Superdiversity in the ageing city? The convergence of increasing multiethnicity and an ageing population.

European societies are increasingly both ageing and diverse societies. Through processes of in-migration and demographic change, the population composition will modify fundamentally in the next decades. Especially metropolitan areas are the geographical and societal focus of complex processes of sociodemographic and ethnic change. Whereas a vast literature deals extensively with either the demographic change or a growing superdiversity of European agglomerations, research on the complex overlap of both processes almost not exists. This is all the more surprising, as it is very reasonable to assume, that processes of a maturing population will be highly influenced by growing diversity and vice versa. However, the trajectories of this convergence seem to be rather unclear. The need to address the cross-references and interferences of both processes becomes apparent: How do processes of societal ageing and growing superdiversity interact? Is ageing a cultural or ethnic related process? Or do the different members of society age in the same way regardless of ethnic origin? What is more, to the knowledge of the applicants no study has addressed this overlap of processes up to now in a spatially explicit way. In this research project we suggest to call this interrelation of the two processes of superdiversity and ageing “superdiverse-ageing”. We empirically scrutinize this new phenomenon using Berlin as a case study. Because there is barely a specific literature on superdiverse-ageing nor empirical studies do exist, we are faced with a situation where we have to work creatively with different sets of literatures and produce our own synthesis. In the following four different sets of literature approximate the research lack addressed from different perspectives: research on a) demographic change, b) superdiversity, c) geographies of ageing and the elderly and d) urban spatial models and perspectives for demographic change and superdiversity analyses. From these sets of literature we develop three hypotheses that explain possible mutual interactions between ageing and superdiversification in urban agglomerations. The overall aim of this research project is to empirically explore the presumed interrelations between ageing and ethnic origin, and thereon-based scrutinize and formulate scenarios for future urban developments in the superdiverse, ageing city.

Principal Investigators
Lakes, Tobia Prof. Dr. (Details) (Applied GIScience)
Haase, Dagmar Prof. Dr. (Details) (Landscape Ecology and Biogeography)
Helbrecht, Ilse Prof. Dr. (Details) (Cultural and Social Geography)

DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of Project
Start date: 03/2017
End date: 02/2020

Research Areas
Geodesy, Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, Geoinformatics, Cartography, Human Geography

Haacke, H.C., Enßle, F., Haase, D., Helbrecht, I., & Lakes, T. (2019). Why Do (n’t) People Move When They Get Older? Estimating the Willingness to Relocate in Diverse Ageing Cities. Urban Planning, 4
Haacke, H., Enssle, F., Helbrecht, I., Lakes, T., & Walker, B.B. (2017). Cluster analysis for the derivation of agents for ABMs in the context of an ageing, super-diverse population: a mixed-methods approach. In, GeoComputation. Leeds, UK
Haacke, H., & Lakes, T. (2018). Super-diversity and urban development–challenges and possibilities of simulating future scenarios for the case of Berlin, Germany. In, AGILE. Lund, Sweden
Lakes, T., Haacke, H., & Enßle, F. (2020). Superdiversität in Berlin - ein Ansatz zur räumlichen Analyse der Verteilung der Wohnorte von älteren Menschen. In: Armut und Gesundheit, 8.-10.3.2020. Berlin

Last updated on 2020-07-07 at 13:32