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Fritzie -

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How can we achieve social integration in cities?

In the recently posted talk by Eduardo Paes, which seems to be controversial in how it represents the quality of life in Rio DeJaneiro, the mayor of that city identifies as his third commandment that cities be socially integrated.

What does social integration mean to you in terms of how the residents of cities should be connected to each other and what are the best means we have of achieving such integration?

Examples of practical strategies that have worked in real cities would be very instructive. As the comments on the talk already provide a forum for discussing the accuracy of the mayor's depiction of his city, it would be wonderful if the discussion here could focus rather on the specific issue of promising strategies for social integration.

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  • May 3 2012: In order for integration to take place, people from all walks of life need to mix and interact much more often than they do now and particularly when they don't intend to. This can be done through city planning, e.g. get rid of parking lots, remove the front walls from shops at shopping malls, more effectively funnel people into one location my attributing this as the main function in walkway design. Economic integration would be important for this as well, where businesses would be led to collaborate and mesh with other businesses, although the tried and true business hierarchy model would need to be reevaluated. Perhaps... maybe even a "City Project" where those residing in the city would contribute some kind of manual labor task in the creation of the project, but where it is never actually completely created but made to adapt according to the new contributions of its new citizenry. Essentially, removing social barriers by engaging more often in conscious as well as unconscious activity together (preferably utilizing one another) that don't require social barriers. Then it becomes an issue of how would it be that everyone would want to do this, and the answer is to utilize universal need to engage in the activity together unconsciously.

    A little manipulative though.... (:
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      May 3 2012: I can see the implementation challenges in removing parking lots and shop walls, as those have clear functions one would need to ask how to accomodate differently and still meet people's needs. But the City project has no apparent downside.What might be some ideas for the City Project?

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