Local community and place myths: city centre and suburbs between diversity and safety

What are the values that legitimate local communities in Norway today? In this article, we examine the place myths people mobilize and distinguish themselves from when constructing the place in which they dwell as a good one to live in and a positive local community for the new generation. Based on qualitative interviews with inhabitants living in the city centre and in a suburb of Bergen, we examine their conceptions of the good city life and the connections between places and identities. Although many studies about Norwegian society claim the strength of strong egalitarian values, we argue that this conception is reshaped. The good local community is framed as a place with a healthy tension between diversity and safety, securing the inhabitants the opportunity and right to choose their social belonging.

Keywords: city life, diversity, local community, place myths, safety