Tackling social segregation in large multicultural metropoles

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© Neighbourhood Management Team Life eV,
Neighbourhood Management Donaustraße Nord: Nachbarschasgarten
Tackling social segregation in large
multicultural metropoles
Berlin Neighbourhood Management programme
Problem addressed
Deprived urban areas in the 1990s in Berlin were
characterised by increasing segregation, unemployment,
discrimination, security issues and a lack of (social)
infrastructure. This led to a range of interlinked social
problems, particularly in the older inner city, af‌fecting local
and oen migrant communities that resided there.
Innovative solution
The Berlin Neighbourhood Management programme
was introduced in 1999 by the Berlin Senate to promote
self-sustainable neighbourhoods through local networks,
the development of local infrastructure and active
participation of its citizens. Unlike other similar funding
mechanisms, the programme was built on a participatory
approach that directly involves citizens in its decisions on
neighbourhood funding.
The city of Berlin identif‌ies socially deprived neighbourhoods
through its monitoring system which assesses the
unemployment rate, social benef‌it payments and child
poverty in each area. Each selected neighbourhood
establishes a neighbourhood council, made up of local
resident volunteers and organisations, such as sports clubs,
schools and churches. The neighbourhood council identif‌ies
local needs and develops solutions to address them, which
are then f‌inanced by the programme. The neighbourhood
management of‌f‌ice, set up by the programme, is responsible
for implementation, in close collaboration with the council.
This bottom-up approach helps to develop solutions that
respond directly to the challenges that each neighbourhood
faces. For example, the Brunnenstrasse neighbourhood
faced increasing segregation, a high level of dependency
on state aid and a high level of non-German speakers,
including children in education. Based on suggestions
from local residents, the neighbourhood council and
management of‌f‌ice developed homework support for
children with German as a second language, sports courses
to help children integrate and a parent’s café as a social
space to support parents’ integration..

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