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Governing urban diversity through culture and higher education: Learning from Doha and Singapore.

Project description

Creating better urban spaces for diverse cultures

The change in migration standards produced new realities in globalised cities characterised by cultural diversity. An urban migrant population that is distinct on the social and economic level with transnational links emerged. As a consequence, new and effective approaches of governance became indispensable. The role cultural institutions such as universities can play in the creation of common spaces where people from different cultures can live and interact is debated. The EU-funded HubCities project aims to explore and analyse how non-Western globalised cities use universities and cultural institutions to address these new challenges. The project will focus on Doha and Singapore – two particularly diversified cities. It will investigate how diversity is debated, perceived and treated.


Can cities plan their cultural diversity? What role do cultural and higher education policies play in promoting diverse cities? The HubCities project will analyse how cities use of universities and cultural institutions as instruments in the governance of cultural diversity, to target and attract transnational publics, construct discursive frameworks that promote diversity and create third spaces where people of different cultural backgrounds come together and interact. Changing migration patterns have led to the rise of an urban migrant population that is transnationally connected and socio-economically differentiated. This context renders traditional models of governance of cultural diversity obsolete and requires new approaches. As nation-states are being increasingly challenged on this issue, there has been a mounting push towards the urban scale to reflect on new strategies. HubCities aims to address this challenge with a focus on cultural and higher education policies as these play an important role in managing urban diversity yet are rarely envisaged as diversity policies. The project intends to investigate non-Western globalizing cities where this issue has been less studied. It focuses on two highly-diverse cities: Doha and Singapore. Using mixed research methods, the project will analyse these policies, drawing on Peggy Levitt’s notion of “diversity management regime” that designates the different “strategies, labels, and power relations underlying how difference gets talked about, measured, and negotiated”. The HubCities project will also use video as a methodological tool, to investigate the new spaces for culture and higher education planned in Doha and Singapore, and to contribute to the reflection on the role of such educational and cultural infrastructures in constructing civic spaces and stimulating interactions across diverse communities.


Net EU contribution
€ 281 382,24
Via dei roccettini 9
50014 Fiesole

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Centro (IT) Toscana Firenze
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)