Mar 11th 2019

Exploring metropolitan super-diversity through data visualisation

Massey University researcher Professor Paul Spoonley presented at the International Metropolis Conference in Sydney in October 2018.

The concept of “super-diversity” refers to the multi-dimensional character of social difference in 21st century gateway cities. Although the term is now in widespread use amongst scholars, policy-makers and practitioners working on issues of migration and multiculturalism, there remains confusion over what super-diversity is and how it has developed over time in specific city contexts. His presentation provided an overview of data visualization of ‘big data’ on various dimensions of metropolitan super-diversity in Sydney, Vancouver and Auckland.  The ensuing interactive workshops introduced and taught participants to use cutting-edge data visualisation tools to explore, analyse, interpret and display big data on various dimensions of metropolitan super-diversity. 

“The cities of Vancouver, Sydney and Auckland—based in three major countries of current global migration—powerfully represent and demonstrate processes of urban super-diversification. The nature of these cities has been fundamentally shaped by immigration. Nearly 40 percent of metropolitan Auckland’s residents, as recorded in the 2013 census, were born outside New Zealand, and the corresponding figures for Sydney and Vancouver in 2016 were, respectively, 43 and 41 percent. All three are on a path to become ‘majority-minority cities’, with populations that trace their ancestry to Asia, Latin America, and Africa projected to exceed those who identify as European in origin.”

Vertovec et al., (2019)

You can explore this national-scale information further by clicking on the link below. The presentation shows a metropolitan scale visualization which examines the connections between different types of diversity an exploration of the relationship between diversity and socio-economic outcomes. Also shown is an investigation of the neighbourhood scale of these conurbations through mapping social geography and diversity ‘hot spots.’ The dashboard tool interrogates how the demographic characteristics intersect in diverse ways with socio-economic status. 

Reference: Vertovec, S., Hiebert, C., Gamlen, A.,  Spoonley, (2018). Superdiversity. Today’s migration has made cities more diverse than ever – in multiple ways. Retrieved from;filter:Total%20population?map;variables:0,0;mode:traditional?tree;year:2012;category:Humanitarian?sankey;year:1991?dashboard;filters:99,99,99,99,99. Accessed 8 March 2019. 

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