v17_2006h - 130 Ginger M. Moored 7 UNITING A CITY:...

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130 Ginger M. Moored 7 U NITING A C ITY : F ACILITATING I NTERRACIAL I NTERACTIONS AND C ULTURAL E XCHANGE IN U RBAN P UBLIC S PACES W ITH A PPLICATIONS TO W ASHINGTON , D.C. Ginger M. Moored 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 bus- ing 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-ar- eas 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 Ginger Moored is a Master in Public Affairs and Master in Urban and Regional Plan- ning candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (ginger@alumni.virginia.edu).
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131 Uniting a City: Facilitating Interracial Interactions and Cultural Exchange in Urban Public Spaces With Applications to Washington, D.C. from U.S. cities. The latter part of this paper describes how these strategies can be speciF cally applied to Washington, D.C., a city sharply divided by race. I NTRODUCTION ±rom the outside—and from the tourist’s point of view—Washington, D.C. appears to be the quintessential capital of Western democracies. Leadership and sacriF ce are enshrined in the Lincoln and ±DR memorials, while the foundations of freedom are celebrated in the National Archives. The Smithsonian museums display humans’ greatest feats in the sciences and humanities and the gold-topped Capitol dome encompasses America’s representation-based government. But most tourists do not see beyond the National Mall. They do not walk up North Capitol Street and see that the majority of the city is black (Census 2000) 1 . They do not see that the majority of black people in the city—many of whom are poor—live in the eastern quadrants, while the northwestern quadrant of the city is overwhelmingly white and economically well-off (Census 2000). They do not see that Washington, D.C. is a divided city. In American Apartheid , Massey and Denton (1993) show that racial segregation 2 in the United States is not limited to Washington, D.C.
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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v17_2006h - 130 Ginger M. Moored 7 UNITING A CITY:...

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