Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society

By Michael A. Burayidi | Go to book overview
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In my view I can discern no malevolence on the part of planners toward ethnic and racial groups. I do, however, think that planners were responding to prevailing cultural assumptions of their time and to some extent planners were also the foot soldiers of the elite in society, carrying out the orders in the trenches for their masters. That is why planners must have greater sensitivity to the values and aspirations of the people with whom they plan. This sensitivity will be forthcoming if planners learn to plan with rather than for the people.

Holistic planning will sensitize planners to the diversity of cultures in the country, reduce conflicts between planners and ethno-cultural groups, and legitimize planning among these groups by presenting an unbiased approach to community development. These qualities are needed of the planning profession to make it relevant in the twenty-first century.

Although there was discrimination against some European ethnic groups such as the Irish and Poles, these groups were able to assimilate more easily into mainstream American culture than racially different ethnic groups, such as the Chinese and African Americans.


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Fitch Nancy E. "Multiculturalism and Diversity or Business as Usual in the TwentiethCentury".


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