BMBF research project

Cohesion needs spaces – integrative housing with immigrants

Since October 2017, the Department Sociology of Architecture and Housing (IWE-FG) at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning of the University of Stuttgart, in cooperation with the German Institute for Urban Studies in Berlin (Difu), investigate the integration of immigrants and potentials of networking in the neighbourhood within the cities as well as in the rural settlement. The research project „Cohesion needs spaces – integrative housing with immigrants“ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung).

The core of the interdisciplinary and transfer-oriented research project is the analysis of nationwide integrative housing projects with a positive impact on social cohesion in the neighbourhood and the immigrants there.

In a first research package, case studies are selected based on a list of criteria, compiled into a project catalogue and reduced to a maximum number of ten case studies by a rating matrix. The chosen case studies should be characterized as innovative examples and showing architectural, urban and social solutions to strengthen the cohesion in the community. The cases also must proof the positive impact of the architecture- and the urban-spaces as well as the social-spaces on the housing situation towards integrated communities. Additionally, the aim of the project is to explore how architecture and urban designs strengthen the cohesion in the neighbourhoods and create social integration at multiple levels of the immigrants.

In a second research package, municipal action strategies are surveyed with the help of representative survey tools that are developed and implemented by the German institute for urban studies (Difu). Supplementary telephone interviews will be additionally conducted. The aim is to provide a nationwide overview of integration and inclusive housing projects and to assess their integrative effects and the possibilities of dissemination, transferability and applicability as new models of social housing.

Along the project, the research process will be monitored and qualified by means of a continuous feedback and input on the research results with the municipal practice in the form of workshops and network meetings. For quality assurance and to ensure the best results of the project, an intensive cooperation with selected transfer partners from the practice, who are also part of the advisory board, will accompany and support the research process. The advisory board consists of different members from the academia, the praxis and the social, political and religious institutions who are involved in the integration process of immigrants in Germany. The advisory board has a consultation and supportive role in the project.