Increasing Diversity in Urban Mixed-Use To Reduce Dividedness and Divisiveness

By David Sherley.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Do our neighbors seem like us? Socially? Ethnically? Economically? People often say they want to live in socially and culturally and economically diverse environments, but are increasingly less apt to choose them. How frequently do we encounter the life circumstances of those with significantly different means or social situations? Formation of homogenous communities has an effect on social & economic policy and affects America’s ability to govern itself. Reducing our exposure to other perspectives hinders our knack for innovation and thereby decreases our global competitiveness. These phenomena are fueled by the surroundings in which we choose to live, work and play. How do we configure a diverse and adaptable mixed-use development that draws people to it and which can maintain its diverse character over time? Mixed-use environments have been constrained by the limited degree of diversity they introduce and maintain over time. This paper considers aspects of urban diversity, vibrancy, and related issues from the perspectives of Creative City & Compact City. It then develops a synthesis and suggests strategies to achieve greater diversity and vibrance in the social, cultural and economic realms that are able to evolve and adapt over time.

Keywords: Diversity, Vibrance, Inclusiveness, Urban, *Human Environments and Ecosystemic Effects

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.33-47. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.892MB).

David Sherley

Graduate Student, Department of Architecture and Interior Design, School of Creative Arts, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA