An Escape from the Neighbourhood Trap: Confronting the Local Concentration of Inequality and Social Mobility in Europe

On Wednesday, 24 June 2020, 2.00 pm
and Thursday, 25 June 2020, 2.00 pm

via Zoom


Doug Saunders, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy

An online workshop to engage scholars and policymakers

A growing number of European urban neighbourhoods, towns and mass-housing districts might be described as “mobility traps,” where significant populations find it increasingly difficult to advance beyond the socio-economic status of their families. Recent research in several disciplines suggests that changes in housing markets, labour markets, education, urban policy and migration settlement have created concentrated zones of low or declining socio-economic mobility. This trend has produced local-level barriers to upward mobility for both second-generation families of immigration descent and domestic populations typically from post-industrial backgrounds. Inequality and socio-economic mobility, usually seen as national phenomena, have an increasingly local manifestation.

This workshop, in short sessions on two afternoons, will examine the dimensions and causes of this problem and explore a range of potential policy solutions and community initiatives, both “population-based” and “place-based,” aimed at restoring the missing rungs on the economic ladder. It will bring together an international group of scholars from economics, sociology, geography and urban studies as well as people involved in municipal, regional and national policy, with the goal of producing a policy brief focused on best practices in restoring upward mobility to families and communities in vulnerable “mobility trap” neighbourhoods.

Registration for this workshop is by invitation only.