‘Diversity and Deprivation’ was the theme at this year’s edition of the annual ‘Housing Day’ organised by the Danish Building Research Institute in Copenhagen. More than 100 practitioners and researchers from all across Denmark attended the event on 31 January 2017.
How do we create coherent urban neighbourhoods while dealing with diversity and deprivation? This was the key question at the Housing Day 2017 seminar organised by DIVERCITIES researchers and their colleagues at the Danish Building Research Institute in Copenhagen.
To an increasing extent, diversity is becoming a key characteristic of urban environments in Denmark, where people with highly different lifestyles, cultures, economic conditions, social situations, etc are mingling. At the same time, deprivation is challenging neighbourhoods accommodating large groups of disadvantaged people, and here diversity is pursued in an attempt to create more socially mixed neighbourhoods. On the one hand, diversity can be seen as generating a dynamic urban life that increases tolerance between groups and aids social mobility for local residents, yet on the other, urban diversity can be the cause of conflicts and rupture between groups in the local area.
Based on results from the DIVERCITIES project and from a recent Danish project on revitalisation of deprived social housing estates, the Housing Day 2017 seminar discussed how cities can benefit from urban diversity in order to create more coherent urban neighbourhoods. Alongside presentations of key findings from the two research projects, three practitioners representing the municipality, a private developer and a social housing organisation provided their views on the task of creating socially mixed, yet balanced housing areas. The seminar also allowed for a plenary debate on the key challenges in dealing with diversity and urban deprivation in today’s Danish cities.
Images: Top from left to right (standing up): Hans Thor Andersen (Danish Building Research Institute), Rikke Skovgaard Nielsen (Danish Building Research Institute), Marie Stender (Danish Building Research Institute), Maj Green (Gladsaxe Municipality), Peter Thorsgaard (A. Enggaard A/S (developer)), Leif Jensen (Boligforeningen Aarhus Omegn (social housing organisation)), Claus Bech-Danielsen (Danish Building Research Institute). Above: Danish book produced by the Copenhgaen team titled “Den hypermangfoldige by – Potentialer og udfordringer”, which translates to The hyper-diverse city – Potentials and challenges.
Photos by Maja Skovgaard.