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[In]Visible Communities: Planning for immigrant diversity in Barking and Dagenham
As cities have become superdiverse, urban planning must adapt to changes in the use of urban space. In Barking and Dagenham, rapid demographic change in the last two decades due to migration has fuelled community tensions and raised questions about how to ‘integrate’ new demographic groups. This dissertation provides a narrative led analysis of planning for new immigrant diversity in Barking and Dagenham, using seven in-depth-interviews as the primary dataset. This is supplemented by a range of secondary evidence, including policy documents. It finds that integration is not seen as an explicit planning concern by policy makers. However, the relationship between housing and the long-term integration of new immigrant communities is shown to be one of cyclical marginalisation, where the spatial imaginary of the borough is constructed upon binaries of ‘host’ visibility and immigrant invisibility, and in turn further reinforces these binaries through planning.

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