Table of Contents

The Sustainability of Cultural Diversity

The Sustainability of Cultural Diversity

Nations, Cities and Organizations

The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development

Edited by Maddy Janssens, Myriam Bechtoldt, Arie de Ruijter, Dino Pinello, Giovanni Prarolo and Vanja M.K. Stenius

This engaging book addresses the question of how diverse communities, whether in a nation, city or organization, can live together and prosper whilst retaining and enjoying their cultural differences. This is a particularly pertinent issue in the context of the modern world where mass migration and immigration are pervasive global phenomena.

Chapter 9: From Uniformity to Sustainable Diversity: Transformations of a Post-Socialist City

Alexandra Bitušíková and Daniel Luther

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, development studies, migration, geography, cities, human geography, social policy and sociology, economics of social policy, migration, urban and regional studies, cities, migration, urban studies


Alexandra Bitušíková and Daniel Luther 9.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter builds upon the concept of the sustainable city which has been increasingly receiving attention in urban research and urban planning in Europe in the last decade. The chapter discusses two spheres of the postsocialist change in the city of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, that are closely connected to diversity and sustainability: urban public space and local governance. Both selected criteria are studied from a comparative historical perspective based on a socio-anthropological comparison of the socialist and post-socialist developments in the city. Their elements are hypothetically used as indirect indicators of (sustainable) diversity in the city. How and why public spaces are created; what segments of population they address and attract; how open, accessible and used they are by diverse population groups and individuals; how they influence the sense of place, identity, belonging, tolerance and respect; and how actively local governments as well as local citizens are engaged in the creation and governance of public space, are the central questions to be discussed. The key words linking diversity and sustainability in this study are openness, access, inclusion and integration.1 The main hypothesis assumes that diversity can only flourish in an open society/city that creates conditions (policies, strategies and practices) for the integration and inclusion of all inhabitants. The choice of the two criteria – public space and local governance – is based on the fact that these areas have shown most dramatic and visible transformations in the last two decades and are...

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