On Sunday, October 29, Mathieu Steijn was interviewed by the Dutch Radio Swammerdam to talk about the question: How have the benefits of cities changed in recent decades? And who actually benefits from them?
Mathieu talked about his PhD research into the changing benefits of cities, how technological revolutions have changed work and industries and therewith the importance of proximity to cities, especially for knowledge exchange. This has a strong influence on how some cities manage to attract many economic activities – and others not.
The next topic was the role that urban advantages play in social mobility, the theme of Mathieu’s current research for the Dutch Kenniscentrum Ongelijkheid (knowledge centre social inequality). Social mobility is about the opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to climb the socio-economic ladder. These opportunities are very unevenly distributed across different neighbourhoods within cities. Knowledge exchange at neighbourhood level appears to play a very positive role in this matter.