Should Planners Encourage Diverse Neighborhoods?

In an opinion piece for the Vancouver Sun, a trio of academics argue that, contrary to popular belief, socially mixed neighborhoods can be damaging to the supposed beneficiaries: low-income groups.

"Social mix is a popular policy, gaining momentum worldwide," observe Martine August, Lisa Freeman and Nicholas Blomley. "Policy-makers believe that socially mixed communities are healthier, safer, and more vibrant, and will attract investment, tourism, and economic development. It is suggested that social mix is beneficial for low-income people, providing employment and social capital, curbing crime and promoting 'better' behaviour and neighbourhood reputation."

"But simply, the scholarship shows that the supposed beneficiaries of social mix, the poor and marginalized, do not often end up as winners." The authors go on to explain the two key problems with social mix.

Full Story: Mixed neighbourhoods not always a good idea

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