Culture, Heritage and Diversity

 

Intercultural Cities Book available

 

Is a multicultural city automatically an intercultural city? Many cities do indeed have a multicultural and multinational background, with people coming from around the globe to live there. Some may even have been divided for a certain period of time and developed different cultures. And although many nationalities live door to door, their children go to the same school and they might share the same supermarket, more often they are not actively integrated in their cities social environment.

 

Intercultural Cities (ICC), a joint initiative from the Council of Europe and the European Commission, was launched in 2008. As a pilot project it set out to help cities to deal with their cultural diversity and to develop (practical) strategies in order to shape the social interaction between people. The ICC Programme chose 11 cities from 11 European countries to be able to identify a wide range of different policies and methods for managing diversity. Those “are examined through an ‘intercultural lens’ in order to develop a more coherent strategy for public policy and civil society engagement in a culturally diverse city”, as Vladimir Sucha from the European Commission highlights.

 

After two years of research and field work, the ICC published its findings in a book called "Intercultural cities – Towards a model for intercultural integration". The publication allows the reader to follow the process of developing a truly intercultural city step by step by outlining the main ideas and issues. In an introducing part it presents the approach on which the action is based. The Ten elements of the Intercultural City Strategy are just as concrete as a checklist to shaping the Intercultural City policies. By giving many different examples of positive and negative experiences made throughout the whole process and by reflecting upon the main actions and achievements, this publication can be of great help to professionals in numerous fields.

 

Applying various approaches to present the work of the last two years, this book functions as a practical guide of how to use the creative potential of the city’s intercultural diversity.

 

 

By Gloria Kremser