Generating Interethnic Tolerance and Neighbourhood Integration in European Urban Spaces (GEITONIES)


The ever increasing diversity of European metropolises, the persisting social and spatial inequalities in urban areas and the shifting paradigms of welfare provision call for a redefinition of “host-stranger” relations in cities and set the agenda for multicultural approaches to neighborhood governance as a means for promoting social cohesion. The research aims to enhance and improve our knowledge on daily interactions between individuals and groups of different social and ethnic background and on daily practices that affect these relations. In other words, it reframes questions of integration into a relational format. The focus on social practices and group relations of people that share the same residential areas and use the same public spaces makes the notion of place central in this research. Thus, the research will be carried out in selected social areas (neighborhoods) in six European metropolises (Bilbao, Lisbon, Rotterdam, Thessalonica, Vienna, and Warsaw).

The study is to answer two main research questions:

  • What is the specific role of places, understood as urban neighborhoods, in promoting, constructing, or molding cultural interactions across ethnic boundaries?
  • How do interactions between different social, cultural and ethnic groups affect the development towards a more tolerant society?

In the first phase of data collection, background reports will be drawn up for each city on the basis of existing (statistical, historical, legal) data. In each city two neighborhoods will be selected with regard to the socio-economic and ethnic composition of the population, the history of settlement of its residents, the character and shape of the urban development of the area, its place in the greater urban context, and its accessibility in terms of communication and transport. Detailed statistical and cartographic reports will be drafted for each neighborhood. Then, a survey of 300 respondents in each neighborhood will be carried out. It will document selected aspects of biographies and social relations of all types of inhabitants of the selected neighborhoods (both nationals and immigrants). The sampling will be residence based largely realized through the “random walk” method (an established way of generating a representative sample).

Project’s website


2008 - 2011

Source of funding

European Commission (7th Research Framework Program), the Ministry of Scientific Research and Information Technology


Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, University of Amsterdam
Institute of Urban and Regional Research, Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna
International Migrations Research Unit, University of Deusto, Bilbao
Regional Development and Policy Research Unit, University of Macedonia, Thessalonica