Skip to main content

Uniting a City: Facilitating Interracial Interactions and Cultural Exchange in Urban Public Spaces, with Applications to Washington D.C.

Author(s): Moored, Ginger M.

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Racial segregation in American cities exacerbates racial tensions and spatially concentrates poverty. While government entities and other organizations use a number of techniques to mollify these problems such as mixed-income housing and school busing programs, these techniques often do not overcome everyday geographic separation, and, in turn, fail to promote physical interracial interactions or cultural exchange. One way to foster interracial interactions that lead to cultural exchange is to hold organized events in public spaces that are natural meeting-areas for cities’ residents. Studies about interracial interactions, though, suggest that to be successful these events should: (1) produce high levels of interaction, (2) provide opportunities for cultural exchange, (3) use engaging programming with broad appeal, (4) maximize accessibility of events, (5) minimize cultural intimidation, and (6) equally value all cultures. This paper devises strategies for creating events that have these six characteristics and illustrates these strategies using examples from U.S. cities. The latter part of this paper describes how these strategies can be specifically applied to Washington, D.C., a city sharply divided by race.
Publication Date: 2006
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.