FSD2926 Intercultural Urban Public Space in Toronto 2011-2013

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  • Galanakis, Michail (University of Helsinki)


citizen participation, communities, cultural interaction, cultural pluralism, decision-making, ethnic groups, immigration, politicians, public spaces, services for young people, social inequality, urban development, urban environment, urban sociology, urban spaces


The dataset contains transcripts of interviews conducted mainly in Toronto, Canada, during 2011 and 2012. A few interviews were conducted in Vancouver and Guelph as well. The main themes of the interviews were multiculturalism, interculturalism, diversity and public space, and how the participants' perceptions of interculturalism and public space. The interviewees were professionally or voluntarily involved in the physical or social planning process, in providing services for youth, or in dealing with managing diversity (in policy-making, planning, arts etc). They were community activitsts, professional designers, managers of public spaces, social services providers, or young persons who represented the users of services aimed at communities.

The interviews were reflective, and questions asked changed according to what the interviewees talked about. The three main research questions were what the participants considered public spaces to be, how they defined interculturalism and, for expert interviews, how they planned/designed for diversity. Toronto is a very multicultural city, and one of the main aims of the study was to learn how Toronto's public space is managed and how public space could be used more creatively for the benefit of diverse groups. Other topics that came up included exclusion of youth, crime, services and facilities for youth, social and educational inequality, unemployment, public transport, street art, safety, police harassment, and privatization of public space.

In addition to 25 one- and two-person interviews, there was one focus group interview of 13 young men and women. Interviewee age ranged from adolescents to senior citizens. Background variables included the interviewee's occupation, gender and age.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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