Towards the Just City

Towards the Just City

 

Map made by: Linus Rispling, Nordregio

Map made by: Linus Rispling, Nordregio

The Syrian refugee crisis has brought immigration to the forefront of policy debates in Europe and North America. But what about integration? Without adequate support and opportunities to connect with employers and long-term residents, patterns of exclusion risk manifesting themselves. Stockholm has been recognized as one of the most successful contemporary European cities in terms of population and economic growth, but even with (until recently) its generous and open immigration policy, the city has grappled with segregation along ethnic and class lines. This paper, by Mitchell Reardon and Christian Dymen, explores these challenges and the innovative steps that, Botkyrka, one municipality in the Stockholm region has taken to transform these challenges into opportunities. Inspired by the steps taken in Botkyrka, Mitchell Reardon created the diversity index.

Access the full article via Local Economy Journal. The abstract is below:

Urban poverty and social exclusion is rarely the outcome of a single phenomenon. It results from a diversity of factors, including socio-economic patterns, discrimination, access to housing, the built form, transportation and social networks, often in connection with institutional breakdowns. To understand this challenge, with a particular emphasis on the role of public institutions in resolving or exacerbating these issues, this article, based on an ESPON Territorial Indicators of Poverty and Social Exclusion case study, focuses on the municipality of Botkyrka, located in the Stockholm Region. It had the lowest median income in 2010 and among the highest municipal concentrations of persons with a foreign background in the region, but has also seen dramatic improvements over the past decade. Through an review of relevant municipal and regional documents, in-depth interviews and on-site investigation, this article analyses poverty and social exclusion challenges through the lens of social exclusion and just city theory. In doing so, a focus on the role of institutions in mitigating these issues is offered. The paper concludes with a discussion of positive measures undertaken locally, with recognition of multiple levels of governance, and their transferability within Europe and beyond.