Essay on The Intercultural City : Planning For Diversity Advantage

Essay on The Intercultural City : Planning For Diversity Advantage

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Literature review

##In the book The intercultural city: Planning for diversity advantage (Wood, Landry, 2012) it is suggested one should focus on diversity advantage for neighborhoods, cities, and nations rather than the diversity deficit. The way you look at the problem determines how you address it. If we see everything as a problem to be solved, the mind sees more trouble than opportunity. The authors argue that if cities, whether through choice or ignorance, find themselves in the “aversion” or “benign indifference” to diversity, they will ultimately lose out – in competitiveness or quality of life – to those that actively seek to position themselves in the zone of active interaction.

##Sandercock has explored what diversity really means for the planning and running of the city of the future, as she names it cosmopolis, in the book Cosmopolis II: Mongrel Cities of the 21st Century (2003). She dissects the principles upon which the established wisdom of urban planning is based; demonstrating that, in general, statutes and by-laws will be framed in favor of the majority, imposing uniformity on the diffuse needs of minorities.

The twentieth-century role of planning has been to regulate the production and use of space. In this state-designed role, planners have acted as spatial police, regulating not only land uses, but often, who – that is, what categories of people – might use that land: thereby regulating bodies in space, administrating who can do what and be where, and even when.

When cultural misunderstanding or even antagonism aggravates these they can lead to serious problems that can be far more costly to solve than they would have been to get right in the first place. She also describes how an added level of complex...

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...d better adapt to new information and changing conditions.

Case studies

The scope of my research is to investigate how cultural diversity is addressed in the planning departments of the city of Tulsa and the city of Broken Arrow, using the above criteria as guidance. Tulsa is the second largest city in the state of Oklahoma and Broken Arrow is the forth. Having a close geographical relationship, it was of particular interest to see similarities or differences. There are very few cities that actively embrace diversity as their asset and an opportunity from which it can benefit.


As city policy makers what is our mind-set when we think of diversity? This will determine the policies we devise and support. In the current climate it is too easy to see it as a threat to security or just one more problem, which makes our job more difficult than it used to be.

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