Globalisering, rumlig polarisering og boligmarkedet
En linies budskab
Globalisation has generated major changes in Western European cities.
Major cities in the western world now have entered a new and different phase of economic and social development since the apparent end of urban growth during the 1970s. The growing and, especially in Europe, more intense international cooperation have created a new institutional structure for coping with social and economic turmoil in the wake of globalisation. A number of papers have discussed and demonstrated the social and economic effects of economic restructuring inherent in globalisation, and other associated transformations.
However, other processes peripheral to globalisation challenge its claim to being the sole cause of most important social changes. Demographic changes such as an ageing population have a major impact on the social structure of cities as well as local institutional arrangements, i.e. in relation to housing conditions.
Hans Thor Andersen
The Royal Danish Geographical Society
The cities of Western Europe entered a new phase of development during the 1980s. This new phase comprised first of all a population and economic boom: Economic restructuring as a consequence of deregulation, as well as attempts to expand through market and technological changes (predominantly the growth of the internet in the late 1990s) are part of globalisation.
However, globalisation is not just a process which impacts production, employment and financial markets; it also affects political relations by weakening labour unions and drawing focus away from welfare-oriented issues. In fact, the overall social discourse has come to favour a liberalist or libertarian interpretation of aims and methods in politics. In addition to these ideological elements, culture and technology have been “globalised” (Knox, 1995). Industrial restructuring, employment change and rising income differentiation are among the key processes behind an apparent growth in inequality.
This differentiation is in turn considered a main cause of increasing poverty and exclusion; both phenomena seem to take on a spatial dimension, and we are now witness to the formation of ‘spaces of exclusion.’
The data presented stem from a database on social changes
in Greater Copenhagen since 1980.
Globalisation has generated major changes in Western European cities; most can be attributed to economic restructuring, and the resulting redundancy of large groups of unskilled workers. However, globalisation has obviously influenced social and political agendas as well, so that the
substantial labour market marginalisation is accompanied
by a shift in political priorities, which begin to focus on
growth and competitiveness rather than welfare. In most
major cities in Western Europe the social consequences of
this include the concentration of excluded groups in the
least attractive neighbourhoods. Yet several examinations
of social change have failed to confirm the expected social
polarisation. Moreover, the spatial effects of social changes
due to globalisation are uncertain and as yet of minor import.
Despite much discussion around post-industrial cities,
the classic structure of industrial cities has survived. Copenhagen inner city continues to house singles, low income groups and the unemployed; there are pockets of gentrification, but they remain the exception. The shifting age composition is less an effect of globalisation than general ageing; in addition the quality of dwellings plays a role: as the vast majority of dwellings in inner Copenhagen are small, mostly singles will settle there. In this way the built environment contributes to socio-economic housing patterns in Copenhagen.
Although globalisation cannot be rejected as a factor having
influence on the social landscape of Copenhagen, important
demographic changes, including the altered distribution
of age groups, are unlikely the direct consequence of
global processes. In this sense the importance of local factors must be identified; it is primarily the ageing population that lies behind declining incomes and lower labour market participation in the older suburbs to the west, while the central parts of Copenhagen benefit from a growing group of young professionals and academics etc.
A slow, insistent wave of demographic change alters the social composition and structures of Greater Copenhagen . What this pattern bodes for the future depends partly on housing policy as it is carried out in the City of Copenhagen as well as the suburbs.
Copenhagen - Denmark