Funded by the European Union, Divercities was a major research project interested in how to create social cohesion, social mobility, and economic performance in today’s hyper-diversified cities. Undertaken in 14 countries by 17 partners, research centred on deprived neighbourhoods in 14 cities and looked at how immigration, socio-economic inequalitity, spatial segregation and a diversity of identities and lifestyles create challenges for urban policymakers and institutions.

I worked for Utrecht University, the lead partner, and oversaw communications for the project.

Rotterdam market

Governing Urban Diversity Conference

The research concluded with this conference that brought together an international audience to present and discuss the findings. It took place over three days and featured keynote addresses, workshops, field trips and a mini Diversity Festival showcasing various initiatives from Rotterdam’s diverse south.

Conference highlight video

A video was commissioned to document the Governing Urban Diversity conference and to summarise the research in an engaging way. I worked with the videographers to interview researchers, coordinate the shooting and to finalise the edit.

Screenshot of Divercities website

Website development

I redeveloped the Divercities website as the project grew. I designed a new interface, created in-depth case study pages for each city, and added a blog to communicate findings. Researcher profiles were included, a comprehensive section for publications, and a subsite for the conference. The site was built using WordPress and included a intranet used to manage EU deliverables, drafts and reports.

The Handbook for Governing Hyper-diverse Cities

“David did a magnificent job in designing our Handbook for Governing Hyper-diverse Cities” — Gideon Bolt, Divercities Project Coordinator, Utrecht University.

The handbook was the final deliverable. It summarised key research findings and provided ideas on how to improve opportunities in deprived neighbourhoods.

A wide-ranging communications role

Every week was different in this role. The focus could be on writing, copy-editing and proofreading, which was required for policy briefs, newsletters, EU reports and for the production of 14 city books. With 17 partners in 14 countries, strong coordination skills ensured deadlines were met, events staged, and publications produced including an education kit for highschool students produced in nine languages. I also documented field trips, attended international consortium meetings, and managed social media.