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The intercultural city. Planning for diversity advantage

Phil Wood and Charles Landry

Published by Earthscan, 2008 | ISBN 978-1-84407-4

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’.




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


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 Government’s 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.