The concentration of disadvantaged people in certain parts of cities is almost always seen as undesirable by urban researchers and policymakers. But is this always the case? The Conversation
Our research demonstrates that it isn’t. Concentrations of people who are often classified as “disadvantaged” – namely newly arrived humanitarian refugees and their families – can have significant positive outcomes. This is because such “gateway suburbs”, while housing large numbers of disadvantaged people, are not disadvantaged places.
Auburn is 19km west of the Sydney CBD.
As part of a broader research project, we chose two suburbs that were identified as disadvantaged and characterised by high numbers of immigrants. We spoke with residents and local service providers about their experiences, place changes over time and current settlement opportunities for newly arriving migrants. The suburbs we chose were Auburn in Sydney and Springvale in Melbourne.
Springvale is 23km south-east of the Melbourne CBD.
Auburn and Springvale may have high concentrations of disadvantaged people, as defined by Australian Bureau of Statistics data (in terms of income, employment and language proficiency in particular). But they are not disadvantaged places.
These suburbs are well serviced by public transport and are within reasonable commuting distance of their cities’ CBDs. They have a plethora of social and community services, along with a good selection of shops and services catering to the local community.
Historically, these suburbs have been major hubs for providing resources and support to new and established migrant communities.