Newsletter N° 13 - February 2011

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Can cities learn to perceive cultural diversity not as a threat but as an opportunity? How can they make diversity work to their advantage? Can the city become the focus of collective identity bridging ethnic and religious identities? In the context of the Intercultural Cities programme several pilot cities will review their policies through the "intercultural lens" and develop intercultural strategies in order to meet the challenges of a world in motion.

Toronto taps into migrant employment pool

Close to 600,000 immigrants have settled in the city of Toronto since the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) started in 2003. “The benefits we can derive for our city region from this influx of talent, energy and new ideas are enormous. However, we can only enjoy success if everyone has an equal chance to contribute- and this takes deliberate decision making and action”, says a statement published in Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) 2009 annual report.

Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council mentorship program has matched 5,000 skilled migrants with Canadian professional mentors. The mentorship programme’s objective is to provide support and assistance to internationally-trained professional newcomers to overcome the barriers they face in their search for suitable employment and efforts towards integration into the labour market and wider community. (more...)

Pilot cities

Berlin Neukölln (Germany)

Izhevsk (Russian Federation)

Lublin (Poland)

Lyon (France)

Melitopol (Ukraine)

Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

Oslo (Norway)

Patras (Greece)

Reggio Emilia (Italy)

Subotica (Serbia)

Tilburg (Netherlands)

European Museums and Interculture – Responding to Challenges in a Globalized World

In his reflection entitled "European Museums and Interculture – Responding to Challenges in a Globalized World", Chris Torch, Trustee for The European Museum Forum and Senior Associate at Intercult, Stockholm, guides us through the transformations, challenges and desirable future of European Museums through an intercultural lens.


Museums and heritage sites are examples of shared spaces. With this concept in focus, Torch emphasises that this means not only observing the ‘Other’, but also interacting with her. This is where an intercultural approach fits in. In order to develop, we need to use these shared spaces as places for dialogue. This, however, seems not really to have been the case in the past of the museums. (more...) Photo © Slavery Museum Liverpool


The Intercultural Cities Index and Cities in Catalonia

The ICC team has come across yet an interesting study by Ricard Zapata-Barrero of the Interdisciplinary Research Group in Immigration of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. The study presented in this article is on municipal intercultural strategies in Catalonia and has as its base parts of the Intercultural City Index, making use of many of its indicators, and some additional ones specifically designed for the study. For the sample, Zapata-Barrero uses the replies to a questionnaire by eleven Catalan cities – all having adopted intercultural strategies. A premise of the study that policy documents can use vague terms and their credibility rests above all on the link between "intending" and "doing". And simply to accept or promote diversity in the same public space is not enough – there has to be interaction. Put simply, this is where interculturalism differs from multiculturalism. (more...) Photo: Ricard Zapata-Barrero


Copenhagen takes its intercultural engagement further

With the explicit goal of becoming the most inclusive major city in Europe, Copenhagen launched a new three-year programme entitled Engage in CPH. The programme makes use of many of the dimensions of the Intercultural Cities approach and focuses on three specific goals from Copenhagen’s Inclusion Policy 2011-2013. Firstly, more people must experience a sense of belonging to the city. Secondly, fewer people must feel excluded on grounds of poverty, and thirdly, fewer people must experience discrimination. (more...)

Melitopol - inspiring a national intercultural network

The Ukrainian city of Melitopol recently hosted a seminar "Intercultural Cities: communities oriented towards the future". The objective was to share information on the pilot phase of the Intercultural Cities programme with other Ukrainian cities in order to inform and inspire them to become members of a national network of intercultural cities. (more...)

Discussing Intercultural Cities in Tokyo

Japan, though it may be considered outside as ethnologically monolithic, has in fact a long history of accepting immigrants from abroad. In the past several decades, immigration to Japan has accelerated at least partly due to the government decision to loosen its immigration regulation in order to make up for the shrinking labour force. (more...)

Italian Intercultural Cities Network - maximizing the minority advantage!

On 27 and 28 January 2011 the Italian Network of Intercultural Cities met in Turin, Italy. The Italian Network of Intercultural Cities operates under the auspices and with the support of the Intercultural Cities program, joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Union. This national platform is at the moment made up of 10 cities: Reggio Emilia, Turin, Bari, Lodi, Genova, Fermo, Senigallia, Savigniano sul Rubicone, Pompei and Campi Bisenzio. (more...)

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