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Diverse Urban Neighborhoods
as Laboratories of the Next City

Joseph Heathcott

How will we live with each other in the twenty-first century?  With over half of the world's population now residing in urbanized areas, the answer to this question lies in our great cities.  It is there, in the bustling streets, shops, parks, and playgrounds that large numbers of people encounter one another across lines of difference.  And it is out of the multiplication of such encounters that new social forms arise to reshape the terms of life in the globalizing city.


In neighborhoods and communities around the world, the new city continuously wells up as an unfinished proposition--an urban world always in the making.  Weaving together the threads of human diversity, changing landscapes, and multiform aspirations, ordinary people remake the city through daily interactions and adaptations.  Such efforts reflect the intense work undertaken by people to create meaningful places, and ultimately to change the sense of the city itself to include their presence.


Diverse urban neighborhoods, therefore, are the laboratories of the next city.  They provide the space for--indeed the very possibility of--negotiation, multilateral conflict, and contingent resolution.  Such processes are not without structural and personal violence; however, diverse urban neighborhoods play a mitigating role by enabling varied groups to build safe havens as well as institutions to advance their interests.  In these contexts, people experiment, take risks, and imagine possibilities for the future.     

Activities, publications, and other results

"Global Queens: An Urban Mosaic"  

Book of documentary photography forthcoming with Fordham University Press 


"Post-Pandemic Geographies: Recovering from Covid-19 in Multiethnic Queens"

Research project in progress

Funded by the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobilities

"Queens is the Future"

Introduction to Rafael Herrin-Ferri

All The Queens Houses 

Berlin, Jovis,


"Searching for Cosmopolis: Living Together, Apart"

Lecture and slide show given by invitation in several venues, including;

  -Istanbul Research Institute, December 2020.

  -The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobilities, April 2020.

  -The Black Faculty and Staff Union, Oxford University, November 2019.

  -Royal College of Art, London, October 2019.

  -Conference on Urban Diversities in Gulf Cities, Princeton University, March 2019.

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