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institut ISP


Integrating disadvantaged populations through strategies and instruments for promoting social coexistence in neighbourhoods – StraInQ

Project Description

People from EU member states, especially Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, constitute the largest group of immigrants in Germany. One of the key challenges for local integration work is how to enable members of the stigmatised Roma minority access to various areas of society, given their personal circumstances, the strained housing market in large cities and the discrimination evident at various levels of society.
This research project aims to identify and develop strategies and instruments which encourage the socio-ecological integration of these particularly disadvantaged groups into urban neighbourhoods. Drawing on the research results of StraInWo, the predecessor project on housing market integration, the focus will now be on integrating disadvantaged populations into urban neighbourhoods and existing communities. Using the living lab approach, this involves scientifically monitoring and assessing the housing project currently in progress in the Berlin district "Märkisches Viertel". The project’s innovative approach is reflected in its extended neighbourhood focus, the testing of additional instruments for fostering social cohesion and anti-discrimination in an urban neighbourhood characterized by diversity and immigration, and the investigation of individual spatial perception and appropriation practices of various neighbourhood residents.
The partnerships established during the previous project with the Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication (ISP), the Integration Officer of the Reinickendorf District Office and the community organisation Aufwind e.V. in cooperation with GESOBAU AG and Prof. Dr. Ingrid Breckner will also be continued in this project.

Project Objective

Ultimately, the project aims to promote social cohesion through the provision of guidelines for transforming neighbourhoods in a socio-ecologically sustainable and culturally sensitive manner, which in turn can be applied to other communities and groups of stakeholders. In addition, tangible progress is expected to be made in integrating disadvantaged groups (especially the Roma) in the Märkisches Viertel with regard to their opportunities for participation in the community and neighbourhood, and ensuring that these efforts are sustained.


The follow-up project is devised as a living laboratory based on the Märkisches Viertel housing project. Accordingly, the sub-projects are designed to enable ongoing exchange between the knowledge gained from the individual sub-projects and their practical operational context. By means of reciprocal generation, collection and integration of findings in cooperation with local stakeholders, the project aims to achieve not only its research objectives (insights into the culturally sensitive transformation of urban neighbourhoods), but also objectives which are both practical (e.g. the empowerment and cooperation of the participants) and educational (e.g. intercultural competence, living skills and knowledge about conserving resources). In addition to the regular interaction that occurs during project coordination, the local workshops and nationwide symposium will provide important opportunities for discussion and reflection. The project is scheduled to run for 2 years.

Impressions from the district "Märkisches Viertel"

Map of the Märkisches Viertel
Town square in the Märkisches Viertel
Pond in the Märkisches Viertel
Apartment buildings on the Senftenbergerring

External funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)
Project management: DLR Project Management Agency (German Aerospace Center)
Project duration: 05.2020 to 04.2022

Project processing and network coordination

ISP - Institute for Urban Research, Planning and Communication of the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences (network coordination):

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heidi Sinning, Project Management

M.A. Johannes Glöckner, Research Collaboration

Tel.: 0361 6700-390
Fax: 0361 6700-373

Postal adress:
PO box 45 01 55
99051 Erfurt

Visitor adress:
Altonaer Straße 25
99085 Erfurt
House 12, Room 12.1.12

Network and project partners

District Office Reinickendorf Berlin
Julia Stadtfeld (Coordinator for Refugee Affairs)
Matthias Mundt (Research Collaboration)

Aufwind – Verein für Aufsuchende Erziehungshilfen e.V.
Sabine Hermann-Rosenthal (CEO)

Helene Böhm (Project Management Social Neighborhood Development)

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Breckner
Department of Urban and Regional Sociology of HCU Hamburg

project brochure

© 2007-2015



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