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With a few notable exceptions planning analysts have been rather slower to recognise the very difficult issues raised by a polyethnic community. Much of the recent literature has tended to focus on 'excluded' individuals and communities, or even 'excluded' neighbourhoods. This paper will argue that it is vitally important for the future of our urban areas to address the policy and practice dimensions of both inequality and difference. The purpose of the present article is to provoke debate, and to dispel some popular myths and stereotypes which plague much of current policy making and implementation. Owing to its brevity, it will not be possible to delve into some of the more complex nuances. It will, however, point out where the key questions arise, and where to look for possible solutions. As such, it is intended as a contribution to the debate about cultural and ethnicity-sensitive service delivery. In order to sharpen the analysis, it focuses in particular on one set of interrelated issues: namely, housing policy and household projections.

Original publication




Journal article


Planning Practice and Research

Publication Date





359 - 369