Definition – Diversity is often described as cultural and ethnic variation among people. Recognising this kind of diversity is crucial in research, policy making and planning because culture and ethnicity affect our values, beliefs and behaviours, including how we live as women, men, both or neither. At the same time, if we consider only visible differences when we think of diversity, we are likely to ignore important variations that are not always obvious, such as sexual orientation, education and religious beliefs. In the context of SUMP, the different needs of children, the elderly, physically fit and unfit people should also be considered.
Relevance to SUMP – Diversity within the population of towns and cities means that different communities or sub-cultures may respond differently to participation initiatives undertaken by the public authority. They may also have different mobility needs and preferences which need to be properly understood. Special participation formats and language accommodation may be required to engage different groups in the process and to ensure that appropriate measures are selected. See also ‘hard to reach groups’ and equity.