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Neighbourhood social sustainable development and spatial scale: a qualitative case study in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2953-460x
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0108-4237
Umeå Municipality, Umeå, Sweden.
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2023 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social sustainability has increasingly become a goal for urban policy and planning, and for local and regional developmental strategies. Neighbourhoods are a common spatial scale for studying social sustainability and there is a growing focus on social sustainability in urban neighbourhoods for both researchers and policymakers. This paper is based on a qualitative case study of a neighbourhood defined by the municipality as at-risk of negative social development in a municipality in northern Sweden. The aim is to describe the perceived threats and promoters for social sustainable development in a neighbourhood defined as at-risk, and to analyse these in relation to a perspective of spatial scale. The study is based on data from interviews with municipal representatives, local professionals and residents, representing different experiences and perspectives in the neighbourhood. Four themes illustrating threats to socially sustainable development were identified: crime, unrest and unsafety; segregation and social exclusion; reputation and stigmatisation; and low involvement in municipal processes. The promoters for socially sustainable development identified in the respondents’ stories reflect four themes: strong community spirit; safety and low criminality; lively civic society and well-functioning public services. Our results show that neighbourhood social sustainability cannot be studied or acted upon without being put in a context of spatial scale and an understanding that processes occurring at a particular scale only can be adequately understood when considered in relation to other scales, i.e. the development in the neighbourhood can only be understood in relation to the development in the city and at national level. There is also a need for an awareness of how different aspects of socially sustainable development relate to each other, by strengthening or counteracting each other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023.
Keywords [en]
neighbourhood, social sustainability, social sustainable development, spatial scale
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-205484DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2023.2179610ISI: 000939579900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85149018026OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-205484DiVA, id: diva2:1743499
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2018-00262Swedish Research Council Formas, 2018-00276Available from: 2023-03-15 Created: 2023-03-15 Last updated: 2023-11-01Bibliographically approved

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Zetterberg, LivEriksson, Malin

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