Intercultural cities: good practice examples
Guidance for city policy-makers with good practice examples
The Intercultural city aims at basing its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource and not necessarily a problem. To achieve this, the city puts in place a strategy to adapt its governance system and its policies in all relevant fields to the needs of a diverse population. Intercultural city strategies need to facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges but should not ignore or fail to address intercultural conflict. Conflict is to be welcomed as inevitable. Handled well, it can lead to mutual learning and growth for all participants, including city authorities.
Consultation and participation of citizens and communities in the development, implementation and evaluation of the intercultural city strategy is not only important and a value in itself, it is essential for achievement. A genuinely intercultural city can only be achieved through the active participation of all the major institutions, groups and communities in the city.
Included in this section are examples of intercultural approaches in a range of policy fields which could facilitate the development of intercultural strategies.
Good practice (last update: September 2016)
Education plays a crucial role in encouraging integration and tolerance among people from different backgrounds. The following initiatives include language learning support, university’s activities, trainings and other educational approaches to insure a peaceful coexistence in diverse multi-lingual and multi-faith societies.
This section emphasises the importance of inclusion and integration of minorities in intercultural societies. It includes a wide range of activities: welcoming programmes for migrants and refugees; promotion of cultural diversity through festivals, events, sports; enhancement of public spaces such as libraries; workshops and laboratories to exchange experiences, etc.
To what extent the way we speak and communicate can influence the perception of the “other”? This section includes examples in relation to breaking down stereotypes and discouraging discrimination through Anti-Rumour campaigns, conflict resolution and partnerships with Media to foster positive diversity awareness.
These activities encourage citizens’ political participation in the decision-making process and in elections. Cities foster citizens’ commitment, inter alia, through the promotion of intercultural mixing in public spaces, offering legal training and stressing the importance of making the city competitive in the global market.
This set of initiatives aim to strengthen the link between business and citizens, stressing the benefits that a multi-lingual and multi-cultural background can bring to enterprises. These initiatives include international partnerships, local agreement and start-up incubators; cities also offer leadership and entrepreneurship trainings.
These initiatives focus their attention on the use of public spaces and in the structure of neighborhoods and housings. They aim to revitalise poor and disadvantaged areas changing their negative and “unsafe” perception; improving intercultural dialogue through the promotion of social mixing; fostering favourable neighborhoods for a peaceful coexistence between all citizens.