Sustainable Cities
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Sustainable Cities

Diversity, Economic Growth and Social Cohesion

Edited by Maddy Janssens, Dino Pinelli, Dafne C. Reyman and Sandra Wallmann

This book focuses on cities, their relationships with each other and the disparities between them. Analysing cities as the places where diversity is especially apparent, where cultural richness is experienced and where conflicts often erupt, it illustrates how cultures and cultural diversity interact with economic growth and development.
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Chapter 3: Diversity, Cities and Economic Development

Elena Bellini, Dino Pinelli and Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano


Elena Bellini, Dino Pinelli and Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano The first two chapters departed from a theoretical perspective to introduce the key notions of diversity and sustainability and to present our first attempt to identify the conditions for governing diversity in a dynamic, nonlinear and spatio-temporal complex way. This chapter takes both a step forward and a step backward with respect to the results of Chapters 1 and 2. Going forward, this chapter uses a newly developed database to provide some empirical ground to the theoretical analysis developed in Chapters 1 and 2. The database is firstly used to explore how globalization is affecting the diversity landscape in Europe. Then, econometric models are estimated to shed new light on the relationship between diversity and development across European regions. The results are compared with existing econometric evidence at country and US city level to identify the conditions under which diversity positively contributes to economic growth and development. This step forward requires, however, one step back. Quantitative empirical analysis of the type developed in the chapter requires some metrics of diversity. This implies abstracting from the complexity of diversity as discussed in the first two chapters and synthesizing it in easy-to-read and easy-to-interpret indices. In so doing, we trade complexity for measurability and take a longitudinal and comparative approach that nicely complements the detailed and in-depth analysis of the specific case studies in the forthcoming chapters. In what follows, Section 3.2 discusses the limitations and theoretical implications of the approaches currently available to...

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