Neighbourhood projects (policy measures)

Policy measures

In a general sense, measures can be defined as actions which are undertaken to reach a specific goal. Thus, measures within the ICEC project comprise all types of local policies, initiatives, activities and interventions that foster interethnic coexistence in the neighbourhood – directly or indirectly. These measures can further be classified as follows:

To begin with, policy measures might encompass diverse types of local public policies implemented and funded by city or neighbourhood authorities approaching different aspects of interethnic coexistence in the neighbourhood (top-down approaches). For example, these measures include programs, activities and initiatives by the municipality or district offices in general or by urban renewal offices in particular.

But measures should not solely focus on top-down approaches and policy measures. In addition, we suggest that collective initiatives and strategies towards fostering interethnic coexistence ‘from below’ should be considered as well. Local bottom–up collective actions supporting interethnic coexistence on the neighbourhood level have to be taken into account. These may range from ‘grassroots initiatives’ towards interethnic coexistence that used to be in a close relationship to other social movements in the neighbourhood up to ‘local initiatives’ constituting (broader) responses to e.g. ethnic, socioeconomic or social exclusion. These activities might be organized and implemented by neighbourhood associations, clubs, groups, schools or the like. Some of them are not set up to promote interethnic coexistence directly but might exert an indirect or spill-over effect on interethnic coexistence in the neighbourhood and local policy measures incorporated by city or neighbourhood authorities.


Moreover, as studies on social cohesion policies have shown (Eizaguirre et al. 2012; Miciukiewicz et al. 2012: 1863-1865), policy measures, activities and initiatives that combine grassroots collective action in the neighbourhood with top-down policies should additionally be reflected upon (so called bottom-linked approaches). These measures might be developed by local groups or grassroots initiatives but are realized through close collaboration with official policy actors from the city and/or the neighbourhood in question. In addition, policies influence the structures within which grassroots initiatives operate, and policy actors can create a favourable or less favourable environment for such initiatives, or encourage some initiatives but discourage others.

We further suggest that these policy measures should have been implemented within the last two decades while they might vary in their actual duration, capacity and range within the neighbourhood (scope).

List of references:

Eizaguirre, S., M. Pradel, A. Terrones, X. Martinez-Celorrio, and M. García. 2012. “Multilevel governance and social cohesion: bringing back conflict in citizenship practices.” Urban Studies 49(9): 1999-2016.

Miciukiewicz, K., F. Moulaert, A. Novy, S. Musterd, and J. Hillier. 2012. “Introduction: Problematising Urban Social Cohesion: A Transdisciplinary Endeavour.” Urban Studies 49(9):1855-1872.