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  • Read the original Social Polis papers

    Social polarisation, the labour market and economic restructuring in Europe: an urban perspective
    Morlicchio and Pratschke

    Housing, Neighbourhood and Health: Research Review
    Cameron, Gilroy and Miciukiewick

    Cities, social cohesion and the environment
    Swyngedouw and Cook

    Towards a research agenda on Governance, Citizenship and Social Cohesion in Cities
    García, Pradel, Eizaguirre, Martínez and Terrones

    Super Diversity, Multiple Identities and Place
    Dukes and Musterd

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  • References

Neo-liberalising urban environments

Across Europe, neo-liberalisation has affected both the state and enviromental management:

However, these changes have been ‘messy’, geographically diverse, unstable and gradual. Hence, they should be labelled as a ‘neo-liberalisation’ process and not ‘neo-liberalism’! (Brenner et al, 2005).


Urban political ecology

Urban political ecology (UPE) is a school of critical urban political-environmental research (Heynen et al. 2006b) which complements the view of Environmental Justice:

On the basis of the school of urban political ecology there are three main thinkers:


Click here to read references to some urban political ecology monographs.

The main ideas of urban political ecology are:


To sum up:

However, the two approaches are compatible:



As regards social cohesion:


Peripheries built in large, high-density European states, in the early post war period(van Kempen et al 2005). They have social and physical problems. But… Are they really problematic? Or is it just a question of improving social cohesion? (Rowlands and Dekket, 2006).



  • facilitate communication and networking between groups
  • empower residents
  • favour attachment to the neighbourhood and shared identity and
  • above all, promote effective participation of residents in decision making processes

 But they must be accompanied by MEASURES TO REDUCE INEQUALITIES  

And it is important to offer more housing options for a greater housing mix. Because policies which:

  • see concentrations of poverty as a problem
  • promote demolition and gentrification 

 create even more socially diverse populations (Andersson and Musterd, 2005).

As regards migration, ethnic diversity and neighbourhoods:


Fostering of social cohesion in ethnically-diverse estates


  • The large, ethnically mixed estates don’t form a single cohesive community but overlapping communities.
  •  Future of social cohesion: mutual respect and democratic inclusion.