Reintegrating ghettos into society: Lessons learned from the Danish ghetto strategy

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In 2010, the Danish government launched a ghetto strategy with 32 initiatives in order to “dissolve parallel communities” in Danish housing areas and to (re)integrate them into Danish society (Statsministeret, 2010). Despite its negative offspring in the Muhammed riots (Freiesleben 2016, Houlind 2016), the strategy arguably presented a strategy for revalorization of space and, thereby, a new strategic approach combining social and physical initiatives in order to permanently transform deprived housing areas in a Danish contexts. With the ghetto strategy, Denmark is aligned with similar international regeneration programmes in order to close the socio-economic gap between housing areas and residents. Based on the recent architectural evaluation of social housing renewals for the Danish National Building Foundation (Bech-Danielsen & Mechlenborg 2017) and with a Lefebvrean perspective of a spatial trialectic (Lefebvre 1974/1991, Soja 1998), this paper reflects on the why Danish – like international - transformations are not able to realise the potential of the initiatives in the strategy. What are the effects of the initiatives they dorealise? And what does that tell us about the social impact of physical transformation in relation to the overall aim of the ghetto strategy?
Translated title of the contributionReintergration af ghetto i i samfundet: Erfaringer fra den danske ghetto strategi
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalNordic Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)59-87
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


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