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DIVERCITIES. Governing Urban Diversity: Creating Social Cohesion, Social Mobility and Economic Performance in Today’s Hyper-diversified Cities
DIVERCITIES is a European comparative research project financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. It is led by Utrecht University and the Bartlett School of Planning is one of 14 projects partners. European cities today are more diverse than ever before. Immigration, socio-economic inequalities, spatial segregation and a diversity of identities and lifestyles are all contributing factors. The challenges faced by urban policymakers and institutions to meet the needs of Europe’s increasingly diverse population are numerous and complex. The principal aim of DIVERCITIES is to examine how Europe can benefit from diversity. The project’s central hypothesis is that urban diversity is an asset. It can inspire creativity and innovation. Create cities that are more liveable and harmonious. Stimulate local and national economies and make European cities more competitive. Urban diversity can be a strength rather than a burden. It can positively affect social cohesion, social mobility and economic performance. But a re-think of public policies and governance models is needed to make more intelligent use of diversity’s potential. The team will conduct a comparative study in 13 European cities. Research will also be carried out in Toronto (Canada), one of the world’s most diverse cities. Case studies will be examined where diversity was leveraged to achieve social and socio-economic benefits. The role of urban policies and governance arrangements in stimulating social and economic progress will also be critically analysed. Comparative field research, educational programmes, cross-evaluation sessions and an international policy conference are the key components of this four-year project.
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