Category Archives: Urbanism
A new CUCR occasional paper:
Ben Gidley, Steve Hanson and Sundas Ali Identity, Belonging & Citzenship in Urban Britain [pdf]
The Columbia Global Policy Initiative has made a submission about the role of cities to the Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration in relation to the Global Compact for Migration. It includes this claim:
local authorities and mayors in particular play a crucial role in framing greater diversity as a complex but fundamentally fruitful outcome of globalization.
This claim is referenced with a citation to a report I co-wrote: Elizabeth Collett & Ben Gidley, ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, Attitudes to Migrants, Communication and Local Leadership
(AMICALL) — Final Transnational Report (2012) see at https://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/media/PR-2012-AMICALL_Transnational.pdf .
When: 14 Sep 2016 – 18:30 – 20:30
Autograph ABP – Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA
An evening of film, photography, radio, theatre and debate on how the movement of people is shaping our city.
Organised by Migrants Right Network.
Stories of arrival, belonging, struggle and longing that prompt us to reflect on what it takes to be an open and inclusive city, told by some of our favourite artists, writers and activists.
With the participation of:
- Alia Syed, experimental filmmaker and artist. Alia’s work proposes an ongoing investigation of the nature and role of language in intercultural communication, with a focus on borders and boundaries, translation and the trans-cultured self.
- Kavita Puri, Editor, BBC Our World. Presenter of BBC Radio 4’s award-winning series Three Pounds in My Pocket, that tells the stories of the pioneering migrants who came to Britain from the Indian subcontinent in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Anthony Lam, a photographic artist whose work examines and explores notions and (un)realities of boundaries and borders.
- Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, reporter and writer that exposes the impact of government policy on ordinary lives. Writer in residence Lacuna Magazine, shortlisted for the George Orwell Prize for Politcal Writing 2012 & 2015.
- Amina Gichinga, Music educator and community activist with Take Back the City, former City & East London Assembly Take Back our City candidate.
- Ben Gidley, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychosocial Studies, University of Birbeck. Ben’s ethnographic research focuses on the question of how we live together with difference in urban settings.
- Inua Ellams, award winning poet, playwright and performer. Identity, displacement and destiny are recurring themes in his work.
There will be a drinks reception after the event to continue the conversation.
FREE. Register here
A new publication, March 2016:
Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods
Available under Open Access at SpringerLink: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-23096-2
This book presents a comparative analysis of intergroup relations and migrant integration at the neighbourhood level in Europe. Featuring a unique collection of portraits of urban relations between the majority population and immigrant minorities, it examines how relations are structured and evolve in different and increasingly diverse local societies. Inside, readers will find a coordinated set of ethnographic studies conducted in eleven neighbourhoods of five European cities: London, Barcelona, Budapest, Nuremberg, and Turin. The wide-ranging coverage encompasses post-industrial districts struggling to counter decline, vibrant super-diverse areas, and everything in between. Featuring highly contextualised, cross-disciplinary explorations presented within a solid comparative framework, this book considers such questions as: Why does the native-immigrant split become a tense boundary in some neighbourhoods of some European cities but not in others? To what extent are ethnically framed conflicts driven by site-specific factors or instead by broader, exogenous ones? How much does the structure of urban spaces count in fuelling inter-ethnic tensions and what can local policy communities do to prevent this? The answers it provides are based on a multi-layer approach which combines in-depth analysis of intergroup relations with a strong attention towards everyday categorization processes, media representations, and narratives on which local policies are based. Even though the relations between the majority and migrant minorities are a central topic, the volume also offers readers a broader perspective of social and urban transformation in contemporary urban settings. It provides insightful research on migration and urban studies as well as social dynamics that scholars and students around the world will find relevant. In addition, policy makers will find evidence-based and practically relevant lessons for the governance of increasingly diverse and mobile societies.
Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo
‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods
Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley
Rise and Resolution of Ethnic Conflicts in Nuremberg Neighbourhoods
Comfortably Invisible: The Life of Chinese Migrants Around ‘The Four Tigers Market’ in Budapest
Boglárka Szalai, Krisztina La-Torre
Inter-Group Perceptions and Representations in Two Barcelona Neighbourhoods: Poble Sec and Sagrada Família Compared
Ricard Morén-Alegret, Albert Mas, Dawid Wladyka
Turin in Transition: Shifting Boundaries in Two Post-Industrial Neighbourhoods
News Media and Immigration in the EU: Where and How the Local Dimension Matters
Boundaries, Barriers and Bridges: Comparative Findings from European Neighbourhoods
Ferruccio Pastore, Irene Ponzo
For anyone who wants to understand a critical issue of the early 21st century–the integration of immigrant minorities in European cities-this book is essential reading. In contrast to the all-too-common top-down view from the perspective of the national state, the authors provide us with essential ground-level insights from the daily round in urban neighborhoods. — Richard Alba, CUNY Graduate Center
This timely book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of migration in Europe. Its focus on the neglected areas of negotiation, boundary-making and social relationships in European neighbourhoods make it especially compelling. It deserves to be read closely by academics and policy-makers alike. — Richard Gale, Cardiff University
‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods Ole Jensen, Ben Gidley
This chapter explores how housing policies and the nature of housing stock have conditioned residential geographies and diversity patterns in two south London neighbourhoods, Bermondsey and Camberwell. The key drivers are policy changes to social housing allocation and the post-industrial reconfiguration of urban space expressed in processes of gentrification and the redevelopment of riverside docklands into expensive housing units. These developments have challenged existing narratives of community, but they have also shifted the focus of analytical enquiry towards emerging us-them divides based on class and generation. Within the context of diversity and social cohesion, both neighbourhoods are characterized by a comparatively unproblematic day-to-day muddling along with difference, but also a generally declining level of civic engagement and neighbourhood cohesion, expressed by a sense of ‘living together apart’. >>> Download PDF (254KB) >>> View Chapter
HOW TO CITE: Jensen, O. & Gidley, B. (2016) ‘They’ve Got Their Wine Bars, We’ve Got Our Pubs’: Housing, Diversity and Community in Two South London Neighbourhoods’, in Pastore, F. & Ponzo, I. (eds) Inter-group Relations and Migrant Integration in European Cities: Changing Neighbourhoods, Springer, pp. 19-38
Via The World Bank:
The Flexible City – Everyday Urban Life Session: Ben Gidley (Oxford University)
Talks by Ben Gidley (University of Oxford), Ahmed Soliman (Alexandria University) and Colin McFarlane (Durham University). Ben Gidley presents findings from studies on urban migration and recommendations for municipal responses to challenges.
This is based on the Global Migration and the Future of the Cities project at COMPAS, part of the Oxford Future of Cities programme led by Steve Raynor and Michael Keith.
Nuevo libro colectivo sobre diversidad cultural y conflictos en la UE
Tras un año de intenso trabajo, se acaba de publicar en la editorial Tirant lo Blanch el volumen colectivo Diversidad cultural y conflictos en la Unión Europea. Implicaciones jurídico-políticas, editado por Ángeles Solanes, profesora de Filosofía del Derecho en la Universidad de Valencia. El libro es el fruto de una colaboración entre nueve miembros del proyecto de investigación “Derechos humanos, sociedades multiculturales y conflictos” y de autores invitados procedentes de la Universidad de Nantes y la Universidad de Oxford. A lo largo de sus 286 páginas se examinan de forma crítica y rigurosa cuestiones de indudable trascendencia y actualidad como las políticas urbanas en las ciudades globalizadas de Europa, los conflictos normativos en el ámbito familiar, las formas de violencia vinculadas a la diversidad y el papel del cine como instrumento para el conocimiento del otro. También se reflexiona sobre la importancia de los derechos humanos como guía de acción y mecanismo vertebrador de un pluralismo inclusivo, alejado de la estigmatización y criminalización de la diferencia.
Para consultar el índice y realizar la compra del libro, pinche aquí.
