Analyzing welfare restructuring through the lens of the inner-city: Towards a comparative perspective on geographies of care in Osaka and Vienna

Authors: Johannes Kiener*, Saitama University
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia, Europe
Keywords: inner-city, homeless support, welfare restructuring, Vienna, Osaka
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


From the early 1990s on homeless support in Osaka and Vienna changed tremendously. In the past in both cities support systems for homeless people existed, that solely focused on the survival of their clients, without providing an option for further social inclusion. Gradually this changed through the introduction of various forms of transitional facilities, channeling in the ideal case homeless people towards independent housing. In recent years in both cities increasingly a more direct provision of housing can be observed, using either public assistance to stimulate the private housing market, or public housing schemes to realize housing first projects.
This presentation aims to develop a framework to analyze welfare restructuring in through the spatial lens of the inner-city to understand differing trajectories of homeless policies. Osaka and Vienna were chosen as examples because of their opposing spatial strategies towards homelessness, that were especially applied at the beginning of the restructuring processes. On the one side homeless policies were confined to the day laborer district Kamagasaki, while on the other side a comparable spatial concentration did not exist, and social mixing was promoted through a wide set of interventions.
By reviewing the existing literature on geographies of care a framework for analysis is developed that focuses on following questions: Under which circumstances can the inner-city provide to the social needs of vulnerable populations? How does the inner-city facilitates the creation of social innovations and subsequently to welfare restructuring? And is this a restructuring in favor of participatory and citizen-driven social services?

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