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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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Brno: Cejl and Husovice (Tomáš Sirovátka / Jana Válková / Ondřej Hora)

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Tomáš Sirovátka, Jana Válková and Ondřej Hora

Brno: Cejl and Husovice

Abstract: Both Brno’s study areas have large Roma populations which suffer from high unemployment and few social services. Segregation and discrimination by the majority and poor education are key factors behind inequalities. Yet there are signs of innovative actions by NGOs to tackle social exclusion but they need long-term institutional support to succeed.

1. Introduction to the case study areas and their location in the city-wide context

This study is aiming at the exploration of historical and spatial development of the selected neighbourhoods located within the city of Brno1 as well as mapping their social and economic infrastructure. Special attention has been paid to young people with other ethnic origins living in these neighbourhoods. The choice of the neighbourhoods for research has been based on three assumptions: first, less favourable socio-economic structure, e.g. in terms of unemployment levels; second, the age structure – the population is younger than the city average; and third, higher proportions of population with other ethnic origins.

Brno is known as a city with a higher percentage of Romany population than the average and qualified estimations speak of 15,000 to 17,000 Roma (Gabal 2006). Official statistics do not provide reliable information, however, since the stigma of being Roma makes them stay undeclared. The overall number of Roma in Brno is not very high but they are concentrated in specific neighbourhoods and...

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