Diversity, Economic Growth and Social Cohesion
Edited by Maddy Janssens, Dino Pinelli, Dafne C. Reyman and Sandra Wallmann
Patrizia Zanoni and Maddy Janssens Never in the history of human kind have cities been so numerous, populated and culturally diverse as today. At a global level, the world population is growing and increasingly moving, leading to more diverse cities throughout the world. Cities keep attracting migrants not only from the surrounding countryside but also from abroad (Thorns, 2002). These trends have transformed in the last decades the urban landscape. Cities, which historically often fulfilled the role of privileged locations for the expression of ‘national’ high cultures, have today become the locations where people with different cultural backgrounds live in close proximity to each other, and where cultures develop in new ways, through new, hybrid forms of expression. Such evolution has stimulated much debate both in the academic and the wider public arenas (Sassen, 1991). Despite notable exceptions (Fincher and Jacobs, 1998; Sandercock, 1998, 2003), this ever increasing cultural diversity of contemporary cities has been relatively little empirically researched. The intention of this book is to make a contribution in this direction, taking a closer look at cultural diversity within eight contemporary cities. Specifically, the book investigates (i) the processes and mechanisms through which cultures and cultural differences are negotiated, produced and represented within the urban context; and (ii) how such processes stimulate creativity and innovation and/or produce conflict in these locations. From these concrete experiences of urban diversity, their strengths and weaknesses, a handful of insights and principles will be distilled, which can be used as guidelines to make...
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