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Segregation, Urban Space and the Resurgent City

Sako Musterd
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Sako Musterd: Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands,

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 8, 1325-1340

Abstract: Currently, many major Western cities aim to be attractive to new and economically successful high-tech industries, financial and business services, cultural industries and consumer services industries. Most of these new activities are dependent upon well-skilled creative workers, which will be followed by those who will work in personal services. It is said that a large share of the well-skilled and creative workers requires impulse-rich and attractive urban environments. The idea has arisen that highly segregated, socially and culturally less integrated cities, do not match the newly required city profiles. On the contrary, these cities would exacerbate urban poverty and deter skilled people from settling there. Consequently, some believe that today's cities should also be socially and culturally cohesive. This hypothesis parallels policies against segregation and policy interventions in favour of more mixed and balanced local communities. The latter type of policy is also driven by the idea that more mixed neighbourhoods will enhance individual social opportunities and thus, on aggregate, strengthen the urban economy. This paper elaborates on these ideas and hypotheses and focuses on the rise of new economic activities and the locations they aim for, their potential relation with the social (and ethnic) segregation of the population and the related impact upon the attraction of creative workers and the possible impact on the social mobility of the population. Empirical data from Europe are used to support the arguments.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:43:y:2006:i:8:p:1325-1340