Edited by Sako Musterd
Chapter 24: Towards further understanding of urban 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.
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