Cultural Diversity in Cities
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
09:00 – 18:30
“Cultural diversity is the spice of cities”
Solomon Tsehai Adall, Ethiopia, extract from the e-Debate on Cultural Diversity in Cities, 2009.
Dialogue 4 will examine the cultural dimension of the urban environment and build an understanding of its impact on sustainable, equitable and inclusive urban development. Focusing on one of the main elements of the “right to the city” approach, this Dialogue will bring the interface between cultural and physical/spatial dimensions to the forefront, in order better to highlight how cultural diversity can help bridge the urban divide.
Cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humankind. The first thematic open debate, focusing on “The Various Identities in the City”, will identify the types of urban policies that pave the way for effective cultural inclusiveness and diversity among the population, taking in the local and the global dimensions. The main question here will be, ‘How can cities promote the various cultural dynamics at work among their populations for the benefit of sustainable development of local communities, peoples and nations?’ This will include the notion of ‘cultural difference’ as another driver of development.
Being spaces of multicultural expression, cities are characterized by extremely complex conditions. Cities are where the major challenges of today’s world can be observed close up. This is why the second open debate, with “From indifference to tolerance” as its theme, will focus on the following question: ‘How do we sustain and facilitate the expression of cultural diversity and, at the same time, create spaces for connectivity, inclusion and dialogue, if we are to move away from indifference and bring about better acceptance of others?’
Click here to download the background document and know more about this dialogue theme
Click here to know more about the speakers and panellists
About the programme
The discussions around “Cultural Diversity in Cities” will be organised as follows:
|1. Dialogue 4 ||09:00 – 11:30||Cultural Diversity in Cities|
|2. Thematic Open Debate||13:30 – 15:00||The Various Identities in the City|
|3. Thematic Open Debate||15:30 – 17:00||From Indifference to Tolerance|
|4. Thematic Concluding Session||17:30 – 18:30|
About the sessions
The day will cover the topic of cultural diversity and is structured into three events: one main dialogue titled Cultural Diversity in Cities and two Thematic Open Debates, which will focus on two derived areas: The Various Identities in the City and Indifference and tolerance.
|Dialogue 4 |
|Title:||Cultural Diversity in Cities|
|Day, Time & Venue:||Wednesday, 24 March, from 09:00 - 11:30, W4-4|
The main objective of Dialogue 4 is to unfold the cultural dimension in cities and to build an understanding about its impact on sustainable, equitable and inclusive urban development.
Focusing on one of the elements of the right to the city approach, the Dialogue 4 will bring to the forefront the interface between cultural and physical/spatial dimensions helping the audience to develop knowledge about the role of cultural diversity in bridging the urban divide.
|Topics to be Covered:|
Inequalities of Social and spatial segregation; diversity in social, economic and cultural life; active cultural expressions in the city by diverse citizen groups; cultural pluralism and tolerance in cities; Cultural Pluralism and diversity in gender, age, sexuality, minorities and vulnerable groups; Preservation of cultural heritage (built and social environments); Tolerance and spatial structure; urban entertainment; marketing of cities through culture (such as festivals and events); Culturally and socially inclusive -policies and approaches.
|Brief Outline of the Session:|
Brief Outline of the Dialogue - Urban inequalities are reflected into different levels and dimensions of social exclusion, marginality and discrimination. Very often these are associated with locations and dwelling environments situated in specific areas of the city where social groups who share some values, culture, religious and origins, and even language find a place to live. This demarcates the urban divide.
Place and ethnicity come together in cities who house large groups of migrants who are not necessarily alien to the city and country in question but find themselves in conditions of stigmatisation, discrimination and exclusion. In addition to cultural and ethnic diversity, particular social groups are also subject to poverty and discrimination that prevents them to access equal opportunities in cities in terms of employment, education, health, housing, security of tenure and cultural expression.
The right to the city approach is the one that recognises this diversity in economic, social and cultural life. This is centred on the principle that cities are the dynamic engine of cultural change, social life and linguistic and religious differences, gender, sexual diversity and heterogeneity.
Not all cities and government policies are keen on enhancing this diversity as an integral part of its urban identity. And very few translate this into urban policies and programmes that tackle the deep-rooted causes of social intolerance, economic exclusion and spatial segregation.
What are the elements that form government policies that result in greater physical and social integration of neighbourhoods occupied by ethnically diverse groups? What is that makes the upgrading and integration of informal settlements into cultural expression within a legal and institutional framework, a planning scheme within the city, on initiatives that embrace the right to the city approach? These are some of the fundamental questions that will be addressed by this Dialogue.
