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Urban Inequality and Exclusion

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 17672

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Geology, Centre for Ethics and Poverty Research, University of Salzburg, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Interests: social geography; urban inequality and poverty; geospatial modelling and simulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The past ten or so years have been characterized by recurring crises, including the financial and economic crisis, the migration and refugee crisis, and the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, the climate change crisis is a long-enduring crisis. Although all these crises affect global society comparably in principle, cities are impacted more severely and comprehensively, because they represent places where social, political, economic, and cultural conflicts are tightly and densely interrelated. In fact, a continuously growing urban population will accentuate the effects of crises in the future.

Political and societal measures which seek to cope with problems of urban inequality and mechanisms of exclusion have long been available, and have been further developed to date. Human and civil rights in general and the right to the city [1] or the right to housing movements in particular, illustrate an endeavor to approach the idea of a just city [2]. Currently, efforts to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals are being taken up to reduce poverty and inequality or to safeguard a healthy environment.

However, these efforts are threatened by a global capitalist economy whose inherent incitement is capital accumulation for profit-making [3]. Markets are prevailing, providing selective access based on power, money, and exclusive social networks. Social infrastructure such as housing, public transportation, and public and open space is suffering under these circumstances. The politics of urban austerity [4] obey the neoliberal paradigm, but aggravate the problems of urban injustice, exclusion, and inequality.

With this Special Issue on Urban Inequality and Exclusion, we invite conceptual, empirical, or exploratory papers which contribute to our understanding of the relationships between human and social needs, the application of fundamental rights, and how the capitalistic logic of commercial exploitation jeopardizes them. We welcome submissions focusing on urban austerity, housing markets, and strategies that try to realize resilient, just, and sustainable cities.

References:

[1] Butler Chris (2012): Henri Lefebvre. Spatial Politics, Everyday Life and the Right to the City. Taylor & Francis.

[2] Fainstein Susan (2010): The Just City. Cornell University Press.

[3] Harvey David (2009): Social Justice and the City. Revised Edition, The University of Georgia Press.

[4] Schönig Barbara & Schipper Sebastian (eds.) (2016): Urban Austerity. Theater der Zeit.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Koch
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban austerity
  • urban poverty
  • city and justice
  • environmental justice
  • capitalist economy
  • sustainable development goals
  • housing markets
  • right to the city
  • segregation and stigmatization

