Transnational Urban Planning in the Multicultural City: An Analysis of Diversity Beyond Ethnoculturalism
Multiculturalism policy in Canada was intended to create a greater acknowledgement of the diverse contributions made by migrants. The federal government’s policy framework sought to have diverse migrants in Canada included within government initiatives and public participation. A critical aspect to multiculturalism has been a focus on ethnoculturalism. However, it has become increasingly evident that multiculturalism has failed to address widening levels of inequity and inequality, most notably in the city of Toronto. Multiculturalism has also insufficiently enabled a broader public participation with diverse migrants. This study adopts a qualitative approach to understand migrant diversity beyond ethnoculturalism. By conducting 5 semi-structured interviews and reviewing relevant scholarly and grey literature, this paper considers a transnational framework to look at public engagement through multicultural urban planning and question its focus on ethnoculturalism. My research reveals that people’s experiences with trauma, violence, gender marginalization, or undemocratic institutions among others are not always considered in both multiculturalism and urban planning – therefore affecting the public participation process. I argue that planning practitioners must look beyond migrant ethnocultural diversity alongside the complex lived experiences across the globe and state borders. By recognizing this diversity, practitioners could begin to look at (re)igniting political activism among migrants in the multicultural city.