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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 4 2012: Thinking of Cities as homogenous groups of people with a singular identity is misguided IMO. We live in communities within cities because we are comfortable there, sharing perceived cultural, economic, and societal mores/values with those in said community. This will never change nor should it as it is IMO a natural product of being human. Because of this, govt policy that is shaped under the parental notion of forcing differing communities together artificially is flat out wrong - simply put, not everyone wants to mingle with the rest of the city. The key to social integration in cities IMO is simple - Let the citizenry choose how, when and on what terms to integrate by creating the environment for integration to occur naturally - by building the environment & infrastructure that allows for easy & efficient travel within the city's smaller communities etc. Effective govt policy on infrastructure will also grow economic integration as well helping to uplift poorer communities and or escape them. Push for govt policy that focuses on infrastructure and allow for natural integration to grow on the individual's/communities terms.
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      May 4 2012: Thanks RB. This is exactly what this question is about- how to create the environment for integration to occur naturally.
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        May 5 2012: I think most anything that has perceived value (monetary, service, entertainment etc) to the individuals within communities is key to engaging and bringing them together. The challenge would be that we all value varied opportunities differently so what motivates people are often specific to their community and individual, thus a varied approach is required. Infrastructure (roads, transit, walk ways etc.) are a given - in order to foster integration, communities must be mobile. I believe that economic growth and uplift is a great integrator. Govt policy that drives a robust pro-business/small business sector drives a positive relationship that opens up communities to each other via commerce and employment. Open space markets/farmers markets are a great example of this tieing together infrastructure, commerce, convenience value to multiple communities that are otherwise food-barren in many respects and in the process integration occurs. In this single example, value exists in different ways (cost,convenience,entertainment etc.) to thousands of patrons who perceive it differently - integration is the natural byproduct. Another opportunity could look like subsidized entertainment services tied into mid-lying open spaces bring integration through perceived value of free entertainment ie: saturday movie under the stars, weekend out door music concerts, (TED TALKS!) festivals, plays, exhibits, sports etc. All of these can be subsidized through local gov't and be offered free or for a small fee. People from surrounding communities gather for the free service/entertainment, maybe buy a hotdog or popcorn and a coke from a small business vendor before the show - natural integration on the community/individual's terms.
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        May 7 2012: Another low hanging fruit is IMO education - in this example professional/trades schools. Something we do here in New Mexico is an almost free (not totally - ie: books, housing, food etc are not covered) 4 year (8 semesters) education or equivalent trades school program for New Mexico residents that graduated from NM and carry a 2.5GPA or better and were born after 1978 (too bad for me - born in 77 :D ). This is the type of socialized program IMO that benefits society, preparing the future for success, and to succeed on its own, without the need for gov't handouts to prop them up. From a city POV (state too), this is an investment in our futures, building into it an incentive to keep the bright young minds and their families etc here in our own cities, not telling them to go else where. This also increases the cumulative knowledge base, level of education and understanding of our cities and having a broader view & understanding of the world IMO is a fundamental glue that can hold a city together, and celebrate its diversity and variety. With education can come a shift in values which opens up the individual to the value of integration and an integrated community - Naturally occurring integration where the individual chooses to integrate based on their value system.
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          May 7 2012: The community colleges also can offer a great deal in this regard and serve a satisfying diversity of learners. Communities of practice can as well, in which mentoring as well as collaborative learning take place in the context of learning a trade or craft or performance skill. Brazilian samba schools are sometimes put forward as a model of community-making practice..

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