The Dialogue will discuss the range of policy and practical expressions of inclusion in a sampling of cities, providing an account of what makes cities perform better in cultural integration and respect for diversity. The dialogue will discuss different forms of cultural inclusion by analyzing what cities are doing to promote social integration that celebrates diversity, recognizes people’s cultural rights and the human capital of all segments of society, striving to actively enhance them by promoting creative expression in arts and heritage. All four dimensions (social, political, economic, and cultural) will be analyzed, taking into account the institutional and organizational capacity of cities to respond to them.
|Thematic Open Debate|
|Title:||The Various Identities in the City|
|Day, Time & Venue:||Wednesday, 24 March, from 13:30 - 15:00, W4-4|
|Objective and outline: ||Cultural diversity is a defining characteristic of humanity. What urban policies can help cities contribute to pave the way for its people to practice inclusiveness and cultural diversity at the global and local level. How can cities promote their different groups in society in order to mainspring sustainable development for communities, peoples and nations? Differences are vehicles of development.|
|Topics to be Covered:|
- Cultural Diversity as a positive variable to bring social inclusion;
- Institutional participatory mechanisms to develop participation among city dwellers in decisions affecting cultural life in the city;
- How to address cultural diversity into urban planning?
- The use of new technology as tools for the expression of diverse complexity of cultural diversity; How can we preserve the idea that communities have a lot in common and yet are diverse?
|Thematic Open Debate|
|Title:||From Indifference to Tolerance|
Day, Time & Venue:
|Wednesday, 24 March, from 15:30 - 17:00, W4-4|
Objective and outline:
As spaces of multicultural expressions, cities represent extremely complex realities. It is in cities that mayor challenge of today´s world can be observed. How to sustain and facilitate the expression of human cultural diversity and at the same time create spaces and produce connectedness, inclusion and conditions for dialogue in order to avoid being indifference to these changes and start creating acceptance of others.
Topics to be Covered:
- How do we ensure that cities are indeed spaces of tolerance and where we learn about differences?
- How to accept and recognize diversity, starting within the same social/cultural group;
- How to give visibility to the spaces of marginalized groups, as these spaces are often ignored or worse, eliminated
- How to preserve or regain spaces in the city for the expression of traditional cultures of those migrating from other areas (urban or rural);
- What is the role of women in promoting cultural diversity to bridge the urban divide?
|Thematic Concluding Session|
Day, Time & Venue:
|Wednesday, 24 March, from 17:30 - 18:30, W4-4|
|The concluding session presents a general review of the day.|
Speakers and moderators (indicative)
- Mr. Zeca Camargo, Presenter, Rede Globo (Brazilian Television)
- Ms. Taciana Gouveia - ABONG director (Brazilian NGOs Association)
- Georgia Butina, Professor of Oxford Brooks University;
- Minister Worthington, Chairman of UN-HABITAT Board;
- Amb. Joan Clos – Former Mayor, Barcelona & Chair of UNACLA;
- Dr. Ricardo de Ungria, Commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Republic of the Philippines;
- Mr. Paul Murrain, Representing the New Urbanism movement and author of the Responsive Environment;
- Honorable Dr. Nicephore Soglo, Mayor of Cotonou, and former President of Benin;
- Ms. Ariane Salmet, Chief of the Department in charge of cultural diversity in the French Ministry of Culture;
- Brigitte Colin, International Migrations and Multiculturalism Section, Architecture and Cities, Division of Social Sciences, Research and Policy, UNESCO
- Ex- Minister Meuttia Hatta Swasono, Minister of Women Empowerment; Indonesia;
- Dr. Mona Serageldin, Vice President of the Institute for International Urban Development, Egypt;
- Hon. Arkebe Oqubay, Minister of State for Urban Development, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Former Mayor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
- Américo Córdula - Secretary in charge of identity and cultural diversity - Brazilian Ministry of Culture;
- Honorable Mr. Tokio Sexwale, Minister of Human Settlements, South Africa
- Mr. Jorge Jose; City of Mumbai, India;
- Dr. Hector Castillo Berthie, Expert on Urban Arts with Youth;
- Dr. Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Malaysia;
- Ms Jan Petersson, Huairou Commission;
Main Language of the Presentations:
|English, Spanish and Portuguese, with simultaneous translation.|
Contact Person at UN-HABITAT:
|Cecilia Martinez, |
Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean , UN-HABITAT