Social Sustainability and Area-Based Interventions for Stigmatized Neighborhoods: A Comparison of Malmö and Berlin


This project analyses the role area-based interventions (ABIs) play in the process of territorial stigmatization from a comparative, Swedish-German, perspective and thereby seeks to contribute to our understanding of socially sustainability urban development. Research has shown that stigma adds to existing disadvantages and threatens social cohesion. Studies of how institutions confront or reproduce territorial stigma and the employment of in-depth, cross-national research designs are, however, rare. Based on Malmö and Berlin, two cities that are governed through different institutional arrangements, we investigate what the role of institutions is in confronting territorial stigmatization through ABIs. ABIs are public initiatives that target socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods through a wide range of programs and projects. Including residents’ perspective, we seek to identify which aspects of ABIs make them useful or unfit to deal with territorial stigma and thereby contribute to knowledge that will make efforts against territorial stigmatization more effective. Linking discursive and material dimensions, we use a problem-questioning approach that draws attention to (1) discourses , i.e. the way urban problems are constructed, (2) the way these problems are translated into policies and (3) implemented through practices. Findings will be used to advance theories of territorial stigmatization and urban policy practice.

Project leader: Defne Kadioglu

Financing body: The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS)