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van der Ham, Jelmer, 2023. Bridging space syntax and social capital : a participatory approach to analysing the potential of Light Rail Transit to reconfigure spatialised social segregation in Gottsunda. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The geographic separation of population groups can perpetuate social inequalities in reaching socio-economic opportunity and can exacerbate social exclusivity. Gottsunda, an area in Uppsala, has experienced historically reinforced spatialised social segregation by concentrating groups with foreign-born and low socio-economic backgrounds within the same neighbourhood. The Uppsala municipality has proposed a light rail transit (LRT) project, which is planned to include Gottsunda. This thesis project will look at the potential of this LRT addition to reconfigure socio-spatial segregation in Gottsunda by analysing changes in the public transport network and mobility behaviour using space syntax and social capital concepts. Space syntax is currently the dominant method of spatially determining segregation, although social capital has the potential to contextualise more complex dynamics driving social segregation. These two methods are also scrutinised based on how they construct complementary findings. By adopting spatial GIS analysis, interviewing people living or working in Gottsunda, and by undertaking participatory mapping exercises, the current state of spatialised social segregation in Gottsunda and the potential for LRT to reconfigure it are determined.

High social cohesion currently limits bridging opportunities for population groups living in Gottsunda, resulting in a reinforced division between the neighbourhood and the rest of the city. A strong neighbourhood identity and concentrations of people with similar socio-economic backgrounds, risking homophily, are not balanced by the relatively well-integrated public transport network in the neighbourhood. The LRT introduction has the potential of bridging communities and facilitating co-presence of dissimilar population groups due to improved integration and the potential for inter-city travel. The LRT line does not address non-spatial barriers to integration, however, such as the affordability of public transport and a lack of ownership of lower-income groups in urban decision-making. Investments in public transport affordability, cultural activity diversification, and policies promoting socially inclusive participation are central to overcoming spatialised social segregation. This study also demonstrates that space syntax can complement social capital in understanding spatialised social segregation, although it cannot account for social complexities and non-spatial barriers to accessibility, such as homophily and affordability. Both concepts can spatially or socially contextualise each other but new methods are needed to investigate missing conceptual links to account for the complexities of spatialised social segregation.

Main title:Bridging space syntax and social capital
Subtitle:a participatory approach to analysing the potential of Light Rail Transit to reconfigure spatialised social segregation in Gottsunda
Authors:van der Ham, Jelmer
Supervisor:Joosse, Sofie
Examiner:Westin, Martin
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM011 Sustainable Development - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:public transport, spatialised social segregation, social capital, space syntax, participatory mapping, co-presence
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Deposited On:16 Jun 2023 08:46
Metadata Last Modified:17 Jun 2023 01:03

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