This blog aims to present the research conducted as part of the HubCities project, hosted by the European University Institute and the National University of Singapore, and supported by the European Commission’s Marie Curie Programme. It will analyse how cities use of universities and cultural institutions as instruments in the governance of cultural diversity, to target and attract transnational publics, construct discursive frameworks that promote diversity and create third spaces where people of different cultural backgrounds come together and interact. Changing migration patterns have led to the rise of an urban migrant population that is transnationally connected and socio-economically differentiated. This context renders traditional models of governance of cultural diversity obsolete and requires new approaches. As nation- states are being increasingly challenged on this issue, there has been a mounting push towards the urban scale to reflect on new strategies. HubCities aims to address this challenge with a focus on cultural and higher education policies as these play an important role in managing urban diversity yet are rarely envisaged as diversity policies.
The project focuses on two highly-diverse cities: Doha and Singapore. Using mixed research methods, the project will analyse these policies, drawing on Peggy Levitt’s notion of “diversity management regime” that designates the different “strategies, labels, and power relations underlying how difference gets talked about, measured, and negotiated”. The HubCities project will also use video as a methodological tool, to investigate the new spaces for culture and higher education planned in Doha and Singapore, and to contribute to the reflection on the role of such educational and cultural infrastructures in constructing civic spaces and stimulating interactions across diverse communities.
The results of this research will be published on this blog. This will include syntheses, chronologies, maps on the cultural and higher education policies of Doha and Singapore; filmed or written testimonies of the actors that are involved in these policies; videos presenting the urban spaces where they take shape.