The question of how we live together under conditions of rapid demographic change and economic and social transformation is at the very heart of thinking about cities today. We believe that only by waking up to the true potential of cities in transition can we find practical starting points for making the most of our urban future.
Cities in transition are globally connected cities where the population has rapidly changed its colour, age and origins in the last 30 years to the point where minority communities – ethnic, faith and/or cultural – are becoming the majority. These emerging ‘plural’ cities are at the forefront of negotiating the challenges of globalisation and encapsulate key questions about migration, integration, equality and identity that are pertinent to many cities around the world.
The Young Foundation worked with the Barrow Cadbury Trust to shape the Global Exchange Forum 2006 “Cities in Transition” – choosing four cities to focus on which face many similar challenges, but which are set in very different contexts: Birmingham, Marseilles, Los Angeles and Toronto.