SPARDA: Reggio Emilia, Italy
Reggio Emilia is one of several small, wealthy cities in Emilio Romagna, a region in Northern Italy. Long based on agriculture, the city’s economy developed in the 20th century with a number of small scale industries. Fashion and ceramic tiles are also an important part of the city’s productive sector. Reggio, and indeed the Emilia Romagna region, has a strong tradition of cooperative enterprises.
In 2011, the population size was estimated at 170,086. Of these, almost 29,000 are foreign nationals, representing close to 17% of the population. The largest groups come from Morocco, China and Albania. Non EU Europeans represent close to 30% of all foreign nationals living in Reggio.
The city of Reggio had the second highest employment level in Italy after Bologna in 2008. The employment figures illustrate a high level of diversity and integration. In total
there are 7,724 foreign entrepreneurs working in Reggio. They come from an astonishing 113 countries. 4,427 foreign students were registered in local schools in 2009-10 according to Corriere della Sera. The neighbourhood surrounding the train station has the greatest concentration of foreign residents.
Target audience: youth and elderly people, social centres and schools
Media: Events, web, local TV
Dates: December 2011 – March 2012
As a founding member of the Intercultural Cities network, Reggio Emilia already has a fair amount of experience dealing with diversity. To work on perceptions of diversity in the city, Reggio used as its main message of
"Everyone is different from everyone else, fortunately", using it’s social centres, youth centres, schools and the city centre itself.
During the month of December, building up to International Migrants Day, a number of events were held. Some focused on different communities in Reggio Emilia. During most of these events, people were invited to sign up for a national campaign on the reform of citizenship law L’Italia sono anch’io. Together with a local municipal foundation, workshops on diversity were held in local secondary schools. The campaign officially ended on 16th March 2012.
Local media in Reggio Emilia largely adhere to the idea of respect for diversity. As such they were a key partner for spreading the campaign messages. The municipal councillor responsible for the project, showed a good degree of engagement in the project. Focusing on different communities present in the city fitted in well with the main message of the campaign.
Reggio Emilia Campaign files
Results of Reggio