For public and private sector organisations a like it has been at a snail’s pace to make the policy and service changes needed to provide new communities with valuable support.
Over the last decade there has been an unprecedented change in the UK population and the speed, scale, spread and diversity has exceeded anything previously experienced.
Birmingham is already set to be one of Britain’s largest minority-majority city, has seen change in the nature, complexity and distribution of its population as it enters a new age of superdiversity.
But adding to the city’s accolade of being a leader, Birmingham will be host to the first UK institute devoted to research focusing on superdiversity.
Following Birmingham Social Inclusion Process, Giving Hope Changing Lives, it has become clear that the opportunities and challenges associated with Birmingham’s rapidly changing and diverse population have not yet been fully realised.
The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) a University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council partnership will be making its official launch in June 2013 at an invitation only event.
IRiS will bring researchers, policymakers and practitioners together to make organisations more agile and responsive to the challenges and opportunities associated Birmingham’s transformation.
Both Birmingham City Council and IRiS will ensure that research in the city and across the world can answer important questions in relation to the connection of migration, faith, language, ethnicity and culture helping to shape the future of Birmingham and other superdiverse locations while placing IRiS and Birmingham at the forefront of research into superdiversity.
Posted by sandviper1 on 8th May 2013
The Social Inclusion Process Green Paper also focuses on the development of more open spaces and community assets, which are part of commitment 4.3 – connect people and places.
In Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s report ‘The social value of public spaces’ identified that there are six key features to successful social spaces, based on a study in 2005. These are:
- access and availability – good physical access, welcoming spaces and extended opening hours;
- invitations by peers and others – embedded in social networks to encourage use;
- exchange-based relationships – moving beyond consumerism to participation in the exchange of goods and services;
- choreography of spaces by discreet good management while also leaving room for self organisation;
- moving beyond mono-cultures – encouraging diverse groups and activities to share common spaces; and
- avoiding over-regulation of design and space, as security and well-being are more likely to grow out of active use.
Other examples include:
- Urban communities in Scotland could be given powers that would allow them to take over unused land and grow crops, flowers or plant trees. The “community right to grow” is among ideas contained in the Scottish governments proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. Communities could also take ownership of underused public sector buildings breathing new life into them.
- On the over side of the globe, Texan Urban Harvest’s programs thrives due committed staff and many talented volunteers; and not to mention a better climate. However, volunteering is an excellent way to support community gardening, our farmers markets and educational programs. Opportunities include individual projects, team work on volunteer committees, short term and long term positions with varying levels of responsibility and training.
- Not too far away is London’s own City Harvest, which is another initiative showing the benefits associated with urban agriculture with hopes of sweeping across the UK. The website focuses specifically on the benefits in five categories of current political and social interest:
Addressing antisocial behaviour and decreasing isolation.
Improving urban environment, increasing biodiversity, and reducing the environmental impact of food production and food miles.
Providing training, skills development and job opportunities.
Improving mental and physical health.
Addressing poverty, strengthening green infrastructure, and helping communities to trade amongst each other.
Why not share what’s happening here in Birmingham ‘We’re doing it’ also tell us whether the recommendation is right, while you’ve still got time!
Posted by sandviper1 on 1st November 2012