Genereting interethnic tolerance and neighbourhood integration in European urban spaces (GEITONIES).

Funded by the European Union’s 7th Framework programme,  GEITONIES is concerned with how interethnic interactions, in local neighbourhoods, in European cities, may influence the creation of a more tolerant, cohesive and integrated society. This project assumes that in contemporary multi-ethnic European cities spaces of intercultural communication and engagement are vital to promote tolerance, cohesion, participation and inclusion in society.

The research is implemented in 6 European cities using cross-comparative analysis. A survey with a longitudinal design, using a calendar format questionnaire, is implemented to almost 600 residents in 12 neighbourhoods in 6 European cities (Lisbon, Rotterdam, Bilbao, Warsaw, Thessaloniki and Vienna). The research focuses not only on the immigrant populations of areas but on the whole population, regardless of socio-cultural or ethnic background. This takes the onus of the immigrant community and takes a more inter-cultural approach to exploring aspects of social cohesion in the city. The main research objective is to explore how and in which contexts interdependencies, be they of a consensual or conflictual nature, develop between different individuals/groups in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods and the impact that this has on the progression toward more tolerant and cohesive European societies. Furthermore, the role that place and neighbourhood factors play in developing or hindering belonging, intercultural interaction and tolerance will be deliberated.

Results appeard in Population, Space and Place; Polish Sociological Review; Finisterra as well as in  chapters with international publishers, such as Palgrave or Vienna University Press.

Interethnic Coexistence in European Cities. A comparative and applied oriented analysis of neighbourhood-related policies (ICEC).

International research has shown that urban neighbourhoods are still important arenas of social interactions and places of interethnic coexistence. Super-diversity in the neighbourhood is a micro­cosm, mirroring problem constellations at the city scale. Yet problems within diversity-shaped neigh­bourhoods require locally determined solutions. Thus, municipal policies have increasingly taken a territorial focus when addressing social and integration problems through neighbourhood-based initiatives.

Our project is based on a systematic comparison of the aims, structural features and outcomes of neighbourhood development programmes in Amsterdam, Vienna and Stockholm. The project focusses on the main two core questions:

First,which political measures are the most adequate for strengthening the integrative power of an urban neighbourhood as a place of living and identification of a diverse urban population?

Second, how can cities promote interethnic coexistence in the local context? Our main project goal is to initiate an evaluation and exchange of good practice between three distinct European cities.

We follow an innovative research design at two levels: First, through the combination of basic and applied research conducted by researchers, policymakers and urban stakeholders. Second, through the involvement of civil society during conceptualisation and implementation of new integrative policies.

For further information, please consult the project webpage.