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Urban Review on Socio-Economic Segregation in EU Capital Cities


In this month’s 2 part Urban Review interview with 
Mr. Tiit Tammaru, Professor of Urban and Population Geography and Head of the Centre for Migration and Urban Research at the Department of Geography, University of Tartu. We discuss Professor Tammaru's research on 'Socio-Economic Segregation in EU Capital Cities' 

"Socio-economic segregation is mainly problematic if it is involuntary, prevents people to have access to services and social mobility, and when living in poverty neighbourhoods is transferred between generations. At certain point, the social, ethnic and spatial fragmentation of the cities can thus lead to problems."

1. You have investigated comparable data (2001 – 2011) of 13 European cities and made predictions about segregation levels in each of these cities. Poor and rich are living increasingly far apart, because people search a place to live that fits their own socio-economic position. Although the socio-economic segregation is relatively modest, the poor are increasingly segregated within the urban communities. What is the main reason? 

This is true that the main finding of our study reveals growing levels of segregation between top and bottom income groups across Europe on the one hand, but the levels of segregation are still modest in most of the 13 cities studies on the other hand. The term ‘segregation’ refers to the physical separation of two or more groups into different urban neighbourhoods, and this was the first study in Europe that explicitly compare levels of socio-economic segregation. There are many ways to measure segregation, but the best-known measure is the ‘Dissimilarity Index’ that indicates relative separation or integration of socio-economic groups across all neighbourhoods of a city.

Read the full interview

LinkedIn Discussion

The EUKN is interested to hear your opinion on this developing issue: 

What is your opinion on the role of cities/municipalities in preventive measures against community segregation?

How can cities/municipalities create more initiatives to support urban communities to avoid the increase of segregation within cities?

Join the discussion