Newsletter N° 20 - March 2012

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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.

You are REALLY welcome: the experience of the Hamburg Welcome Centre


The Hamburg Welcome centre has been created in 2007 in order to facilitate the settlement of people coming from abroad who wish to live in the city. The centre’s ethos reflects the open-minded culture of a city that has a thousand years of global exchanges – first as a hanseatic port, and now as a modern industrial and commercial centre.


Hamburg is both a city and a federal state and therefore has the capacity to develop its own migrant integration and welcoming policies. The creation of the Welcome centre has been a very successful experiment in treating migrants as people with potential, who can enrich and dynamise the city, and not as intruders who need to be "processed" through the administrative machine and helped to fit in and bled in the local culture. (more...)


Photo: Birte Steller, Director of the Welcome centre

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Brewing Innovation: Intercultural Practices from Delft

Delft (the Netherlands) is a charming medieval medium-sized city situated in the south-west Netherlands between Rotterdam and the Hague.


Migration history and policy

Around twenty-seven per cent of the Delft population of 100,000 are foreign born, which is twice as high compared to eleven per cent countrywide. Seventeen per cent of the local population have ‘non-western’ origins. Three major migrant communities – Turks, Surinamese and Moroccans – settled in Delft in the 1960s-1970s. In the 1980s-1990 they were joined by refugees and asylum seekers from Middle East and Africa (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Somalia). Furthermore, the city has recently welcomed a number of highly-qualified employees and students and has around 1,000 residents of Chinese origin. (more...)

Diversity - a way out of the crisis?

The international financial crisis has not been easy on the people relying on profits to survive – many private companies in Copenhagen are struggling. So what can we do to enhance sales and secure future growth?


The answer could be diversity. That is why the City of Copenhagen under the headline "Engage in CPH" is collaborating with "Association for Integration of New Danes on the Labor Market" and "Innoversity Copenhagen" to recruit private companies in the new diversity program: INNOGROWTH via Diversity. (more...

Migrant/Minority civic engagement and participation in Reggio Emilia

In the perspective of fighting the spatial segregation, which confines ethnic minorities in certain parts of the city (as for instance the areas close to the station), the Intercultural Centre Mondinsieme organises cultural events throughout the year, with the direct involvement of cultural minorities.


It is case of all events organised in public spaces, such as museums, libraries and universities, which produce, as main result, a real and effective spatial mediation: cultural minorities enter into these public spaces, which they have never attended before, not only as users but also as cultural expressions, giving them a new shared sense. (more...

Making a difference in intercultural conflict: the Ballynafeigh centre in Belfast


To be meaningful, intercultural dialogue must involve citizens on the ground. While municipalities are closer to the citizen than states, even City Hall can seem remote from the perspective of the street. There, local NGOs are often a critical point of identification and, if they are committed to interculturalism themselves, sometimes they can facilitate dialogue in innovative ways. Ballynafeigh Community Development Association in Belfast is an excellent example. (more...)

About Shaping perceptions and attitudes to realise the diversity advantage (SPARDA)

SPARDA was launched and implemented by the Council of Europe and it is funded primarily by the European Integration Fund. In line with European Agenda for Integration (2011), SPARDA responds to the priority of "more action at local level" and its overall goal is to foster successful integration of migrants through local communication strategies. (more...

ICC: Facebook and Twitter

The ICC programme is proud to note that its Facebook "friends" have increased to 165 and its Twitter followers have increased to 263. They are kept informed regularly on ICC progress. Please remember to check out the Facebook page and Twitter.

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