In and beyond Europe today we witness strengthened structural spatial divisions within city neighbourhoods, with increased inequality and sharper lines of division. Continuing immigration and increasing socio-spatial polarization question social cohesion in local societies worldwide.
In Europe, high rates of unemployment, austerity and poverty make diverse neighbourhoods and local societies increasingly complex and contested. The polarisation of urban space exacerbates and ethnic concentration in neighbourhoods overlaps with situations of social exclusion and deprivation.
Against this backdrop, we witness a stalled urban regeneration investment as well as the welfare state provisions across many European cities and disadvantaged neighbourhoods, with finance enormously inhibited outside core economic areas following the 2007 financial crisis; more importantly, dissimilar top-down revitalisation strategies have resulted in new urban dynamics and urban tensions, gentrification processes and social exclusion.