Diversity and undiversity

"In certain visions of city living, diversity is taken to be not only an urban fact but a principal urban value. City life is held to thrive where there is a density of different kinds of people and a diversity of uses... There is, to emphasize, a basic relationship between 'functional physical diversity' and 'diversity among users': a mixture of uses implies a mixture of people. In these terms social mix is not simply a cultural but a functional feature of urbanism as a way of life... Moreover, the functional distribution of difference is lost when diversity comes to be understood primarily as an aesthetic category. Reduced to a set of cultural referents, 'difference' might connote little more than Gans' 'exotic and foreign flavour'; a sun-dried cosmopolitanism which points to certain modes of urban consumption, rather than to the forms of social diversity the latter increasingly displaces."

F Tonkiss Space, the City and Social Theory (2005) 89-90.