The history and its development from the impact of immigration to a city are crucial in understanding its diversity and cultural heritage, which in turn helps future planners and architects to design a better future.

From the origin of human civilization, architecture continues to accommodate and evolve around various ethnicities as clusters of ethnic enclaves in the cities. An imbalance created from the intermix of diverse cultures caused by the influx of the immigrant population is a continuing phenomenon in several metropolitan cities across the globe, leaving behind the art and architecture that stands as a historic symbol of the city which gradually intertwines with the future. The history and its development from the impact of immigration to a city are crucial in understanding its diversity and cultural heritage, which in turn helps future planners and architects to design a better future.

1. CREATES CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY

Architecture helps promote the culture of a community not only through art but also through events and festivals conducted yearly. The festivals received equal enthusiasm from every ethnicity, not just that community. For example, the Chinese community celebrates the yearly Lunar Festival in Sydney, mainly in China Town and near the Opera House.

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Image1 (Chinese New Year celebrated in Australia) ©https://theupsider.com.au

2. DEVELOPMENT OF SETTLEMENTS AROUND HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

Multicultural cities tend to develop around historical buildings and prominent landmarks such as railway stations. Ethnic enclaves clustered in the inner suburbs and sustained their culture in the metropolitan city. They set up shacks and shops holding small businesses, entertained the tourists and residents equally.

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Image2(China Town, Manhattan) ©https://www.ellisreview.com

3. FORMATION OF ETHNIC ENCLAVES 

Ethnic enclaves are a high concentration of ethnic groups that reflects the cultural identity of a community and formed from settlements by immigrants. As mentioned by cultural anthropologist Prof. Ghassan Hage, the buildings referred to as ‘Third World Looking’ appear to belong elsewhere rather than the existing city. For instance, Little Tokyo in Los Angeles feels more Japanese with no familiarity with the city.

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Image3(Little Tokyo, Los Angeles) ©https://www.californiabeaches.com

4. CONSTRUCTION OF TEMPLES AND RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS

Multiculturalism gives rise to the construction of temples and religious buildings in these cities. These buildings stand as a symbol of the cultural heritage and religious beliefs of the community, which eventually represent the culture of the entire city. The architecture also reflects the traditional elements of the religious buildings, i.e. Chinese temples followed the traditional pagodas observed in Asian Architecture.

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Image4(Thien Hau Temple, Los Angeles) ©https://galatourist.com

5. CULTURAL HERITAGE OBSERVED AS A SINGULAR ENTITY

Identification of unique culture for the city seemed unreasonable due to the presence of several cultures brought by immigrants who recognized the city as their homeland from generations. Thus, a culture developed around these multicultural cities as a singular entity that is inclusive of every culture. Modernism is considered the tradition in such cities and the idea expands into several contemporary ideologies that aim secular beliefs.

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Image5(Pride Parade Toronto) ©https://torontosun.com

6. RELATION OF MODERN ARCHITECTURE TO CULTURAL IDENTITY 

Modern buildings often reflect traditional architecture while some emphasize the polyglottic character of the place through symbolic monuments. Few architects chose to erect structures with the only intention being functionality and no cultural identity. Thus, a city and its culture mold itself according to the architecture of the place.

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Image6(Monument to Multiculturalism, Toronto) ©https://www.localguidesconnect.com

7. DEMOLITION OF EXISTING ARCHITECTURE FOR IMMIGRANTS

During the time of immigrant influx to the cities, there arose a need to demolish existing buildings to build high rise flats. For instance, in Melbourne, South European countries such as Italian, Macedonian, Greek, and Turkish opted for high rise flats for their preference towards high-density communities and economic conditions, thus demolishing the buildings in the name of “slum clearance”.

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Image7(Richmond, Melbourne) ©https://melbournestreet.net

8. PROMOTION OF TOURISM

Multicultural cities are a source of learning when taking the culture and architecture of the place into consideration as visiting such cities is equivalent to traveling all over the world. Visiting a town in that city which represents one’s culture, instills a feeling of belonging amongst the tourists. For instance, the Indian tourists visiting Singapore are naturally inclined towards Little India.

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Image8(Diwali celebration in Little India, Singapore) ©https://www.newschannel.sg

9. SUSTAINABILITY OF COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE GLOBE

Migrant communities settle down as clusters and sustain their culture in many of the metropolitan cities all over the world. Such communities coming from war-prone areas find comfort and find familiarity living in their neighborhoods within these cities, thus contributing to the culture of that place. Others arrive for better job opportunities while living in a community similar to their homeland at the same time.

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Image9(Tehrangeles, Los Angeles) ©https://www.nytimes.com

10. ECONOMICAL IMPACTS FROM COMMUNITIES

Although the lifestyle in a metropolitan city is comfortable compared to their homeland, the revenue obtained is very low from these areas. The migrants receive better income doing the same job from these cities than their hometowns, thus usually taking up small businesses or hotels taking their qualification and education into consideration, which contributes less to the overall GDP of the country.

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Image10(Guatemalan market, Los Angeles) ©https://www.lamag.com
Gopika Pramod
Author

Gopika Pramod is an aspiring architect and writer whose thoughts are expressed as beautiful sketches in the readers' minds. She loves to bring a different perspective that is frequently seen but failed to observe and keeps her mind open to new ideas.

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