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Imagine Cities |DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
In an increasingly globalized world, cities around the world have experienced an exponential boom in diversity. According to the Conference Board of Canada, diversity is defined as: "the presence of a wide range of human qualities and characteristics. The dimensions of diversity may include, but are not limited to, ethnicity, race, colour, age, gender and sexual orientation." Despite its widespread endorsement in principle, the lack of diversity in various areas of societal life continues to be an issue that impedes progress towards a diverse society in practice. The deficiency of diverse representation in leadership positions speaks to fears of a fragmented society and lack of social cohesion. These factors are commonly cited as justifications against building cities founded on principles of diversity. Government, corporations and organizations have supported the movement towards diversity because there is increasing recognition that diverse groups generate greater cognitive diversity and thus have an elevated potential to function more productively. Numerous studies have consistently shown that diverse groups also bring their unique ideas, perspectives and experiences in problem-solving situations. Interaction with diverse people also provokes a conscious effort to work harder to reach consensus in anticipation of divergent perspectives. Diverse cities are hubs that attract creative people, which inspire the innovative ideas needed for economic prosperity and increased productivity. On a micro level, intermingling of various peoples and identities also aid personal development though engagement of different value systems and cross-cultural relationships.

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