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17/02/2014 Challenges to Social Cohesion and Social Innovation in Cities Frank Moulaert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Newcastle University Challenges.

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Presentation on theme: "17/02/2014 Challenges to Social Cohesion and Social Innovation in Cities Frank Moulaert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Newcastle University Challenges."— Presentation transcript:

1 17/02/2014 Challenges to Social Cohesion and Social Innovation in Cities Frank Moulaert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Newcastle University Challenges to Social Cohesion in Cities and Social Innovation Responses

2 Outline What is social cohesion? … … and why it is such a challenge in cities? Social cohesion in the city as a problématique Social innovation as a contemporary bottom- up approach to social cohesion An overview of social innovation as process and collective action Challenges for EU policy

3 What is social cohesion? The confusion about the meaning of social cohesion as a term, a situation, a desire, etc. is paramount. The policy debate on territorial cohesion bears some responsibility in this as it hosts a diversity of interpretations. In the FP projects Social Polis and KATARSIS we have done significant survey work on the meaning of social cohesion. What we remember from this is that social cohesion is not a clear concept but a human « problématique » that can only be solved collectively and that has a particular urban character.

4 Why is social cohesion a challenge to cities? If indeed social cohesion is more a desire for collective improvement of relations between people, social groups within their different spheres of existence and interaction, then it is a challenge for cities. It is a challenge for cities for many reasons: a) Cities agglomerate all the complexities of social life on a concentrated territory b) On a daily basis, cities import and export factors of cohesion and fragmentation of their own system c) The views of how social fragmentation and cohesion should be addressed vary significantly among groups and people, but also among different types of actors within cities.

5 Social cohesion in the city as a problematique - 1 What is a problématique? … The transdisciplinary addressing of a multidimensional problem … Learned language to say the following: Social cohesion approached as a problématique recognises that defining the problem of social cohesion in the city is no simple, value-free decision. It implies asking the right questions and obtaining deep insights into the life world of urban inhabitants. It also requires systematically organised knowledge about causalities, contexts, historical factors and geographical patterns that have produced cohesion as well as fragmentation and exclusion. A problématique is more than a problem statement and an analysis of the different aspects of the problem but involves a process of collective research, problem solving and collective action involving a diversity of actors and stakeholders.

6 Social cohesion in the city as a problématique - 2 Four perspectives on problematising social cohesion in the city and its wider geography: -Socio-economy: solidarity and social exclusion -Culture: common values and identity -Ecology: sustainability and ecological justice -Politics: citizenship and participation Scientific analysis and transdisciplinarity Collective action and partnership

7 Social innovation as contemporary bottom-up approach to social cohesion Social innovation as collective problematization and cohesion-seeking initiatives and processes Three interconnected dimensions of social innovation agency (strategic behaviour, collective action, …) and processes: - Satisfaction of needs -Innovation in social relations -Empowerment of communities and their members

8 Social innovation is socially embedded -SINGOCOM (ALMOLIN, 2005: Moulaert et al. 1990): Social innovation is path dependent and contextual. It refers to those changes in [agendas, agency and institutions] that lead to a better inclusion of excluded groups and individuals into various spheres of society at various spatial scales. Social innovation is very strongly a matter of process innovation, i.e. changes in the dynamics of social relations, including power relations. [ … ] as social innovation is about social inclusion, it is also about countering or overcoming conservative forces that are eager to strengthen or preserve social exclusion situations. [….] social innovation therefore explicitly refers to an ethical position of social justice. The latter is of course susceptible to a variety of interpretations and will in practice often be the outcome of social construction.

9 Social innovation and problematising Dimensions of social innovation Dimensions of problematizing Satisfaction of human needs Innovation in social relations Empowerment of communities and their members – Politics and policy Perspective 1: Social Economy Production and allocation of use- values Governance of social economy organizations Needs oriented mental frames building - Perspective 2: Culture Overcoming alienation – Identity building Community building initiatives Culture, social movements and politics Perspective 3: Ecology Ecological sustainability goals Revisiting nature- culture relations Prioritising nature- culture relations in empowerment dynamics Perspective 4: Politics Building citizenship rights Cooperation- Mobilization Mobilising over social cohesion as a collective strategy Scientific analysis - transdisciplinarity [Revealing of needs]Social learning process Building institutions promoting constructive problematising Collective action and partnership XX

10 An overview of social innovation as process and collective action – significant illustrations Type of Social Innovation Scale Finalité (In reaction to? To improve?) Governance (Social learning, cooperation, decision-making and communication, …) Institutional leverage (Law making, funding, public institution building, …) NeighbourhoodMulti-dimensional neighbourhood development plan – IAD covering housing, public space, social services, … Olinda Neighbourhood committees, Neighbourhood Councils Olinda Neighbourhood Development Agencies, City funds, EC Community Initiatives Olinda CityIntegrated area development plan City-wide Networking among development actors Olinda City-wide administration with clear district competencies Olinda (tensions) Region - NationNation-wide sustainable development agenda Interscalar policy learning networks City-Funds, Social economy laws and institutions Llei de Barris

11 What follows … Serena Vicari will now address the relationship between social cohesion and social innovation in a diversity of life spheres within the city. … The role of Social Polis stakeholders in social innovation Next Jordi Vila will talk to us about de Llei de Barris in Catalonia and Thomas Emmeneger about the neighbourhood based integrated initiative Olinda in Milano.

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