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Local Matters

How neighbourhoods and services affect the social inclusion and exclusion of young people in European cities

Edited By Simon Güntner, Louis Henri Seukwa, Anne Marie Gehrke and Jill Robinson

Where young people grow up makes a decisive difference to their life chances. Drawing on case studies from ten European cities, this book looks at how the local environment and the services available for young people affect their socialization. What comes to the fore are the local matters. On the one hand, there are experiences of discrimination and marginalization due to distance and isolation, decay and neglect but also related to piecemeal and top-down approaches to youth and social services. On the other, we find signs of positive transformation and drivers of social innovation: community building projects, the revitalization of abandoned places, appreciative approaches to servicing and a whole array of tactics that young people deploy to overcome their daily struggles.

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Barcelona: Trinitat Nova and Raval (Olga Jubany / Berta Güell)

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Olga Jubany and Berta Güell

Barcelona: Trinitat Nova and Raval

Abstract: The recent economic crisis has caused major changes in young people’s lives in Spain. A study in two deprived areas of Barcelona with different social and urban developments show how key the neighbourhood dimension is to understand the diversity of responses to social inequalities, as reflected in different models of social innovation.

1. Introduction: The case study areas and the city-wide context

We are living in a society of a heterogeneous, fluid and shifting nature, which defines young people’s actions and interactions, and the way they address the relentless challenges. The recent crisis is no doubt the main concern that young people are facing today, which in Spain has been articulated into new patterns of social inequalities largely characterised by unforeseen rates of unemployment, discontinuities in education trajectories, delays in leaving the parental home and a dramatic decay in welfare provisions. In this context, cosmopolitan cities like Barcelona are locations where such inequalities have become remarkably evident.

Social inequalities, however, do not manifest equally across the complex and diverse areas of a large metropolis, like Barcelona. As a result, looking into the different realities of the urban areas becomes fundamental to understand the significance of the intra-territorial differences and their consequences. To this aim, building on the Citispyce study1, this chapter focus attention on two deprived neighbourhoods in Barcelona: Trinitat Nova, a peripheral housing estate suburb, and Raval,...

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