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Untitled Document
Migration, Residential Mobility and Neighbourhood change

Previously: "Migration, Residential Mobility and Housing Policy"
Created in 1990


Maarten van Ham
OTB - Research for the Built Environment
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Delft University of Technology
Delft, The Netherlands
Tel: 0031 (0)15 278 27 82


Lina Hedman
Institute for Housing and Urban Research
Gävle, Sweden
Tel: 0046 26420 6544 or +0046 18471 2544
David Manley
School for Geographical Sciences
University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
Tel: 0044 (0)117 928 8305

Name change to “Migration, Residential Mobility and Urban change”
In 2016 we have proposed a name change from “Migration, Residential Mobility and Housing Policy” to “Migration, Residential Mobility and Urban change”. We proposed to replace housing policy with urban change. We feel that this better reflects the direction of the working group is going in. The working group focusses on residential mobility and migration and how mobility influences neighbourhoods and cities. The new name of the working group better fits the papers within the working group which often investigate topics such as segregation, neighbourhood change, neighbourhood choice etc.

The central theme(s) of the working group
The 'Migration, Residential Mobility and Housing Policy' working group focuses on the causes and consequences of residential mobility and migration and on understanding the mobility process itself. The working group further focuses on how housing markets, the neighbourhood and the urban systems influence and are influenced by population mobility, and how housing policy influences population mobility, and local housing markets. We are interested in both short distance mobility (residential mobility) and long distance mobility (migration). We are explicitly interested in how resources and constraints on the one hand and opportunities and restrictions on the other influence the outcomes of the mobility process. The housing stock, current vacancies, the availability of credit, (social) housing policies, housing allocation systems, individual preferences and lifestyles all influence mobility. We study both mobility at the individual and household level and mobility at a more aggregate level (for example processes of suburbanisation and counter urbanisation). Methodologically methods such as GIS/Spatial modelling, event-history analysis and multilevel modelling have become prominent in the workshop, however we encourage those using qualitative methods also to participate as we attach great value to case study and ethnographic work as well as research that combines both approaches in a mixed methods setting.

Plans for the up-coming year(s)
Most likely we will not participate in the 2017 ENHR conference as the conference is planned just after the summer which causes clashes with other activities. The coordinators of this working group urge the ENHR to stick to the traditional time slot for conferences just before the summer.

For the near future we are particularly interested in three themes:

  • The role of place (in particular urban neighbourhoods) in the housing careers of individuals and households. From the neighbourhood effects literature and the residential mobility literature there is increasing interest in selective mobility into and out of (poverty) neighbourhoods. We know relatively little about the factors which influence neighbourhood choice (such as housing market constraints, lifestyle, etc.). Even less is known about neighbourhoods in a life course context. Do people have “neighbourhood careers” over their life course? Do most people move up the neighbourhood hierarchy during their housing career? Understanding these neighbourhood careers are is important for our understanding of neighbourhood effects, residential mobility, and neighbourhood and urban change.
  • The changing nature of neighbourhoods over time. We know that neighbourhoods change as the composition of the population changes. However, less is known about the factors that influence this process. What causes neighbourhood change? Do neighbourhoods change at the same rate within a city or are there distinct spatial patterns? How can these spatial patterns be modelled? We are particularly interested in exploring the debates and empirical advances in the 2015 ENHR.
  • The differences between ethnic minority and ethnic majority housing outcomes. This theme will pay particular attention to issues around segregated housing and lives, desegregation approaches, ethnic minority residential mobility and migration trajectories, and exclusions from residential spaces as a result of ethnic differences. We will frame this within the growing debate surrounding EU migration, as well as migration from further afield.

Summary of the activities over the past 5 years
The current Working Group organisers organized sessions in Dublin (2008), Prague (2009), Istanbul (2010), Toulouse (2011), Lillehammer (2012), Tarragona (2013), Edinburgh (2014), Lisbon (2015), and Belfast (2016). As with previous years, the 2016 ENHR workshop was very successful and attracted an international audience with participants from all over Europe and the rest of the world. We had more papers submitted than could be accommodated during the conference even when using all available workshop slots. The co-ordinators recently organised three 2-day seminars on neighbourhood effects (www.neighbourhoodeffects.org) and have edited a series of three books for Springer on neighbourhood effects, neighbourhood dynamics, and area based policies. Recently they have published a new book on Socio-Economic Segregation in European Capital Cities. East meets West (see www.segregationeurope.eu) , which has generated a lot of interest.