Urban neighbourhoods are important arenas of social interaction and interethnic coexistence. Super-diversity in neighbourhoods mirrors the problems experienced on a wider scale and neighbourhoods shaped by diversity require locally determined solutions. Municipal policies have more recently focused on developing local initiatives to address social and integration problems.

The ICEC project will compare the aims, features and outcomes of neighbourhood development programmes in three different cities: Amsterdam, Vienna and Stockholm. In September 2013, the ICEC project team had their first meeting in Vienna. After selecting the case study neighbourhoods, the team members in Amsterdam, Stockholm and Vienna began work on identifying important policy measures that will be crucial to their analysis.

If you want to stay up to date with the ICEC project, please click on the blue ‘Follow’ button at the right or consider signing up for our newsletter.

ICEC Vienna featured in City of Vienna’s Research Magazine

ICEC Vienna‘s researchers Yvonne Franz and Josef Kohlbacher have been featured in this quarter’s Forschung und Entdecken, the City of Vienna’s magazine specially dedicated to research being carried out in the city, in all disciplines and areas. 

The article looks at the work and methods of Dr. Franz and Dr. Kohlbacher in direct contact with people living in the areas they are investigating and gives a brief overview of some of the project findings so far. Neighbourhood centres, where people come into closer contact with each other are important and support people in feeling a sense of belonging and tolerant attitudes to others.

Download the full article (in German) here, or leaf through the whole magazine here.

For more information about the areas in Vienna that are being investigated as part of the ICEC project, click here.

Österreichischer Städtebund looks at ICEC’s work in cities

c3b6gz_coverbild.jpgThe current magazine by Österreichischer Städtebund (The Austrian Association of Cities and Towns) features an insight into the benefits for public stakeholders in collaborating with research institutions. Florian Brand (Urban Renewal Office 7/8/16) and Markus Steinbichler (Urban Renewal Office 6/14/15) share their perspectives after a three-year collaboration with the ICEC-team.

Good to read that experimental approaches and mutual knowledge approach play a major role.

Download the full article here.

ICEC Researcher discusses “Feeling at home in a mixed neighbourhood”

ICEC researcher Myrte Hoekstra was interviewed by the website One World’s research section series #HoodHero about the many factors that play a role in how at home people feel in their neighbourhoods.

Using her research and one of ICEC’s case study areas of Volewijck, she speaks about aspects that can foster a positive sense of place – like memories and social networks in an area – and some things that can serve to threaten an individual’s sense of home, giving the example of urban renewal.

hoodheroShe goes on to detail some neighbourhood projects that have tried to generate a sense of belonging, and which ones have worked and which were less successful. One project uses students who live in the neighbourhood and organise projects there. This project has proven successful because students are new to the neighbourhood, but they were able to quickly gain the trust of the residents, and because they provide role models to children that might not be readily available. An example of a project that did not have the desired effect was one mostly used by a specific group and housed in a space that had previously been a neighbourhood centre used by another group, with tensions arising from the ensuing competition over this building.

You can read the full interview (in Dutch) on the oneworld.nl research page.

To learn more about the work of the ICEC Amsterdam Team and their case study areas, click here.

How can Vienna turn the ongoing refugee “crisis” into an opportunity?


Yvonne Franz and Ramon Bauer (Photo Joshua-Grigsby)

The ongoing refugee situation in Vienna has been widely discussed as a crisis, presenting problems for the city. As part of the University of Vienna’s current “semester question” ICEC Vienna’s Yvonne Franz and Ramon Bauer spoke to Uni:View about how the city can turn the events into an opportunity for the city.

Looking at the four key areas of education/training, the job market, housing and integration, the geographers discuss current structural problems, the willingness to help, “constructive conflict” and the advantages of seeing diversity as an opportunity and not a hurdle.

Click here to read the full article (only in German).

ICEC Researcher Dr. Yvonne Franz profiled by ‘Die Presse’ newspaper

The ICEC project has hit the news in Austria! Dr. Yvonne Franz from the ICEC Vienna team has been profiled in the national newspaper Die Presse. Focusing on Yvonne’s work in the ICEC project in particular, the article talks about her research and participation in the living lab in the Hippviertel: a sewing course over six months which brought her into close contact with people living in the area.

Die Presse article about Yvonne Franz

The article is available to read in full online at the DiePresse.com

The article originally appeared in print on 12th September 2015, but the full version can also be read online at Die Presse.com.

“Matznergarten”: Community Garden in Breitensee, Vienna

GB* gbstern.at

Matznergarden, “Growing together”, GB*

Breitensee, an area in Vienna’s Penzing (14th) district, now has its first community garden, established under the motto “Growing Together!” and with the aim of growing both plants and community relationships.

ICEC partner GB* is working together with the organisation “Gemeinschaftsgarten Matznergarten” to create a new urban space of encounter, with the first season concentrating on getting to know the neighbourhood and fostering relationships with the local population.

The Matznergarten community garden will be one of the Vienna ICEC team‘s Urban Living Labs, and an example of a bottom-up initiated space of encounter. It follows an ongoing trend in Vienna which has seen several such community gardens established in recent years.

To read more about the project or to get involved, please visits the links posted below.

Related links:

Community garden Matznergarten

ICEC Profile: Breitensee

GB* supported community gardens in Vienna


Advocate meeting: “Social Innovation Accelerators in Cities”

On 27th of June, 2014, the Institute for Urban and Regional Research (ISR) participated in a kick off meeting by a group of advocates for “Social Innovation Accelerators in Cities” in Berlin. The ISR at the Austrian Academy of Sciences is official member of the SEiSMiC Network in Austria and contributes knowledge and experiences in the implementation of urban living labs, as well as in identifying social innovation in onoing community-centred research. The group working on “Social Innovation Acceleratorsin Cities” includes entrepreneurs, private and public institutions from Hungary, Germany, Italy, Austria and The Netherlands. The idea is to implement “Social Innovation Factories” to empower social innovation from citizens for citizens.

If you want to find out more, please see the report on the SIAC meeting in Berlin.