BY-NC Creative Commons licence.

Several lead partners are represented in fora that provide important input for policy. For instance, Gideon Bolt (Project Coordinator) is asked to give input for new spatial and urban policies in Rotterdam. Furthermore, the Estonian Cooperation Assembly dedicated the theme of the 2016/2017 Estonian Human Development Report to the global Estonian identity, along with its nature, extent and impact on the development of Estonia and its nationhood. Two drafts were submitted for the tender to fill the post of the editor-in-chief of the report, and the Council of Cooperation Assembly has chosen the draft submitted by Tiit Tammaru, professor of population and national geography (partner 13), along with co-editors Raul Eamets and Kristina Kallas. Their submission dealt with the global Estonian identity through the impact of cultural migration, demographic processes and socio-economic developments. (For details, see:
A final example is that the city of Paris asked Christine Lelévrier (partner 12) to collaborate and organise a cross-seminar with some cities and universities of the Divercities project to enlarge the audience and to get ideas from local arrangements and good European practices; Christine Lelévrier and the city policy department plan to have a joint international seminar in 2018 with Copenhagen, Antwerp and London in Paris.


One of our goals was to help young researchers in their academic career and to give them the opportunity to integrate into the European networks on urban studies. One young researcher, Alba Angelucci (University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino) obtained her PhD on the basis of DIVERCITIES research. She successfully defended her thesis “Gender, Space, and Urban Citizenship: An Intersectional analysis”. We expect three more PhD-thesis to be finished this year by Anouk Tersteeg (Utrecht University), Ympkje Albeda (University of Antwerp) and Donya Ahmadi (TU Delft). In the coming years, we expect four more PhD theses to be finished (one in Amsterdam and three in Tallinn).

From the outset of the DIVERCITIES’ project there has been an aim not only to include juniors in the project but also involve them actively in the whole range of activities of a major research project: from study design and collecting empirical material to analysis and dissemination of results. In particular, the juniors have been the key personnel in interviewing the substantial number of people interviewed for the DIVERCITIES’ project’s four empirical work packages.

During consortium meetings, attention has been paid to securing and supporting the involvement of juniors. Prior to each consortium meeting, the juniors have met a day early for a juniors’ meeting. These meetings have served several purposes:
- Room for training on relevant issues of particular relevance for the juniors (e.g. in connection to data gathering and interviewing)
- Discussion of such issues of particular relevance – e.g. how to recruit interviewees.
- Discussion of input for the consortium meeting – each consortium meeting started with one of the juniors going through the input from the juniors’ meeting. Input was however not limited to this – there was also room for juniors’ input in the consortium meeting in plenary as well as workshop settings.

After every juniors’ meeting two different junior researcher representatives were appointed. These two acted as contact persons in case a junior researcher would have questions or experience problems and were also responsible for organising the junior researchers’ day at the next consortium meetings. One of them was a junior researcher from the Divercities team hosting the next meeting and one of them a junior researcher from another team.

To aid the communication of the juniors, different channels have been utilised: a juniors’ email list, a Facebook group and a blog space on the partners’ subsite of the DIVERCITIES website. All these channels have been used in different parts of the project to communicate on issues of special relevance to the juniors such as recruitment for interviewees.

At the beginning of the project, the juniors met in Utrecht for a juniors only meeting. The purpose of this was to facilitate the establishment of networks between the juniors from the outset and to aid the juniors in gaining a clear understanding of the purpose of the project and the theoretical background for it as well as the design of the work packages. At a later stage it became apparent that there was a need for an extra junior meeting focused on interviewing and coding interviews. Thus, such a meeting was organized. During this meeting the junior researchers participated in workshops on the use of the data analysis software NVivo. Both these meetings were held in Utrecht.

