Newsletter N° 15 - June 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.

Barcelona fights cultural prejudice and stereotypes

Barcelona City Council has identified prejudices and stereotypes that are commonly associated with the local migrant community. It is now implementing an initiative to educate its citizens and combat negative perceptions of migrant groups.

This project is part of Barcelona City Council’s Intercultural Plan. In addition to the political support it receives from the city's authorities, it is also backed by 200 local organisations and 3000 individuals. All of them contribute to the implementation of a policy which promotes and manages the peaceful coexistence of an increasingly diverse population.


Barcelona City Council’s initiative includes the provision of free training for local actors who work with migrant communities; the dissemination of an educational comic strip illustrated by local artist Miguel Gallardo; the distribution of a handbook written for local actors who work in the field of social cohesion and intercultural integration; as well as the creation of a website which serves as a resource centre on policies implemented to combat prejudice and stereotypes. (more...)

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Poitiers developing an intercultural reception/integration policy

On 9 May last, the Greater Poitiers Responsible Development Board, a participatory body working with the elected representatives of the Greater Poitiers Conurbation Community on the main regional development issues, met with almost 140 local players (associations, councillors, residents, institutions, etc) to discuss the highly original theme of receiving and integrating new populations in Greater Poitiers. During the debate, this issue was broached, inter alia, from the intercultural angle.


The Development Board swopped ideas with the councillors and local players on the importance of a comprehensive, active policy for the reception and integration of new populations (residents, foreigners, students, etc) in the Poitiers area.  (more...)

Berlin - Intercultural by Law

The federal state of Berlin is the first to legislatively incorporate the concept interculturalism. On 09.12.2010 the Berlin House of Representatives passed the Law on regulation of participation and integration in Berlin (Gesetz zur Regelung von Partizipation und Integration in Berlin). Based on the principal of intercultural opening, the law aims at fostering participation of people with a migration background* and, thus, enhancing peaceful co-habitation of all inhabitants of Berlin. Specifically, the law focuses on breaking down social barriers that lead to the structural discrimination. (more...)

Intercultural Cities recently hosted a seminar within the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku (7-9 April 2011)

The Forum is the first of its kind and was the initiative of the Government of Azerbaijan supported by the Council of Europe, the North-South Centre, UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations, and Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was part of the "Baku process" which Azerbaijan launched in recognition of its position as a historic geographic and cultural crossroads of civilizations. It was attended by several hundred people representing over 70 nations, who were welcomed by Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan. (more...)

Community Based Results Accountability for the Intercultural Cities - three cities, three experiences, a lot of similarities

The Intercultural Cities programme has encouraged cities to research the possibilities of introducing the approach of Community Based Results Accountability (CBRA) in relation to defining intercultural policies and actions. Three cities, Oslo, Tilburg and Lisbon have invited experts from the Centre for the Study of Social Policy (Washington) and Ordina (The Netherlands) to visit them and support them in designing more focused and participatory processes in their neighbourhoods. (more....)

Spain: 1st meeting of the National Intercultural Cities network

The first meeting of the National Intercultural Cities network took place on 15 June in Barcelona. Due to the holding of local elections in Spain shortly before the meeting, only 5 of the expected 10 cities could participate (Barcelona, San Sebastian, Fuenlabrade, Cartagena and Sabadell). Cities presented their current policies and discussed their results of the Intercultural cities Index. (more...)

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