[URBANTH-L]Is Diversity Bad for Cities? (Linda Dwyer)

Tim Patterson tpatt_1 at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 14 00:27:35 EDT 2007

Diversity in the built environment is more contextual then what is portrayed
here; in so far as the urban design and architectural features and their
profound influence on an individual, family or communities' conformability,
narrative practice and overall place making with their follow citizens is
and has been typically overlooked if not neglected by popular media images
of the city.  Further, I would argue that American cities are in a class of
there own regardless of their impact on urban studies; however, Canadian or
British or other cities may find more diverse expression based on there
historical development and contemporary situations thereby adding a
different context to diversity.

T Patterson

-----Original Message-----
From: urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu
[mailto:urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu] On Behalf Of David W Babson
Sent: August 12, 2007 9:16 PM
To: Angela Jancius; urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu
Subject: RE: [URBANTH-L]Is Diversity Bad for Cities? (Linda Dwyer)

I was more intrigued by the second part of the Boston Globe article,
which pointed out that, while diverse societies may be less "socially
comfortable" they are more flexible and resilient by virtue of the
varieties of experience, opinion and personality that they contain, and
which their members can express.  This has long been touted (and
exaggerated, and misrepresented) as a great strength of the United
States--we have better ideas because we have more ideas, drawn from more
diverse people, and we (in this mythic narrative) are willing to put up
with the friction between differing viewpoints in order to solve our
problems.  When this system breaks down, the nation does not do as well.
As an example, consider the prevalence of group think, "yes men," and
the active ignoring/suppression of diverse opinions in the present
administration, and the way in which this organizational culture has
contributed to its catastrophic failure, and to the damage it has
wreaked upon the nation and the world.  I am sure that members of the
administration can feel quite comfortable with the low likelihood of
their facing anyone different from themselves as they go about their
daily duties, but this lack of diversity has lead the administration
into, to put it as kindly as possible, gross and horrific mistakes,
again, again and again.  Of course, this is not the whole cause of these
mistakes, by any means, but it is a major part of their cause.  It comes
down to:  Would you rather live a comfortable life, up to the point that
your inflexibility causes, perhaps, catastrophic change, or would you
rather accomplish something, and would you rather solve or avoid social
problems?  After these past seven years, I can only see this sort of
question becoming more and more important.

D. Babson.

-----Original Message-----
From: urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu
[mailto:urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu] On Behalf Of Angela Jancius
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2007 11:42 PM
To: urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu
Subject: [URBANTH-L]Is Diversity Bad for Cities? (Linda Dwyer)

From: Linda Dwyer <Lindwyer5 at aol.com>

Perhaps there is even more fundamental questions at play:

What is the relationship between place and community in the 21st
*Do political boundaries (such as town or city) define communities, or
there overlapping communities that might be defined
deterritorialized "communities" connected through new technologies of 

In other words, are we attempting to define and understand current 
relationships through a nineteenth century definition of that

Finally, where does social capital manifest itself today?  Are there
forms of social capital than the face-to-face relationships of yore?

Diversity today is itself a result of global flows of people, capital,
communication. One might therefore wish to investigate shifts in the
of social interactions, the construction of social networks, their power

Linda Dwyer 

URBANTH-L mailing list
URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu

URBANTH-L mailing list
URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list