Cities are not cities without dwellers. An agile city is a community capable of adjusting to temporary and sudden shifts in external conditions but also to the long-term needs of the dwellers and their diverse ways of living.

see Dwellers in Agile Cities

Social Diversity explores how social vulnerability of particular dweller groups relates to urbanisation, and how these effects should be taken into account in urban governance. 

We examine innovative housing and living solutions of particular vulnerable populations such as migrant youths, young people outside labour markets and education, and old people with care needs.

We develop new governance mechanisms of housing and living for meeting the needs of the vulnerable dwellers.

These dwellers face difficulties in fulfilling their welfare needs and desires for inclusion in society. Their housing and living is characterised by liminality and temporality, which exclude them from normal categories of social and welfare needs. Inclusion of these groups cannot be attained through contemporary welfare system. For achieving embodied and discursive knowledge on housing and living of vulnerable groups Social Diversity subproject utilises action oriented participatory design.

First phase (co-design) 

In the first phase we draw lessons from international examples of our partners in Europe in order to understand the urban mosaic of needs and inclusion, and to create measures for improving social urban development. These lessons are employed to study new innovative policy scheme on social letting for young people and especially for migrants, a housing project for young people and a comprehensive sub-urban development project aiming to create age-sensitive residential area (jointly with SP 4 and SP 5).

These cases are used for mapping the housing and living needs, challenges, wishes and desired research outcomes from the perspective of vulnerable groups. In the pilot on social letting we interview migrants and other actors involved. In Härmälänranta we follow planning process and further elaborate by photo-talk-method with 10 young people. In Hervanta a group of 20-30 elderly dwellers are asked to photograph social and physical accessibility, or the lack of it, in their living environment and tell their everyday life stories with these photos. These pictures are used in workshops with other dwellers to discuss age-sensibility in the agile planning of the area.

Second phase (co-creation)

The results of the co-design are used for mapping and testing solutions and for developing novel understanding on need-based urban planning. The social letting scheme will be developed in co-operation with the city of Tampere. To support the easy adaptability of the new scheme we launch MunNet mobile application directed to young people which visualises the paths of services and social support available (jointly with SP 3 and SP 4).

Application is developed through an open competition and it involves co-design between migrant youth, service providers and researchers. These ideas are tested our case studies. In Tampere (Härmälänranta, Hervanta) the produced materials (e.g. photos and stories) and identified needs are further discussed and solutions developed in workshops bringing together vulnerable dwellers and other stakeholders. Practical experiments are identified along this process.

We contribute to new and novel methodologies of need-based urban planning which has direct policy relevance.

For the DAC-consortium we provide detailed understanding on social and cultural diversity and vulnerability in urban context, and on the needs of integrating housing with services for empowering these groups.