The introduction to this volume aims to clarify some key concepts, in particular the concept of urban segregation, and to introduce the three-part structure of the book. Through the introduction of these – interrelated – parts, the most compelling segregation debates are outlined. Such debates come to the fore in Part I through a ‘world tour’ across six continents, sixteen countries, and a multitude of cities, confronted with pressing segregation questions across a range of institutional contexts. The introduction to Part II confronts the various domains of segregation that are dealt with in the book. Beyond the more familiar but still imperative residential domains, segregation in public space, in education and with regard to human relations with the ‘natural’ environment are also addressed. The dimensions of such segregation dynamics include race, class, and other demographic and cultural dimensions. Part III then turns to new issues and approaches fundamental to the practice of measuring, conceptualising and framing segregation. This introductory chapter concludes with an initial impression of the key collective findings of this volume, while a more elaborate discussion of these is found in Chapter 24. Attention is given to the impact of varied local or regional contexts, to historically grown legacies connected to urban segregation, and to the continued significance of welfare regime types for understanding segregation.
The final chapter of the volume outlines broader observations and outcomes that are likely to feed further segregation debates and contemporary urban theory. The chapter begins with a short exposé of the state of the art of urban segregation knowledge. This is used as a platform for launching key issues that arise through this volume’s contributions. The state of the art includes insights regarding the roles of globalisation, welfare regimes, historically grown place-specific conditions, and other key contextual factors. Several key findings are presented. First, the volume emphasises the role of expansion of neoliberal thought across the globe and of rising social inequality and new patterns of socio-spatial divisions, including the ‘urban inversion’ in many contexts. Impacts are manifest across the domain of housing, but also stretch to other domains. Second, the relation between race and class segregation appears to have become stronger, particularly in contexts where race segregation has been a major issue over a longer period of time. Third, the distinction between temporal and structural effects on segregation is seen as central to the quality of responses to segregation. Fourth, the framing of urban segregation is argued to be fundamental in its role in contributing to or mitigating the rise of parallel societies. Finally, segregation debates are confronted with research findings showing strong tendencies for individual households to search for relatively homogeneous environments in many spheres of life. This has triggered the questions when and under what conditions should one intervene in segregation processes, and how? A revival or rethinking of the potential role of rather extensive or universal welfare regimes has been proposed to provide answers to these questions.
Edited by Sako Musterd
Sako Musterd, Roger Andersson and George Galster
Residents, academics, and policy makers frequently believe that certain neighbourhood compositions impact on opportunities of those who are exposed to them. Social outcomes such as those connected to employment, levels of education and income and the risk of becoming involved in illegal activity, are frequently seen as influenced by the neighbourhood one is living in. However, isolating the so-called ‘neighbourhood effect’ on social outcomes from other impacts on these outcomes is not trivial. In this chapter we address some of the challenges researchers and policy makers are confronted with when getting involved in ‘neighbourhood effects’ debates. Challenges include conceptual issues related to the types of contexts (residential, work, school) and types of compositions (social or other); questions related to the scales to consider, and how to approach the temporal dimension; issues about what mechanisms would produce the effects; and methodological issues (data types, model choices, sources of bias, detecting thresholds).
Rik Damhuis, Wouter van Gent, Cody Hochstenbach and Sako Musterd
Key life-course transitions often instigate, or even require, at least one residential move. Leaving the parental home, coupling or separating are clear examples. Life-course transitions therefore also have clear and inherent spatial dimensions, but the question how life course plays out at small spatial scales is rarely studied in a structured way. Instead, we often have to make-do with crude generalizations such as seemingly stable urban–suburban dichotomies. In this chapter, we challenge this perspective by providing a new framework to analyze contemporary changes in the regional dynamics of life course. Housing plays a key role in this: housing market conditions structure the degree to which individuals are able to make transitions. Contemporary housing transformations, taking place in most Western countries, have an unequal impact on different generations. In many successful cities housing affordability and accessibility are decreasing. This leaves a mark on life-course trajectories, as the trade-offs involved in making certain transitions become sharper – in terms of housing and space. Housing transformations therefore contribute to a changing geography of life course within urban regions. We illustrate our arguments through a case study of life-course dynamics in the Amsterdam metropolitan region in the wake of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.