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How Do EU Cities Fight Poverty?


Founded by the OeNB’s Anniversary Fund

(Duration: March 2018 - February 2020)

Poverty is a multidimensional problem – it becomes visible in a wide variety of areas of life and includes economic, social and cultural aspects.

Poverty as a complex problem also requires complex coping and handling strategies. Poverty and the risk of poverty have become permanent challenges in the European Union (EU) after the financial and sovereign debt crisis. The local authorities are faced with the challenge of reducing spatial differences in the districts. The municipalities face considerable demographic, cultural, economic and social challenges. - This brief outline of the problem makes it clear why a study focusing on how cities deal with this challenge is today a socially and economically relevant topic.

Within this project, in the six Western European EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom), where urban poverty is higher than in rural areas over a multi-year period, municipal poverty alleviation approaches will be considered economic sustainability. Policy recommendations are made based on best practices. In order to go beyond an inflationary or popular scientific labeling as "best practices", the project addresses the following research questions:

  1. How is municipal success when reducing poverty measured?
  2. What are central causes of poverty and challenges when fighting poverty?
  3. How is the configuration of the interaction between network actors implementing successful municipal approaches?
  4. What are the characteristic of successful urban strategies and interventions?

The multidisciplinary mode of the research project demands a triangular-method approach. The research project applies as research methods the systematic literature review, the document analysis as well as expert-interviews. For interpreting the data project follows a qualitative-interpretive paradigm. Case studies are conducted in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Individual municipal approaches are compared based on deductive, as well as inductive identified characteristics, with the intention of deriving recommendations for suitable municipal approaches from best practice cases.

Institute of Management Accounting


Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenberger Straße 69
4040 Linz


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+43 732 2468 3490