Population growth, modernisation processes and changing lifestyles are driving urbanisation forwards in Switzerland. At the same time, more disparities in the social environment, such as processes of segregation and gentrification, are to be expected. The topic of community development is to be seen as an umbrella term, combining the theoretical methodological traditions of community work, socio-cultural animation and social urban development.
To a particular extent, issues involving integration and opportunities for access and participation arise with regard to the immigrant population and their descendents. The institute develops substantiated, extensive responses to fundamental challenges, as well as specific action-guiding concepts. It primarily works on this topic against the backdrop of approaches based on inclusion, social integration and intersectionality, examining each of these in the charged environment of minorities and the majority population.
The way society deals with older people, as well as the need for (and development of) related services, must be analysed and kept track of, by means of social work with interdisciplinary cooperation. The institute primarily addresses the compatibility between the needs of elderly people and the conditions of their living environment, the protection and support of vulnerable groups, participation issues, and improvement of the quality of services and institutions.