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.

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The Wiener Bezirkszeitung Mariahilf (local district newspaper) has published a report on the research carried out by the ICEC project team and featuring Dr. Josef Kohlbacher of the Vienna research team.

The project conclusion was held at a theatre in Gumpendorf, a part of Vienna’s 7th district and one of the case study areas for ICEC’s three-year research project. For a full report on the event and downloadable research results in different languages click here.

Download the full article (in German) or visit meinbezirk.at to read it online.


ICEC Final Conference

Last Wednesday, the ICEC team finalised the long journey of the 3-year research project with a final conference in Vienna. In the creative space of the TAG Theater an der Gumpendorfer Straße, Julia Dahlvik, Yvonne Franz and Josef Kohlbacher (all ISR) presented their research results and the ICEC poster to project partners, collaborators and interested members of the public (download here).

The results were discussed with Nathalie Binder (initiative Matznergarten), Florian Brand (Urban Renewal Office 7/8/16) and Markus Rumelhart (district mayor in Mariahilf, 1060 Vienna) followed by neighbourhood walks through the district. Markus Steinbichler (Urban Renewal Office 6/14/15) highlighted spaces from the  “Miteinander in Mariahilf” neighbourhood project, Julia Dahlvik discussed the role of the public space as space of encounter, Yvonne Franz explained the concept of urban living labs and Josef Kohlbacher showed the relevance of a diverse street for the neighbourhood with changes along Gumpendorfer Straße.

The common sense for interethnic coexistence in superdiverse neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, Vienna and Stockholm can be found in a small detail that may comes unexpectedly: Small, superficial contact with others in the neighbourhood is of crucial relevance to create attachment and potentially co-responsibility in the long term.



Click the thumbnails of the poster to download our results at a glance in the ICEC Poster in German and English.

The slides from the presentations can be downloaded here:

And if you want to get a glimpse of the atmosphere during the final presentation, have a look at our photo album.

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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.