Understanding and reimagining Duisburg’s community economy, socioeconomic identities and civic participation

Since the decline of mining and steel manufacturing began in the 1970’s, Duisburg has been characterised by an enduring stigma of lacking opportunities for members of the local economy. Such entrenched identities inhibit socioeconomically isolated people from engaging with and benefiting from new opportunities, such as the key role that Duisburg is set to play in the New Silk Road.
Facilitating successful transitions from industrial to knowledge or service-based local economies requires a reimagining of the full range of productive skills, assets and networks that a community can activate. My research aims to explore the links between community participation and identity, and how diverse research partnerships can support community members in understanding and formulating sustainable, culturally appropriate solutions to local socioeconomic issues.