Two Dutch professors, Maarten van Ham and Sako Musterd, together with Szymon Marcińczak (Poland) and Tiit Tammaru (Estonia) led a European comparative research project named ‘Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities’, investigating spatial patterns of inequality in thirteen European capitals between 2001-2011. They found that in most of Europe, the rich and the poor are living at increasing distance from each other. During the ‘State of the City’, the project leaders will highlight the most important segregation development in European capital cities. Special attention will be paid to the cases Amsterdam, Stockholm (Sweden) and Tallinn (Estonia).
Teams in London, Amsterdam, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Madrid, Milan, Athens, Budapest, Oslo, Stockholm, Prague and Vienna investigated comparable data per city regarding jobs and income amongst other things. Based on the literature they made predictions about segregation levels in each of the thirteen cities, and tested them in practice. They explained the found levels of segregation by in-depth analysis of the unique local situation and policy in each city.
The study shows that in all thirteen cities, poor and rich are living increasingly far apart. People search a place to live that fits their own socio-economic position. This trend is visible in Eastern as well as Western European cities. Madrid and Milan turn out to be the most segregated where Oslo occupies the last place on the list.
The increase of spatial segregation is related to increasing social inequality on the one hand, and withdrawing governments on the other hand. However, immigration flows enhance this effect too. These developments are possibly disastrous for the social stability and competitive strength of cities.