How multicultural is your city?
A recent UN report says there are approximately 175 million documented migrants worldwide and large cities in developed economies tend to attract international migrants, giving rise to multiculturalism. Toronto, Dubai, New york, Sydney and London; what do theses cities have in common? They are the largest cities in their respective countries and hence, multicultural cities with people from different parts of the world. With so many cities laying claim to the title of “most multicultural city”, London has moved a step closer to attaining this title. London is the European city with the largest population of non-whites, and is said to be the most linguistically diverse in the world – a title another city lays claim to.
Historically, London has always been multicultural; founded and called Londinium by the Romans after an invasion, it later displaced Colchester as the capital. The face of a city which survived a plague, fire, and the blitz is changing once again with white Britons now making up just 45 per cent of the city’s population. Immigration friendly policies of the previous government and the UK’s EU membership has helped bolster London’s multicultural credentials as shown by the 2011 census, more than half of England and Wales’ foreign born residents arrived between 2001 and 2011, London as a prosperous city is a default destination for immigrants and they account for more than one in three residents.With almost 55 per cent of births in London coming from women born outisde the UK, this city is set to become even more multicultural in the coming years.
Toronto and Sydney are the largest cities in Canada and Australia respectively, the first countries to adopt official policies on multiculturalism and New York city, the largest city in USA are multicultural as well. New York city welcomes about 200,000 immigrants each year and is fast becoming a South Asian and Hispanic city.
large cities tend to be more multicultural and vibrant than other cities in the same country
The nature of multiculturalism in Dubai is unique, an extremely diverse city seen as a land of oppourtunity to work, earn, invest and leave after achieving your goals, offers little chance of permanent residence and citizenship to foreigners. It is the most populous city in a country where foreigners outnumber Emiratis by eight to one, Dubai expatriates sometimes have no Emirati colleagues at work and hardly encounter the local culture. A debate on the limits of multiculturalism is ongoing even as multiculturalism presents this city oppourtunities such as the pioneering of a new field of study on the subject of multiculturalism. Dubai is a multicultural city where people from different parts of the world live in harmony, but it is certainly not close to being a melting pot of nationalities like these other cities where descriptions like African American, Chinese Canadian or Briton of Indian origin are quite common.
Multicultural cities tend to be vibrant and prosperous than their sister cities as the different cultures bring a unique colour, flavour and variety to life in the city for the inhabitants and tourists who get to experience several cultures all in one city, but should cities strive to be melting pots of culture? While some host governments try to promote integration and assimilation of new comers in order to achieve a harmonious blend of cultures, most immigrant groups tend to form pockets of communities like the famous china tows in almost every country therefore preserving their cultures. There is no need for a melting pot, different cultures can exist together in the same city and that is why multicultural cities are the most exciting cities to live in.