The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage

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In a world of increasing mobility, how people of different cultures live together is a key issue of our age, especially for those responsible for planning and running cities. New thinking is needed on how diverse communities can cooperate in productive harmony instead of leading parallel or antagonistic lives. Policy is often dominated by mitigating the perceived negative effects of diversity, and little thought is given to how a diversity dividend or increased innovative capacity might be achieved. The Intercultural City, based on numerous case studies worldwide, analyses the links between urban change and cultural diversity. It draws on original research in the US, Europe, Australasia and the UK. It critiques past and current policy and introduces new conceptual frameworks. It provides significant and practical advice for readers, with new insights and tools for practitioners such as the intercultural lens, indicators of openness, urban cultural literacy and ten steps to an Intercultural City. Published with Comedia.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book reminds us - with both proof and passion - that there can be no truly creative or competitive cities without first having curiosity, compassion, conviviality and cooperation.'
Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class

'A much-needed addition to the literature.'
Kathy Pain, director of Globalization and World Cities Spatial Planning Unit, Loughborough University

'Wood and Landry have emerged as the leading exponents in the UK of the path from multiculturalism to interculturalism... Their refreshingly grounded approach builds on actual examples and provides inspiring stories of the social and economic benefits of embracing diversity. A must-read for those involved in city building, community development and place making.'
Leonie Sandercock, professor in urban planning and social policy, University of British Columbia

'This is a highly topical area and with increasing concern about ghettos in our cities this would provide useful material.'
Clive Harridge, President of RTPI

'This book is a fantastic achievement ... a valuable, and highly useful study.'

'This book is a fantastic achievement by the authors. It offers a concise overview of extant literature and policies, as well as hands-on recommendations for local administration. A must-read study.'
Orhan Kaya, alderman for participation and culture, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

'This book is a welcome celebration of urban cultural diversity that lays out new concepts and policies to enhance recognition across the social and cultural divide, but without ducking the very real challenges.'
Professor Ash Amin, Department of Geography, Durham University

'This book is an important addition to the existing literature and a valuable resource for all the professionals in the built environment.'
Institution of Civil Engineers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844074365
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phil Wood has been a partner in the urban policy think-tank Comedia since 2000. He worked for 20 years in local government, community and cultural development and has advised the UK Governments Commission on Integration and Cohesion. Charles Landry founded Comedia in 1978, which seeks to rethink the major global issues for cities. An international authority on urban futures and city revitalization, he is the author of The Creative City and The Art of City-Making.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Setting the Scene
• The Urge to Define, Sort and Categorize
• The Context of Diversity
• Living Apart: Segregation
• Living Together Then: A Short History of Urban Encounter
• Living Together Now: Modern Zones of Encounter
• Diversity Advantage: The Benefits of Cross-cultural Interaction
• The City Through an Intercultural Lens
• A New Intercultural Citizenship
• Indicators of Openness and Interculturalism
• Conclusions: The Ecology of the New Civics
• Index

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    A reviewer

    The authors acknowledge that their 'view [for the open, multicultural city] is prescriptive, culturally bound, and Western'. Their view is that the 'secular humanism position' which has led to general peace and prosperity throughout Western society has become 'drained of confidence, feels exhausted, and consequently is mistakenly accused of being 'wishy-washy' or as having an 'anything goes' ethos with no apparent point of view'. They do not take pains to defend this secular humanism which has been used to characterize and often malign Western culture or persuade readers that it is inherently desirable in any philosophical or sociological sense. Wood and Landry, both connected with the urban policy think-tank Commedia, however, see secular humanism's main tenets as necessary for peaceful and fruitful cities in this era of globalization. Such cities are inevitably multicultural. The authors present perspectives, ideas, policies, and means to ensure that multicultural cities are open and are equitable regarding ethnic differences and desires. The authors' take a comprehensive approach ranging from a master plan to behavior between individuals of different ethnicities. For most of its inhabitants, harmony in a multicultural, economically successful, satisfying city requires a way of life which maintains the essentials of one's ethnic or historical identity while at the same time enables and in some cases permits one to hold a job and thus earn a living and also take part in a city's political activities. This of course is an ideal of democratic, American, life often held out. But it has become clouded and problematic of late as well as widely disparaged with the resurgence of fundamentalist religions and growth of terrorism. Besides going into the many and various aspects of a model multicultural city, Wood and Landry identify signposts readers can use to estimate how their own city measures up. And they outline steps for moving toward the ideal modern-day city. Their concept is summed up in their term 'new civics', with 'civics' a concept or principle which cannot be dismissed or marginalized by any body of persons of varied backgrounds who desire to and intend to live in harmony for the good of all.

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