The Inclusive City: Approaches to combat urban poverty and social exclusion in Europe

EUKN, 2014


Cities have always been a combination of centres of opportunities and concentrations of social problems. This combination confronts cities with important challenges, three of which are discussed in this report:  

  1. Is it possible to develop policies and strategies that, while promoting the cities' creativity and economic dynamism, are efficient in treating its social problems of poverty and social exclusion?    

  2. How to combat poverty and other forms of social exclusion that threaten the social cohesion that cities need to survive?

  3. Is it possible to develop an integrated approach to combat urban poverty and social exclusion in accordance with the principles of 'good urban governance', integrating spatial, economic, and social dimensions of urban development, and multilevel governance where needed?

To answer these questions, this report provides an overview of urban poverty in the European context and analyses good practices in various European cities. 

The study finds a growing awareness of the need to include the actual target groups. Programmes that ask the target groups for their opinion to be more effective than those that do not -which is a fact that more and more people seem to understand. We do not know what we can do, but we do not want it, and we do not like it.

The report concludes by stating that the problem of poverty and inequality in Europe cannot be resolved without a change in the policies of income and employment, no matter how many great practices against social exclusion and poverty might exist.