- El reto que plantea el incremento de la multiculturalidad en Europa obliga a revisar las tensiones que afectan a los derechos humanos. apostando por la necesidad de alcanzar una democracia que permita afrontar las demandas de la diversidad cultural. En diferentes Estados de la Unión Europea. han surgido con” flictos en torno al alcance general de los derechos de los extranjeros y al desafío que supone el acceso equitativo tanto al espacio público como a la distribución de poder y de recursos. atendiendo a los principios de libertad e igualdad. En este trabajo. se aborda la gestión de la diversidad cultural desde disciplinas como la sociología. la antropología. la ciencia política y el derecho. A partir de este enfoque multidimensional se propone un examen crítico y riguroso de cuestiones escogidas como las políticas públicas en el contexto europeo de las ciudades multiculturales. los conflictos en el ámbito familiar y las formas de vio” lencia vinculadas a la diversidad. Además. se analiza el papel que el cine juega como instrumento idóneo para ampliar el estudio de una realidad plural en la que es fundamental la presencia del “otro”. Este libro. en síntesis. reflexiona sobre la importancia de los derechos humanos como guía de acción y mecanismo vertebrador del pluralismo inclusivo. tratando de no criminalizar lo que la diferencia supone para la convivencia en las actuales democracias.
Ben Gidley: Conflicto y convivencia en los barrios urbanos diversos de Europa: reintroducir los derechos humanos y la justicia social en el debate sobre la integración, pp.31-44.
My chapter is based mainly on the projects Concordia Discors and Global Migration and the Future of the City. Here is the opening section in English: Continue reading
This is my latest COMPAS blog post. You can read the original here. The photos are by me.
In the 1890s, philanthropist Charles Booth and a team of assistants – the pioneers of sociological research in the UK – walked the whole of London, visually noting the wealth of each street’s inhabitants, to construct their Maps Descriptive of London Poverty. The maps coded streets by colour, with scarlet red and gold marking the “well-to-do” and the “wealthy”, dark blue and black representing the “casual poor” in “chronic want” and the
“vicious and semi-criminal” “lowest class”. Southwark, just across the Thames from the City of London, was a mass of dark colours.
A hundred years later, the New Labour government created an Index of Multiple Deprivation to map new forms of poverty, dark blue for most deprived and gold for least. Again, the northern wards of Southwark were swathed in darkness, with the area around Elephant and Castle especially dark blue.
More recently, the estate agents Savills has produced a different map of London, with dark blue representing areas where house prices were declining, and Booth’s scarlet red now used to mark zones moving “upmarket”. This time, in what the Economist called “the great inversion”, the former dark zones of Southwark had become vivid red property hotspots.
Elephant and Castle, in the heart of this area, exemplifies London’s sharp changes: commercial student housing, warehousing study migrants from the rising powers of Eastern Asia; luxury pied a terres in developments in a rebranded “South Central” quarter; social housing redevelopments that result in the decanting of long-term residents out to London’s far suburbs; a growing hub for Latin American enterprise.
Super-diversity at the local level
Elephant and Castle is also the site of a COMPAS project, Welfare, neighbourhood and new geographies of diversity. This project, along with an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship, were the source for February’s COMPAS Breakfast Briefing, presented by my COMPAS colleague Mette Louise Berg and me. We asked “How do local authorities deal with the increasing diversity of their clients and residents?” The Powerpoint presentation is online, and podcast and summary are coming soon.
Mette opened by describing the concept of “super-diversity” at the heart of our project, the intensifying diversity of forms of difference concentrated in one place, as defined by COMPAS founder Stephen Vertovec. Vertovec’s work has opened up a research agenda that I have been pursuing with Nando Sigona, Mette Berg and other colleagues in the last half decade, with a conference in Oxford, a workshop in Birmingham, and an edited collection. It also informed a Home Office study on the varying impacts of migration in local areas (subject of a previous Breakfast Briefing by Jon Simmons), which included “super-diverse London” as one of its geographical clusters.
The Welfare, neighbourhood and new geographies of diversity project, which also involves Caroline Oliver, Hiranthi Jayaweera and Rachel Humphris, as well as photographer Simon Rowe, takes this agenda forward by piloting ethnographic research on how diversity is patterned differently at different stages of the life course, and how this impacts on service provision in a super-diverse space.
