LOCALIZE: Social realities in highly diverse urban spaces

#Integration and Social Cohesion #Research

January 2023 to December 2024
Integration Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) & Austrian Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt, BKA)


Migration is an urban phenomenon: half of Austria’s immigrant population lives in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. However, neither the migrant population nor the local integration policies are equally distributed in the city. Highly diverse neighbourhoods receive disproportionate attention in the integration discourse, from policy-makers and media alike. While their „superdiversity” is celebrated as social progress, these neighbourhoods are also associated with segregation and are therefore often the target of local integration policy measures.

LOCALIZE examines the social realities of cohabitation in three such highly diverse neighbourhoods in Austria, with a view to develop a qualitative toolbox which would allow for repeated data collection in different locations. Based on the residents’ perceptions, the study aims to assess the impact of integration policies on everyday life, interaction and participation of migrant and non-migrant residents of highly diverse neighbourhoods. The study design includes interviews with residents and local actors, as well as participant observations and neighbourhood walks. LOCALIZE is conceptualized as a pilot project for a long-term study, which could provide a qualitative complement to the existing quantitative integration monitoring instruments and contribute to more context-specific local integration policies.

Research questions:
• Why do these neighbourhoods receive more attention in the integration discourse? Which stakeholders (inter)act within the neighbourhood and what is their agenda?
• What shapes the social realities of highly diverse urban spaces? How do they influence individual trajectories of integration of new and established migrants?
• How do integration policy measures impact the daily lives and cohabitation of residents in highly diverse urban spaces?