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Super-diverse streets Data Profiles: Ethnicity, economy and migration

New data on ‘super-diverse streets’ provides insights into the micro-economies that provide important economic and civic resources across UK cities. These are streets that are located in ethnically diverse and comparatively deprived urban places, where urban retail spaces shape and are shaped by migrant investments.

The first phase of this project incorporates a qualitative survey conducted in 2015, on four ‘super-diverse’ high streets: Rookery Road (Birmingham); Stapleton Road (Bristol); Narborough Road (Leicester); and Cheetham Hill (Manchester). In total, the face-to-face surveys across four streets incorporate 910 units. This included 480 retail units and 351 proprietors were surveyed.

Despite being located in marginalised locations, these four streets demonstrate different forms of invaluable retail diversity and an important source of employment. Proprietors typically come from many countries of origin and tend to have multi-lingual proficiency, high levels of tertiary education and experience in other occupations. These streets exemplify the long histories of migration that continue to shape the so-called ‘British’ high street. While each street has a core of well-established and dynamic businesses, there are also high percentages of emerging businesses with varying levels of success.

The ‘Super-diverse streets’ project is funded by the ESRC (ref: ES/L009560/1), and focuses on the intersections between city streets, ethnic diversity and economic adaptations in the context of accelerated migration.

The phase one survey of these four streets was conducted by Suzanne Hall, Robin Finlay and Julia King.

For further enquires contact Suzanne Hall (Principal investigator) on

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