The Role of Arrival Areas for Migrant Integration and Resource Access

Heike Hahnhoerster, Susanne Wessendorf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)
    78 Downloads (Pure)


    Research on socio-economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods with high numbers of migrants tends to problematise such areas as hindering upward social mobility and further enhancing disadvantage. However, an emerging body of research on arrival areas is highlighting how such areas can provide newcomers with specific arrival resources, helping them to come to grips with their new circumstances. This article provides a conceptual overview and discussion of this newly emerging body of literature on urban arrival areas in the Global North. It argues that arrival areas offer infrastructures which can provide important support for newcomers, ranging from overcoming day-to-day problems to potentially enabling social mobility. In many cases, previous migrants act as knowledge brokers facilitating newcomers’ access to resources. The article shows how different forms of arrival-specific knowledge can be found in these areas, facilitating the exchange of resources across different migrant groups and across localities. However, arrival-specific infrastructures can be both enabling and disabling with regard to social mobility, as they often emerge in contexts of underlying disadvantage and discrimination where access to resources such as housing and jobs can be highly contentious. The article argues that understanding the dynamics of urban arrival areas and infrastructures and their specific role in providing resources for newcomers can contribute to our knowledge on integration and help us rethink the role of policymaking and urban planning in increasingly complex and mobile urban societies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalUrban Planning
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020

    Bibliographical note

    © Heike Hanhörster, Susanne Wessendorf. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


    • arrival areas
    • arrival infrastructures
    • diversity
    • integration
    • migration
    • Integration
    • Arrival areas
    • Migration
    • Diversity
    • Arrival infrastructures

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Urban Studies


    • Equality and Inclusion
    • Migration, Displacement and Belonging


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