Intercultural Centres: enhancing diversity in the public space & community safety

 

Jude BloomfieldA paper prepared for the Intercultural cities programme by Jude Bloomfield, looks at safety strategies that engage communities in addressing the problem transversally. It considers partnerships and initiatives that have contributed to dissolving the atmosphere of fear and mistrust in cities that is focused on immigrants and ethnic minority groups. It identifies the role of intercultural centres in facilitating positive experiences of diverse interaction between locals and migrants that enhances their mutual sense of wellbeing, safety and belonging to the locality and city.

 

The presence of an intercultural centre and a community safety policy in a city served as indicators in the Intercultural Cities Index[1] for the quality of public space. The study considers the impact of neighbourhood-based intercultural centres in diversifying public spaces and redefining safety in intercultural terms of inclusion and conviviality.

 

The research assesses three case studies of community safety policies of different scales and size, initiated by different bodies:

1. Reggio Emilia city councilís Pact for Convivial Living in the station zone;

2. GCALís integration policies and the Safety Groupís partnership with the Municipal Police in Alta de Lisboa, north Lisbon;

3. Second Wave Youth ArtsíCentreís SWAGGA project with the Metropolitan Police in Lewisham, south-east London.

 

The paper evaluates the contribution of intercultural centres Ė in particular Mondinsieme in Reggio and Centro Interculturacidade in Lisbon to enhancing safety in these cities, by creating inclusive, convivial public spaces.

 

The Effectiveness of Intercultural Centres in creating Convivial, Diverse Public Spaces and Enhancing Community Safety - Research Report for the Council of Europe & the European Commission, Jude Bloomfield