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 737 KiB  
Article
Social and Climate (In-)Equality Perspectives within the SDGs: Introducing the Inequality and Poverty Assessment Model for a Sustainable Transformation of Housing
by Meike Bukowski and Katharina Kreissl
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15869; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315869 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
In this paper, we bring issues of inequality as a cross-cutting principle to all SDGs with a critical perspective on power relations, exemplified through the relevant social question of housing. For this purpose, we have developed the inequality and poverty assessment model (IPAM), [...] Read more.
In this paper, we bring issues of inequality as a cross-cutting principle to all SDGs with a critical perspective on power relations, exemplified through the relevant social question of housing. For this purpose, we have developed the inequality and poverty assessment model (IPAM), a systematic approach for streamlining problems and solutions within the SDG-framework in an inequality-sensitive way, serving as a guideline to screen topics for five dimensions of social and environmental justice: (a) distribution, (b) procedure and participation, (c) fairness in climate and environmental adaptation, (d) legitimacy and (e) recognition. Following a mixed-methods research design with expert interviews, stakeholder workshops, document analysis and an extensive literature review, we identify areas of concern, such as the interlinkage of energy efficient, affordable and climate-friendly housing, and elaborate on strategies and policy recommendations to support affordable and sustainable housing, in the specific context of urban (in)equalities in Austria. We recommend three sets of measures on the (I) De-commodification of housing by remunicipalisation, (II) De-commodification by spatial and building planning and regulated land use and (III) Strategies for more inclusive housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
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9 pages, 228 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Community Empowerment in Urban Poverty Eradication in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
by Mahaganapathy Dass, Puvaneswaran Kunasekaran, Charanjit Kaur and Sarjit S. Gill
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11501; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811501 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2648
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to holistically understand the role of empowerment in urban poverty eradication of the Indian community in the urban areas of the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The poverty eradication effectiveness was tested by analysing community empowerment domains and [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to holistically understand the role of empowerment in urban poverty eradication of the Indian community in the urban areas of the Klang Valley, Malaysia. The poverty eradication effectiveness was tested by analysing community empowerment domains and MyKasih programme run by a non-governmental organisation. There are numerous studies conducted to understand the issues of poverty in Malaysia. However, few studies have so far focused on the minority community in Malaysia. Moreover, there is no recent study to test the effectiveness of any governmental or NGO’s poverty eradication efforts on this minority community. This study utilised a qualitative approach and an in-depth interview was used to gather the data. The respondents were single mothers living in a poverty-stricken area in the capital city of Malaysia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
16 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Urban Education on the Income Gap of Urban Residents: Evidence from Central China
by Daxue Kan, Lianju Lyu, Weichiao Huang and Wenqing Yao
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4493; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084493 - 9 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2131
Abstract
It is very important for a country’s sustainable economic and social development to reduce the income gap between urban residents. Through investigating the impact of urban education level and its different levels on the income gap of urban residents in Central China, this [...] Read more.
It is very important for a country’s sustainable economic and social development to reduce the income gap between urban residents. Through investigating the impact of urban education level and its different levels on the income gap of urban residents in Central China, this paper provides the basis for formulating scientific and rational urban education development policies in Central China. Based on Central China’s urban dynamic panel data, this paper examines the impact by using the system GMM (Generalized Method of Moments). The results show that overall, the improvement of urban education level helps to narrow the income gap of urban residents in Central China cities. Specifically, improvement of primary education level and secondary education level helps to narrow the income gap of urban residents, and improvement of higher education level enlarges the income gap of urban residents. Nonetheless, with further development of higher education in the cities, the income structure of lower-middle-income and low-income groups will be optimized, and subsequently higher education in cities will probably narrow the income gap between urban residents. In terms of the type of cities, improvement of education level in provincial capitals widens the income gap of urban residents, and improvement of education level in prefecture-level cities and county-level cities helps to narrow the income gap of urban residents. For all three types of cities, improvement of primary education level helps to narrow the income gap of urban residents, and the improvement of higher education level widens the income gap of urban residents. The improvement of secondary education level widens the income gap of urban residents in provincial capital cities but reduces the income gap of residents in prefecture-level cities and county-level cities. The policy implication from this study is that, to effectively and expeditiously narrow the income gap of urban residents in Central China, prefecture-level and county-level cities need to vigorously develop urban education, especially urban primary education and secondary education. At the same time, cities in Central China also need to actively develop higher education. Although the income gap of urban residents might be widened temporarily in the short term, the development of urban higher education will increase property income and net operating income of the local middle-low-income and low-income groups in the long term. Ultimately this policy would optimize the income structure of local urban residents and narrow the income gap of urban residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
