Concern about rising crime rates, high levels of unemployment and anti-social behaviour of youth gangs within particular urban neighbourhoods has reinvigorated public and community debate into just what makes a functional neighbourhood. The nub of the debate is whether concentrating disadvantaged people together doubly compounds their disadvantage and leads to 'problem neighbourhoods'. This debate has prompted interest by governments in Australia and internationally in 'social mix policies', to disperse the most disadvantaged members of neighbourhoods and create new communities with a blend of residents with a variety of income levels across different housing tenures (public and private rental, home ownership). What is less well acknowledged is that interest in social mix is by no means new.
Social Mix and the City