Weak Areas and Socio-spatial Exclusion: Challenges/Opportunities
In Europe, the main cities face serious social exclusion problems within suburban districts. The One Million Houses program, initiated in Europe between 1965 and 1975, built annually 70000 new houses to meet the program's goal, mainly to overcome the housing crisis that resulted in a social exclusion problem. The suburbs developed by that initiative are currently identified as socially excluded from the cities due to high criminality, low rate of education, and low income (weak areas).
Socio-spatial exclusion is traced and recognized when a person or a group of people is excluded from society's core space where the primary social, political, and economic activities occur. As a result, these excluded groups are denied access to essential services and opportunities for integration into the core of society. Spatial differences exist between rural and urban areas and between geographically privileged and deprived areas. These differences may occur due to a) location's remoteness, which makes participation in larger socioeconomic structures physically impossible for its residents, or b) urban segregation because of high criminality, drug use, and poverty, which often characterize excluded neighborhoods.
Many researchers agree that socially excluded communities have a high criminality rate and violence against vulnerable groups. For example, in 2021, during the corona pandemic, cities experienced murder cases of women. Most of them lived in the suburbs, were unemployed, and had limited social connections; all the victims were murdered by family members or well-known friends. This indicates that an in-depth analysis of the people's needs and integration of all voices is essential to provide efficient and effective services in the suburbs to provide economical and environmentally sustainable development and social equity, empowerment, and justice.
What are the opportunities?
The accommodation of Smart Sustainable Services: Smart Sustainable Services is opening a new horizon to socially sustainable cities through building a bi-directional relationship providing accessibility to the socially excluded society members at the core of interaction of the cities. smart economy, smart mobility, smart governance, smart climate, smart life, and smart people. Watch: Smart City Sweden
Ensuring resident's participation and inclusion in more adaptable services can create significant value in people's lives and enrich their opportunities to integrate into the core of the cities.
Promote economic integration while considering welfare, city stability, urban-rural connections, and rural area competitiveness and development, protecting the environment and enhancing social equity.
Provide clear social sustainability criteria for evaluating and assessing different smart solutions in cities.
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