Not all research teams fitted the structure of junior and senior researchers: some teams mostly worked with senior researchers. This caused some confusion in the beginning of the project. Furthermore, it was discussed whether it was meaningful to divide the team into juniors and seniors. Nevertheless, the structure had its advantages. It created a safe environment for inexperienced researchers to participate in the project and learn, it strengthened the position of junior researchers within the consortium and it provided a clear structure for the communication between junior and senior researchers within the project, most notably between junior researchers and the Scientific Steering Committee. The exchange of experiences, advice and support between juniors has been important throughout the project (during meetings as well as in between, where communication would go via email or Skype). Sharing the same role in the project and having the same tasks (more or less), meant that the network between juniors provided a peer-to-peer form of support which was highly different from the support provided by the seniors to their respective juniors.

The PhD-Summer-School addressed the topic of “the challenge of governing urban diversity”, and was organized in Vienna at the Department of Sociology, University of Vienna, in collaboration with project partners. It took place from the 3rd-9th July, 2016.
The PhD-Summer-School was conceived in the framework of the DiverCities project to both facilitate the projects’ dissemination among young scholars and the wider academic community as well as provide a setting for an intensive exchange and continuation of the work on diversity related issues and themes within and beyond the research experiences from the project itself.
Furthermore, this PhD-Summer-School will support the construction of a cross-European network activity for young scientists within this field. A total of 24 students participated from 19 different countries, mostly European, as well as other international students enrolled at European universities (Appendix B). 7 were male and 17 female. A total of 20 scholars and practitioners contributed to the teaching and facilitation of sessions comprising a mix of senior and junior researchers within the DiverCities project and several international and locally-based urban scholars.
Overall the Summer School was positively evaluated by the participants. They appreciated the structure of the school, divided as it was in morning and afternoon sessions, and the space provided for informal exchanges with the scholars within and outside of the sessions.


We keep the website active to disseminate new publications. The local and international networks that are established by DIVERCITIES will continue to exist. Partners in DIVERCITIES will be working together (in different combinations) in future research projects. Partner AAU (Copenhagen) has taken the lead in two project proposals, the first of which is granted and the second one is submitted at the end of February 2017:
1) COHSMO (Leader: Copenhagen, involved partners include Vienna and EKKE) The theoretical narrative of the project is that spatial inequality and processes of spatial concentration/urbanization have been exacerbated by the 2008 financial and economic crisis. In order to counter or cushion these negative implications, public, private and civil society stakeholders need to develop institutional capacities to utilise place-based collaboration and to strategize and democratically mobilize communities for policy development, implementation and adaptation. The overall aim of the project is to understand the relation between socio-economic structures of inequality, urbanization and territorial cohesion, as well as how territorial cohesion at different European scales affects economic growth, spatial justice and democratic capacities. The project has a strong focus on interaction with and dissemination to relevant stakeholders, including identifying and promoting good practice.

2) UNIThY (Leader Copenhagen; other partners Utrecht, EKKE & Szeged) will bring together researchers and practitioners in an effort to enrich understanding and policy practices in the fields of diversity and discrimination in the current context of the financial and the refugee crises. For this purpose, UNIThY will build on previous research and organisational experience of its team members. In conceptual terms, we assume that the notion of “hyperdiversity”, as it has been coined in the FP7-project DIVERCITIES, may offer to practitioners a novel model of political thinking and legitimation that recognizes the complexity of diversity, avoids essentialism of socio-ethnic groups and stresses what members of a society has in common rather than what divides them. This is paramount in creating equality. The notion of hyperdiversity offers a route for creating societies united in diversity; a route which will be explored further and advocated through UNIThY. In terms of action, UNIThY will implement a highly coherent set of workshops, conferences and publications which through intercultural dialogue will elaborate on ways of understanding diversity as well as disseminate effectively best practices in relation to diversity and anti-discrimination in the fields of education, labour market and housing.

List of Websites:

Project Coordinator:
Gideon Bolt
Utrecht University
Faculty of Geosciences
P.O. Box 80.115
3508 TC Utrecht
Tel. + 31 30 2534436
Fax + 31 30 2532037