In my April 2012 blog post Cities of (in)Difference, I quoted Bloomfield and Bianchini (2002) and Sandercock (2003) on their visionary and transformative thoughts about the shift towards interculturalism. Like Amin (2002), Tully (1995) argues that our societies are intercultural rather than multicultural because of the cross-cultural overlap, interaction, and negotiation — the “politics of recognition” — that occurs out of necessity in the formation of our society. This is what Amin (2002 p 960) calls the “negotiation of difference within local micropublics of everyday interaction.” An acknowledgement of this dynamic cultural nature of society — both the “politics of recognition” and “negotiation of difference” — is a key distinction between intercultural versus multicultural theory and demands a culturally competent approach to both professional planning and urban design, and planning and urban design education.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about public spaces and spatial justice (which “links together social justice and space”). Two books have greatly influenced my thinking on this. In his book, Convivial Urban Spaces (Earthscan 2008), Henry Shaftoe talks of inclusive and exclusive urban spaces. Inclusive spaces he argues are the aim of “the New Urbanists, Urban Villagers and 24 Hour City people who want to ‘crowd out crime’ through mixed use and maximizing activity in public areas”.
Exclusive spaces, by contrast are the domain of “the ‘designing out crime’ proselytizers who seek closure and limitation of use of spaces”.