London is multicultural, a third of its population is foreign born, it houses 270 nationalities and speaks 300 different languages. It is one of the most diverse cities on the planet, and also one that has seen migration the earliest. It has flourished due to its migrant workers and their culture. But now as these statistics suggest more than 50% of people in the UK believe that there is too much immigration.Over 50% of immigrants first and second generation have said that they have been discriminated against, and it only gets worse with time.
How can design facilitate better integration of Immigrants and Natives in Urban Environments?
About Immigrants and Natives
We went across length and breadth of London, to over 13 neighbourhoods with ethnic majorities, such as wembley, new malden, ealing etc.
What we noticed is that different ethnicities of economic immigrants, ones that have immigrated into the UK for study, work etc legally have different economic starting points.
There are 4 types.
- They are either struggling to fulfill basic needs,
- embedding into community,
- plotting their lives in the new country
- or already thriving like many 3rd gen immigrants and natives.
What is more interesting is that their individual hierarchy of needs can be seen as inversely proportional to the collective social cohesion of communities. Which means that the more their individual needs are fulfilled, the more likely they are to be an active part of a cohesive community
When the same is observed within space, lets take the city of london as the infinite staircase as seen in the image below.
We now see that the distance is greatest when embedding and plotting. This is due to the realisation of different goals and financial inequity between different types of immigrants and natives. It's also here that they are developing their sense of belonging and love within communities, and as observed, here is where they are seperated the most due to their starting points.