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Writing multiculturalism? Planning for culturally different identities in the city of Birmingham

Chan, W.F. (2007) Writing multiculturalism? Planning for culturally different identities in the city of Birmingham. Planning Theory and Practice, 8 (1). pp. 69-85. ISSN 1464-9357

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Abstract

This article presents a case study of a multicultural planning epistemology at work in the everyday landscape of a city. It draws on insights in cultural geography and the planning archive on Birmingham's Chinese Quarter, to show that the epistemology in play weaves together claims of a factual, authentic multiculturalism based on particular presences with an implicit planning imaginary of cultural identity. It then demonstrates that the planning imaginary in question is structured like a text with a signifying system containing mimetic and disseminative properties. The article concludes by proposing a number of implications from the case study for the planning of Birmingham's multicultural future.