Over the last decade, and especially in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, European cities have been witnessing the increase of income disparities, social polarisation and socio-spatial segregation to a level such that, in 2014, slightly more than 24% of EU citizens living in urban areas were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Urban poverty is frequently spatially concentrated in specific neighbourhoods and districts, and it affects people’s well-being by the accrual of intertwined forms of inequality and exclusion in fields such as education, employment, housing, health and participation. Therefore, tackling urban imbalances, fostering harmonious development, and allowing citizens to attain the most from the features and assets of their territories have become key challenges for the European Commission, which has developed several policy instruments to the purpose. Among them, in the 2014-2020 Programming Period of Cohesion Policy, the Commission launched the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD): a participatory area-based instrument focusing on the integrated development of small-scale territories. The CLLD is envisioned as a powerful tool to generate from the ground-up shared visions for the future of the target areas, to trigger social and economic development at local level, and, ultimately, to effectively tackle urban deprivation and inequalities. Nonetheless, it is still unclear who and how will eventually participate and manage the local decision-making bodies, which objectives will be actually pursued, and who will ultimately benefit from the initiatives. Against this background, the main goal of my Dissertation is to try and understand under which conditions the CLLD can effectively become a tool for enhancing the well-being of people living in neglected neighbourhoods, and thus for redressing social imbalances within cities. To do so, on the one hand, I explore policy and academic literature related to EU Cohesion Policy and to the CLLD, and I adopt the concept of rescaling in order to identify and discuss the potential contradictions to the positive expectations held on the instrument. On the other hand, I carry out the analysis and assessment of the local governance and development strategy of the Körnerpark Quartiersmanagement in Berlin: a community-led neighbourhood development initiative, implemented through the ERDF co-financed Soziale Stadt Programme, which is being carried out in the area since 2006. The case study has features that are strongly comparable with the current CLLD, and it is indeed one of the experiences acknowledged, and awarded, by EU policy-makers as a best-practice model for the community-led development method. Overall, I argue that there is an underlying ambiguity in the formulation of the instrument, for which it is not guaranteed that the CLLD would always allow to tackle urban poverty and inequalities, and to enhance the quality of life of disadvantaged residents. As for what emerged from my analyses, in fact, on the one hand, local processes might be exposed to the risk of elite domination in spite of inclusive and widespread participation; whereas, on the other hand, the goal of competitiveness might overcome the goal of redressing imbalances with the potential (and paradoxical) effect of even augmenting and amplifying such imbalances. Therefore I ultimately claim for the need of defining at EU level a set of common standards, concerning both the quality and inclusiveness of local governance, and the type of objectives to be pursued, which any Community-Led Local Development initiative should always meet.

Towards urban CLLD in Europe. Learning from Soziale Stadt in the Körnerpark, Berlin / Verga, PIETRO LUPO. - (2017 Feb 24).

Towards urban CLLD in Europe. Learning from Soziale Stadt in the Körnerpark, Berlin

VERGA, PIETRO LUPO
2017

Abstract

Over the last decade, and especially in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, European cities have been witnessing the increase of income disparities, social polarisation and socio-spatial segregation to a level such that, in 2014, slightly more than 24% of EU citizens living in urban areas were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Urban poverty is frequently spatially concentrated in specific neighbourhoods and districts, and it affects people’s well-being by the accrual of intertwined forms of inequality and exclusion in fields such as education, employment, housing, health and participation. Therefore, tackling urban imbalances, fostering harmonious development, and allowing citizens to attain the most from the features and assets of their territories have become key challenges for the European Commission, which has developed several policy instruments to the purpose. Among them, in the 2014-2020 Programming Period of Cohesion Policy, the Commission launched the Community-Led Local Development (CLLD): a participatory area-based instrument focusing on the integrated development of small-scale territories. The CLLD is envisioned as a powerful tool to generate from the ground-up shared visions for the future of the target areas, to trigger social and economic development at local level, and, ultimately, to effectively tackle urban deprivation and inequalities. Nonetheless, it is still unclear who and how will eventually participate and manage the local decision-making bodies, which objectives will be actually pursued, and who will ultimately benefit from the initiatives. Against this background, the main goal of my Dissertation is to try and understand under which conditions the CLLD can effectively become a tool for enhancing the well-being of people living in neglected neighbourhoods, and thus for redressing social imbalances within cities. To do so, on the one hand, I explore policy and academic literature related to EU Cohesion Policy and to the CLLD, and I adopt the concept of rescaling in order to identify and discuss the potential contradictions to the positive expectations held on the instrument. On the other hand, I carry out the analysis and assessment of the local governance and development strategy of the Körnerpark Quartiersmanagement in Berlin: a community-led neighbourhood development initiative, implemented through the ERDF co-financed Soziale Stadt Programme, which is being carried out in the area since 2006. The case study has features that are strongly comparable with the current CLLD, and it is indeed one of the experiences acknowledged, and awarded, by EU policy-makers as a best-practice model for the community-led development method. Overall, I argue that there is an underlying ambiguity in the formulation of the instrument, for which it is not guaranteed that the CLLD would always allow to tackle urban poverty and inequalities, and to enhance the quality of life of disadvantaged residents. As for what emerged from my analyses, in fact, on the one hand, local processes might be exposed to the risk of elite domination in spite of inclusive and widespread participation; whereas, on the other hand, the goal of competitiveness might overcome the goal of redressing imbalances with the potential (and paradoxical) effect of even augmenting and amplifying such imbalances. Therefore I ultimately claim for the need of defining at EU level a set of common standards, concerning both the quality and inclusiveness of local governance, and the type of objectives to be pursued, which any Community-Led Local Development initiative should always meet.
Towards urban CLLD in Europe. Learning from Soziale Stadt in the Körnerpark, Berlin / Verga, PIETRO LUPO. - (2017 Feb 24).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/13503
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