The EU2020 strategy focuses on a high-quality urban economy with knowledge, innovation and culture as its principal pillars. Despite this image of cities as prosperous landmarks of growth and innovation, there is another side to cities. Europe’s cities are home to large vulnerable groups. Social disadvantage or exclusion typically is multi-dimensional and encompasses for example poverty, bad living conditions and fewer employment and educational opportunities.
Throughout Europe, social cohesion or inclusion policies aim to provide equal chances to every citizen to enable social mobility. What works, what doesn’t? How are vulnerable individuals and groups in society being protected but also encouraged and empowered to reach their full potential? Can policy alone combat social challenges such as youth crime or school drop-out?