Innovación social, pobreza y vulnerabilidad social. Los pequeños municipios de la provincia de Girona y la ciudad de Olot ante el reto de la cohesión social

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The bursting of the real estate bubble in 2008 triggered a widespread socio-economic crisis that particularly affected Spanish cities and towns. It was a crisis that spread to countries all over the world, but especially to European countries with high levels of social protection. Inequality, the risk of social exclusion and poverty increased and vulnerability was perceived to be widespread. We could say that, for the first time in years, the crisis had spread to a part of the population that seemed immune until now. This is a doctoral thesis by compendium of publications that aims to find out how non-metropolitan environments reacted to the socio-economic crisis of 2008. To this end, through three academic articles, it offers a reading of how innovation, poverty and vulnerability help to understand their social reality, but also allows us to make an interpretation of what the future challenges may be in terms of social cohesion. Even more so, if we take into account that we are recently emerging from one of the biggest crises we have seen in recent times: that of COVID-19. Based on these premises, the different case studies analyse empirically the innovative potential of six small municipalities in the province of Girona, how the consequences of the crisis have translated in terms of poverty and vulnerability in a specific territory (the city of Olot), and how a community mediation programme can help to strengthen the organisation of housing groups and whether this is sufficient to address vulnerability. The results, based on the cases analysed, show the need for new responses to increasing fragility and vulnerability that emphasise the collective. At the same time, non-metropolitan settings can act as an engine for shaping new realities and fraternities. But this is not an easy task, as social cohesion tends to suffer as vulnerability increases ​
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