Cities - engines of inequality?
Many people recognize that cities are contradictory places of growth and exclusion; prosperity and inequality. See this video, for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE_JEpzrUH0
A recent report produced by the OECD, entitled 'Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising', had the following to say: 'In the three decades prior to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. This occurred even when countries were going through a period of sustained economic and employment growth.' Click here to watch a video summary of the report's findings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaoGscbtPWU
Cities are the sites of social and spatial inequality. In fact, the recent State of the World's Cities Report 2010/2011 (UN-Habitat) used the framework of 'The Urban Divide' to analyse the complex social, political, economic and cultural dynamics of contemporary urban environments (see the attached pdf file).
In this topic we debate the causes and forms of inequality that pervade cities internationally. Discussion will be guided by the questions:
What drives the production of urban inequality?
What do we mean when we talk about 'unequal cities'?