Culture, Heritage and Diversity

Intercultural cities: Frequently asked questions


Who is this programme for?

The programme addresses local communities which are aware that the diversity of their population, often a source of tension, conflict and even violence, can be managed as a resource. Participating communities would ideally already have carried out initiatives and projects in the area of minority integration and wish to help other communities devise similar initiatives, as well as try new ones by learning from the experience of others. But the programme is not simply about exchange of good practice and city-to-city mentoring. Interculturality requires a cultural change which can be achieved through simultaneous action at several levels: public perceptions, political processes and structures, social integration. The programme will help participating communities to adopt a comprehensive, strategic approach to managing diversity by designing intercultural strategies and developing initiatives in all of these areas.

• The network is open to cities with a diverse or diversifying population (migrants, national minorities, Roma) wishing to minimise the threats and maximise the advantages of cultural diversity and develop an inclusive, intercultural identity.

• The network is suitable for cities of all sizes and geographical locations within Europe and beyond.

• The engagement of a city with the network is subject to a formal decision by the Mayor, the Council or an equivalent authority.

• Beyond the cities participating in the network, some of the activities are open to citizen and professional groups and organisations, students, academics and other interested individuals.



What is in it for me?

Benefits from the programme will involve primarily greater capacity of local institutions to manage a diverse community, a more dynamic and inclusive local democracy, and improved community cohesion. Of course, these benefits require time and perseverance: their effects will not be felt immediately but will be solid and sustainable. The efforts of local authorities in the context of the programme will be publicised intensively both within the community (public meetings, posters, information leaflets for residents, media), as well as nationally and internationally (information will be disseminated on a regular basis to Ministries, organisations and networks of local authorities, and through media and international events). Interculturality is becoming increasingly the subject of national and international programmes and is of growing interest to funders. Local communities participating in the Council of Europe "Intercultural cities" programme will be well prepared, with quality projects and improved operational capacity, to attract this funding.


• A conceptual tool – the Intercultural Lens a new way of thinking through which a city can re-evaluate its assets, relationships and services, and reformulate them in a way which has a positive rather than a neutral or negative impact upon integration and interaction in the city.

• An analytical tool – the Intercultural City Grid 10 important steps to assist the city authorities design a new Policy and a Strategic framework drawing upon numerous examples of good practice from around the world.

• A benchmarking tool - the Intercultural City Index a set of indicators which enable the city authorities to assess where the city stands in the different policy and governance areas in comparison to other cities, and identify where efforts should be concentrated in the future.

• A developmental tool – the Network of cities and experts a growing family of cities, addressing similar issues and dynamically interacting through a variety of exchanges and events, supported by a versatile team of experts



What are the costs involved?

The costs for each participating local community will depend on the level and intensity of their engagement with the programme and the number of initiatives and good practice exchanges they plan in this context. The cost of the curriculum is 5.000 €, excluding interpretation and translation expenses but including network membership costs for a period of 2 years. Specific activities such as sector-based diagnostic, advice, capacity-building, thematic workshops, research, promotion films) etc. will be agreed on a case-by-case basis with interested parties. The city is required to appoint a co-ordinator (at least part-time) for Intercultural cities, ideally an officer with a central planning or co-ordination responsibility and good command of English. The co-ordinator should report to and work closely with an elected official responsible for integration or a related area.



Various national and international bodies, as well as private organisations may offer grants or other forms of financial assistance to help cities meet the cost of their participation. The network secretariat will be happy to offer advice and assistance with the research of grants for candidate cities.


Tools for building the intercultural city

Concept paper

Policy assessment grid 

Resource pack

Citizenship and participation guidelines
Media diversity concept


Work plan and events

Meetings and thematic events

Programme work plan

2009 Calendar
2008 progress report



Irena Guidikova
+33 388 41 32 19




PowerPoint presentation



Pro-diversity TV spot produced jointly by Lyon, Neuchβtel and Reggio Emilia

Visibility requirements

Final publication strand 2