Metropolitan Europe growing increasingly segregated by class
9 September 2015
People with disparate income levels are living farther and farther away from each other. This was found in an extensive research study of thirteen major European cities. The authors of the study highlight Stockholm as a city where the economic segregation between the rich and the poor has increased to a marked degree over the last ten years.
Researchers from Uppsala University’s Institute for Housing and Urban Research contributed to the large-scale study, which was conducted between 2001 and 2011. The results have now been presented in a recently published book, entitled Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities. East meets West.
‘Sweden has long been a model of progressive societal development throughout Europe, but a combination of growing economic inequality, weakening governmental influence over the housing market and a steeply declining rental sector in Stockholm has bumped the city to a new division when comparing the segregation in different parts of Europe, says Roger Andersson, Professor of Social & Economic Geography at the Institute for Housing and Urban Research, who co-authored the book’s chapter on Stockholm with Anneli Kährik.
The book is built on research projects in thirteen European cities: Amsterdam, Athens, Budapest, London, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Prague, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vienna and Vilnius. Unlike previous research, which has largely centred on ethnic segregation, Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities. East meets West brings socio-economic segregation to the fore.
The researchers reached the conclusion that the socio-economic diversity in residential areas is decreasing throughout Europe, and that residential areas become increasingly class-stratified over time. Data indicates that the direct reasons for the growing segregation include globalisation and neoliberal policies involving restructuring of national economies and job markets. In some of the countries, declining investments in rental properties also played a part.
The editors of Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities. East meets West are Tiit Tammaru, Szymon Marcińczak, Sako Musted and Maarten van Ham. The book has already attracted a great deal of interest in the Netherlands.