14 pages, 240 KiB  
Article
Do Basic Income Models Cope with Poverty and Inequality Sustainably? Some Critical Reflections and Alternatives
by Andreas Koch
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 4368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14074368 - 6 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1831
Abstract
The United Nation’s Agenda 2030, with its seventeen sustainable development goals, aims to alleviate poverty and reduce social inequality, among other things. The political program provokes numerous ambitious measures but leaves room for various definitions and interpretations about which measures perform well. The [...] Read more.
The United Nation’s Agenda 2030, with its seventeen sustainable development goals, aims to alleviate poverty and reduce social inequality, among other things. The political program provokes numerous ambitious measures but leaves room for various definitions and interpretations about which measures perform well. The challenge lies in understanding poverty and inequality in ways that move beyond a pure income-related perspective. In accepting this challenge, measures have been elabourated, which are supposed to advise the Austrian government in their efforts to implement the SDGs. The ‘unconditional basic income’ and the ‘all citizens’ insurance scheme’ represent two approaches among those measures, which call themselves for a comprehensive consideration of social justice. Both approaches will be discussed in terms of their political and normative claims. While basic income remains dominated by income, the insurance scheme engages with the question of who is entitled to benefits. Both approaches are ultimately unable to unfold their potentials as long as a territorial–administrative space concept is utilized. Since urban environments have their own specific social and spatial characteristics, it is essential to trigger a thorough discussion of political concepts which cope with the particular causes and effects of urban poverty, exclusion and inequality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
17 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
A Smart Right to the City—Grounding Corporate Storytelling and Questioning Smart Urbanism
by Anke Strüver, Rivka Saltiel, Nicolas Schlitz, Bernhard Hohmann, Thomas Höflehner and Barbara Grabher
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179590 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3074
Abstract
Against the backdrop of multiple ongoing crises in European cities related to socio-spatial injustice, inequality and exclusion, we argue for a smart right to the city. There is an urgent need for a thorough account of the entrepreneurial mode of technocapitalist smart urbanism. [...] Read more.
Against the backdrop of multiple ongoing crises in European cities related to socio-spatial injustice, inequality and exclusion, we argue for a smart right to the city. There is an urgent need for a thorough account of the entrepreneurial mode of technocapitalist smart urbanism. While much of both affirmative and critical research on Smart City developments equate or even reduce smartness to digital infrastructures, we put actual smartness—in the sense of social justice and sustainability—at centre stage. This paper builds on a fundamental structural critique of (1) the entrepreneurial city (Harvey) and (2) the capitalist city (Lefebvre). Drawing upon Lefebvre’s right to the city as a normative framework, we use Smart City developments in the city of Graz as an illustration of our argument. Considering strategies of waste and mobility management, we reflect on how they operate as spatial and technical fixes—fixing the limits of capitalism’s growth. By serving specific corporate interests, these technocapitalist strategies yet fail to address the underlying structural causes of pressing urban problems and increasing inequalities. With Lefebvre’s ongoing relevant argument for the importance of use value of urban infrastructures as well as his claim that appropriation and participation are essential, we discuss common rights to the city: His framework allows us to envision sustainable and just—actually smart—alternatives: alternatives to technocapitalist entrepreneurial urbanisation. In this respect, a smart right to the city is oriented towards the everyday needs of all inhabitants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
16 pages, 1585 KiB  
Article
Residential Racial and Socioeconomic Segregation as Predictors of Housing Discrimination in Detroit Metropolitan Area
by Roshanak Mehdipanah, Kiana Bess, Steve Tomkowiak, Audrey Richardson, Carmen Stokes, Denise White Perkins, Suzanne Cleage, Barbara A. Israel and Amy J. Schulz
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10429; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410429 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4707
Abstract
This study examined neighborhood racial and socioeconomic characteristics associated with housing discrimination (HD) in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, Michigan. Using novel neighborhood level data from the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit in combination with the American Community Survey, incidence rate ratios (IRRs) [...] Read more.
This study examined neighborhood racial and socioeconomic characteristics associated with housing discrimination (HD) in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, Michigan. Using novel neighborhood level data from the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit in combination with the American Community Survey, incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were derived to examine associations between HD cases and percentage of homeowners, non-Hispanic White (NHW) residents, and median income. Models were stratified to examine these associations for race-, disability- and rent-related HD outcomes. Between 2008–2017, 988 HD incidents were reported. Independently, neighborhood proportion NHW, income, and homeownership were inversely associated with all-types of HD. Jointly, the neighborhood predictors remained significant indicators. Similar patterns were observed in race-, disability- and rent-related HD when neighborhood predictors were examined independently. In the joint models, household income no longer predicted race-related HD, while proportion NHW no longer predicted disability- and rent-related HD. Results suggest HD may be more frequent in neighborhoods with greater proportions of NHB or Hispanic residents, those with lower incomes, and greater proportion of rental households. These findings have great social and health implications and warrant further exploration of how HD contributes to social and health inequities in lower income, predominantly NHB and Hispanic neighborhoods and those with more renters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality and Exclusion)
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