My contribution to the Breakfast Briefing was to present detailed census analysis done as part of the project by Anna Krausova, exploring different patterns of diversity across multiple axes of difference in an area circumscribed by a 1 mile radius from Elephant and Castle. Mette then presented some of the findings from the education and housing case studies of our qualitative research. Continue reading
Ethnography, Diversity and Urban Space
Edited by Mette Louise Berg, University of Oxford, UK, Ben Gidley, University of Oxford, UK and Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham, UK
Across Europe, multiculturalism as a public policy has been declared ‘dead’ but, everyday multiculture is alive and well. This book explores how people live with diversity in contemporary cities and towns across Europe. It weaves
together ethnographic case studies with contemporary social and cultural theory about urban space, migration, transnationalism and everyday multiculture.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power.
Published by Routledge.
This event is being organised by the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR) as part of its twentieth anniversary, inaugurating a series of events that range from crime in urban Brazil to the global travel of flip-flops to the future of urban art.
3.30 – 5.30 Seminar: The changing face of “regeneration” in London
Short initial interventions by: Alison Rooke, Michael Keith, Heidi Seetzen, Rob Imrie, Luna Glucksberg
5.30 – 6.00 Screenings and sound intervention: Creative Responses to Urban Change in Deptford (food and drinks provided)
6.00 – 8.00 Workshop: 21 Years of Urban Regeneration in Deptford
Short provocations by: Ben Gidley, Jess Steele, Jessica Leech, Neil Transpontine, and Joe Montgomery
Followed by roundtable discussions:
– Creative Deptford: arts, culture and regeneration
– Housing and neighbourhood
– DIY Deptford: regeneration from below?
– Convoys Wharf: regeneration or land grab?
– The changing face of Deptford: migration, identity, diversity and generation
The following day, the Radical Housing Network’s Housing Weekender will be in Lewisham.
As part of the European Interact project (“Researching Third Country Nationals’ Integration as a Three-way Process – Immigrants, Countries of Emigration and Countries of Immigration as Actors of Integration”), which explores migrant integration from a sending country perspective, I wrote, with Maria Luisa Caputo, a discussion paper entitled Residential Integration: Towards a Sending Country Perspective. Here is the report in the MPC repository; here is a direct link to the pdf; here is the paper on academia.edu.
This position paper explores the key issues relating to how residential integration – a foundation dimension of migrant and minority integration – might be understood and further researched from a “country of origin” perspective. A series of questions are addressed: Are there transnational residential strategies of migrants? Is residential integration an indicator of integration, e.g. can owning a house be an indicator of integration? Are residential patterns in the receiving country negotiated in any way by the state of origin? And what is the role of home country institutions in assuring residential integration or separation? Looking at the nature and quality of the housing that minorities occupy, assessed in terms of factors such as tenure, overcrowding and disrepair, and at the patterns of migrant residence in receiving societies, including clustering or its absence, the paper covers the existing state of the art and methodology used in the field, before arguing for a shift to a country of origin perspective, beyond simply using country of origin as a variable in determining residential integration outcomes, but instead re-framing the issue in a transnational perspective. It introduces a new theoretical and methodological framing, shifting the emphasis from a static “social physics” to a processual, pathwayfocused approach. Continue reading
Here are some presentations by and interviews with the director of COMPAS, Michael Keith:
Migration and the journey to integration and community development (Inclusion, the key to prosperity. The dynamics of migration, poverty and social exclusion, European Commission, Praxis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation), November 2010 [ppt]
Doug Saunders with Michael Keith as respondent: Arrival City: How migration is reshaping our world (RSA), May 2011 [Listen to the audio full recording including audience Q&A; Watch the video edited highlights]
This was published in the COMPAS Blog in May 2013.
They never call it Bermondsey any more
A couple of weeks ago, in Bermondsey, South London with my colleagues Ole Jensen, Simon Rowe and Ida Persson, we met a man called Albert, at the entrance to his council flat. Born on Christmas Day 1926, Albert had lived his whole life in Bermondsey (apart from his national service at the end of the war, spent in Scandinavia). He had lived over half a century in his current flat, since it had been built as part of the massive post-war social democratic housing expansion whose legacy completely dominates the landscape of South London. He worked as a drayman at the Courage brewery, brought up three daughters and a son – and slowly watched his neighbourhood change almost beyond recognition.
The Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey was merged into the London Borough of Southwark in 1965. Its town hall had been bombed in the war, and Bermondsey no longer exists as an administrative unit. “They never call it Bermondsey any more”, Albert insisted. At its height, the docks employed huge numbers of men; the Peek Frean biscuit factory employed thousands of women. The docks closed one by one from the 1960s, the brewery closed in 1981, and the biscuit factory houses work units for creative businesses. The council estates are no longer sites of utopian hope but now carry the stigma of residualised poverty. A tidal wave of gentrification ripples down from the riverside, and the UK’s decade of mass migration has transformed the demographics. Continue reading
Here is the programme of the Athens Workshop: Global Migration and the Right to the Cities of the Future, 7th of December 2012 (10.00-13.00 Presentations, 14.00- 15.30 Open Discussion), Harokopio University, El. Venizelou 70, Kallithea, Athens
– Prof. Michael Keith (Director of COMPAS, University of Oxford) – Migration and the rights to the city: rethinking the urban basis of integration
– Dr. Ben Gidley (Senior Researcher, COMPAS) – The changing face of the European city: Global migration, economic crisis, neighbourhood change and spatial exclusion
– Prof. T. Maloutas (EKKE National Centre of Social Research & Harokopio University) – Immigration, segregation and gentrification in Athens since the early 1990s.
-Ass. Prof. Apostolos Papadopoulos (Harokopio University) – African Migrants at the centre of Athens
– Dr. Vassilis Arapoglou (Department of sociology, University of Crete) – Governing the in-cohesive city: From basic assumptions to democratic passions.
Hurry up, dear. I need to get back to Croydon
A GOOD deal has changed in Brixton, a south London district, since Eta Rodney bought her Victorian terraced house in 1980. Then many of her neighbours were, like her, Jamaican. West Indians had settled in Brixton since 1948, when some arrived on the Empire Windrush. Today many of Mrs Rodney’s black neighbours are selling up and moving out of the area, making way for predominantly white newcomers. Britain’s historic black centre is being transformed—but in an odd way.
The Secret History of Our Streets has been a fascinating and brilliantly made BBC documentary series on London and its recentish historical geography. It tracks particular streets mapped by Charles Booth in the 1880s, with streets in Deptford, Camberwell, Bermondsey, Shoreditch, Caledonian Road and Notting Hill. The links in the previous sentence are to illuminating blog posts about these by Laura Vaughan of UCL’s Bartlett School. There’s also an Open University webpage and booklet with the series.
It’s quite strange for me, as I know Deptford High Street so well, and have recently been researching (with my colleague Ole Jensen) both Bermondsey and the very street in Camberwell, Camberwell Grove, the programme looks at.
The programmes have had some flaws, in particular the constant but un-articulated presence of the politics of race and racism, and occasional lapses into the kind of golden age discourse of nostalgia, melancholy and resentment that drives white backlash culture.
Here are some of the key links on the Deptford programme, which was both excellent TV and the most flawed of the series, via BfB: “Ken’s response, the Brockley Central discussion thread,the Crosswhatfields post, the Deptford Dame’s response, Caroline’s comments… Bill [Ellson]’s post on sexy fish and the Les Back/Dawn Lyons production it links to.” In addition, read Bill’s return to the question of fish; the definitive account of Deptford, Jess Steele’s Turning the Tide; and Deptford: Putting the Record Straight, produced by friends and family of Nicholas Taylor.
If you are interested in Booth, read the Occasional paper I wrote about him [.pdf] a decade ago.
Two posts by Ole Jensen on the COMPAS blog:
Early January, and I am in the process of finalising the fieldwork that I have been carrying out in two neighbourhoods in Southwark during much of 2011. The final interviews have been set up, and we are in the process of organising neighbourhood forums in Bermondsey and Camberwell in order to discuss our findings with research participants and local stakeholders.
Headlined by emotive notions of a society ‘sleepwalking to segregation’, the retreat from multiculturalism has in Britain triggered policy development and debates that emphasized ethnic, religious and cultural difference at the expense of an examination of social cohesion in material terms – for example local access to employment, housing and welfare services. In addition, with the notion of ‘parallel societies’ seemingly emerging as the lasting emblem of reviews of the 2001 riots in the northern English mill towns, there has been a lack of analysis of how the marking of communities on ethnic and religious grounds gels with the lived, local experiences of community and belonging. Continue reading →