19 September 2009

The mega-regions and the resource of multiple etnicity.

Richard Florida says that one of the conseqenses of the financial crisis, will be a reshape of livingstructure in America. Money and people will have to move. He says that the main problem is that the suburbs aren’t sustainable. One aspect is the suburbs dependance on cheap gas. Another is that many of these suburbs occured as a consequence of industry development. In the US there can be found a “belt” crossing several provinces, with old industry on the werge of shutting down. A lot of these big suburbs are dependent on the core industry to survive. The major part of the people living in the suburbs own their houses and will not be able to move because of big loans on their houses. The mega-regions are the winners, they create new potentials in the work market and thereby create the opportunity so survive. While the sector of finance dismiss people, it will still be possible for hard working people to find new jobs nearby.

The main reason why these mega-regions are resistant is their ability to think new and inovative that affects both international and international affairs. Florida talks about “ the creative class” , the artists, the highly educated, film- computer people, the migrants and other creative people. A diverse society with enormous cultural, scientific, economic creativity can always deliver “people” to almost every phenomenom. The mega-regions will at all time have access to workpower with a broad specter of knowledge, expertise and the experience of hard times.The metropol New York, is an example of a place where you can see this. 40 % of the people living there today are born outside US borders.

Copenhagen- Malmö axis is on its way of becoming this kind of a mega-region. With its diversity in people from different cultures, science based industry and education its axis is linked to Europe and the world. My focus in this, is to further explore Malmö’s potential as a society of multiple cultures. Are these resources seen as valuable in Malmø? We know that some particular townships have a bigger amount of migrants than others. Rosengård has 60 % multicultural recidents. But what about the other townships, how is the demography there? I tried to map the city showing who lives where, and if there is a significant difference in social structure.


The media gives a picture of Malmø, where chaos rule in Rosengård. A film found on You tube shows a fight between police and migrants in Rosengård, giving an impression of a total lack of respect, tolerance and understanding from both points of view. Here the police is passive ( dialog polis), and this is perceived as arrogant and reprimanding from the migrants side, the migrants use violence as their communication tool. Fundamental differences won’t become a resource before communication occur. When different cultures don’t “interconnect” it’s difficult to develop unity, respect, equality and understanding.
There has to be found other ways of communication, and I think the way to achieve this is to use the potential of art. Art equalizes people, it’s universal. In my opinion, art is a communication of emotions and feelings that is totally free, except from some forms of communication (grafitti, “poster boy”, look at the movie) that is not yet socially accepted as art and therefore forbidden.

There are demographic differences between the townships in Malmø. The city is a quilt of multiple cultures, and stages of life. For an observer like me that yet knows Malmø just through using the internet, it seems like the city has not yet seen the potential of the migration and the diversity of different spaces in the city. It’s like there is little communication athwart the different cultures and parallell societies. I want to find out if there are spots or liminal zones where it’s possible to see that different cultures meet, has started to melt together, and if there are any future potential meeting spots?

I close this text by referring to a text found in an exhibition of swedish culture (article printed in Svenska Dagbladet 1997 of Thomas Hylland Eriksen):

”Gamla traditioner bevars och nye skapas när samhället förändras och i mötet mellan kulturer. (...) Det svenska kulturarvet är ett ständigt pågåande byggnadsprojekt. Varje generation skapar sin version -- lägger till, drar ifrån.”

1 comment:

Dahl og Uhre arkitekter said...

We like this slightly questioning phrase in your text:
“For an observer like me that yet knows Malmø just through using the internet, it seems like the city has not yet seen the potential of the migration and the diversity of different spaces in the city”.
We think you’re your exploded mapping of Who lives in Malmö and where is stunning and informative, new to us. With the possible statistics and observations at hand, and even naming the different enclaves, your mapping opens some line of thoughts. Other aspects of this exploded city can be introduced and inform your project a lot. Your mapping pinpoints limitless possibilities behind the statistics – nice and personal. The forces behind The Naked City would appreciate this little research of yours.
May be the city has not seen the potential, but there will be voices from many fields that can impart this first step of yours with meaning – charge your information with new energy, so to speak.