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The Urban Economics of Superdiversity

Nathan, Max; (2022) The Urban Economics of Superdiversity. In: Meissner, Fran and Signona, Nando and Vertovec, Steven, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Superdiversity. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

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Abstract

Steven Vertovec (2007) originally defined superdiversity as a new set of social features arising from 1990s migration patterns, which themselves reflected economic and other globalizations and post–Cold War political change. A rise in the number of “sending countries,” and shifts in the kinds of migrants and movement flows, has diversified “receiving country” nationalities, ethnicities, languages, and religions. As Meissner and Vertovec (2015) point out, within and across each of these identity groups we also see a greater variety of migrant legal statuses and socioeconomic characteristics (such as gender, age, income, and education). Further, the supporting infrastructures of low-cost airline flights and communications technology have helped sustain higher mobility and transnational diasporas (Blommaert 2013). These new social complexities are now present across many countries (Vertovec 2019). Superdiversity has a notably urban footprint—reflecting both the historic appeal of ports and economic centers to migrants, and the economic revival of many cities. But beyond this, we can also trace superdiversity back into the deeper, often hidden, history of the “multicultural city” (for example, Schrover; Sante 1998; Sandu 2004; Sassen 2004; Keith 2005; Olusoga 2016). Superdiversity is associated with global cities like London, which is now a “majority minority” city (GOV.UK 2020); importantly, it can also be observed within smaller “second tier” cities like Leicester (see Hall 2011), as this chapter shows. Engaging with geographies of superdiversity is unavoidable for researchers and policymakers, given its implications for urban lived experience (Stansfeld,) and for planning and economic development (Pemberton,). Growing diversity has been welcomed as culturally enriching and economically beneficial by many urban local governments (including in London; see Greater London Authority 2006), but it, arguably, also produces new challenges in understanding difference and managing everyday coexistence (Kahn-Harris 2019). Understanding the economic impacts and implications of superdiversity represents an important part of this academic and policy engagement. This chapter looks at the urban economic impacts of superdiversity in theory and in practice, using the experience of the United Kingdom in the early 2000s as a case study.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Urban Economics of Superdiversity
ISBN-13: 9780197544938
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197544938.013.8
Publisher version: https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfor...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148488
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