The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society.

The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage.

This section offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

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To get acquainted with cities’ good practices related to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit Intercultural Cities: COVID-19 Special page.

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The public library: a place for social dialogue

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The public library of Bergen plays a key role in the inclusion of refugees and has a strong cooperation with the Introduction centre. It is a hub for cultural activities, provides books translated in several languages, as well as bilingual versions of famous Norwegian publications. Everyone can access and use the library without the need for papers or identity documents.

The library has a learning centre and some learning activities including a reading group, an IT club for immigrants - run by a Somali refugee - and a “Norwegian language café”, in cooperation with the Joint Immigrant Council in Hordaland.

Particularly in the past 5 years, the library has become a meeting place for dialogue and has increased the number of activities aimed at multiplying the meeting opportunities between Norwegian residents and the new-comers. For instance, the library organises events during which the refugees can present their countries through an historical and socio-cultural lens, and explain the reasons that made them feeling unsafe in their homeland. The last event of this kind was on Eritrea and the attendance of Eritreans and Norwegian was equal in proportions.


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