Cultural mix in inner cities

Ethnic tensions

In recent years, many MEDC cities have reported an increase in the number of migrants living in cheaper inner city residential areas.

Many migrant workers share ‘hostel’ type accommodation where living areas are shared, and sometimes sleeping rooms too.

As a result, ethnic mixing has taken place.

Separate streets might become known as centres for different ethnic groups or for people from different countries (these are called enclaves).

London has a population of 8.6 million people and around 44% is made up of black and other ethnic minorities (an increase of 15% in 15 years).

The close proximity of different people can sometimes bring ethnic tensions and conflict.

Religious tensions

The UK has long considered itself a tolerant country where people are allowed to practice whatever religious practices they choose.

The Archbishop of Canterbury noted in 2015 that tensions had ‘seeped into our society’ and were threatening to fracture multiculturalism by widening cracks between different communities.

He stated that the UK was now, ‘living in a time of tension and fear’ in which extremists try to marginalise the mainstream.

Illustration showing a pie chart of religious affiliation Religious affiliation, England and Wales, 2011

Tensions exist within cities not just between religious groups, but also within the religious groups.

In Belfast, tension between the largely Roman Catholic Republicans and the largely Protestant Loyalists led to ‘the Troubles’ – a conflict which lasted for over 30 years.

Much of this conflict centred on the large working class populations of each group within inner city Belfast.

Over 3,500 people were killed and nearly 50,000 were injured.

This had a massive impact on the city of Belfast as people did not feel safe.