Superdiversity and ageing city? The convergence of increasing multi-ethnicity and an ageing population

European societies are ageing societies and they are becoming more diverse every day. Through processes of immigration 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 does not exist. This is even 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 this interrelation of the two processes of superdiversity and ageing is called “superdiverse-ageing”. We empirically scrutinize this new phenomenon using Berlin as a case study. Because there is barely 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
Helbrecht, Ilse Prof. Dr. (Details) (Cultural and Social Geography)
Haase, Dagmar Prof. Dr. (Details) (Landscape Ecology and Biogeography)
Lakes, Tobia Prof. Dr. (Details) (Applied GIScience)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

DFG: Sachbeihilfe

Duration of project
Start date: 02/2017
End date: 02/2021

Last updated on 2022-08-09 at 23:05