The successful cities of the future will be those best able to harness the talent and energy of their diverse citizens. A city can minimise the threats and maximise the potential of diversity by developing, negotiating and implementing a comprehensive strategy to realise its diversity advantage.

The Intercultural Cities programme helps cities to devise such strategies cutting across institutional silos and mobilising leaders, policy officers, professionals, businesses and civil society behind a new model of integration based on the mixing and interaction between people from different ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds.

The programme helps cities to:

  • Create a sense of pluralistic identity based on the pride and appreciation of its diverse population and minimise ethnic tension and conflict.
  • Set up a governance model empowering all members of the community, regardless of their origin or status, and thus benefit from their talents, skills and links with developing markets.
  • Break the walls between ethnic groups, build trust and thus ensure cohesion and solidarity
  • Make the public space and services accessible to all and end the vicious circle of poverty and exclusion which goes hand in hand with ethnic segregation.
  • Empower intercultural innovators in public institutions and civil society and through them ensure that policies encourage intercultural interaction.
  • Build a positive discourse and encourage a balanced approach to diversity in media to foster positive public perception of migrant and minority groups.

The Intercultural cities network provides expert and peer support to cities which chose to learn how to better manage diversity and benefit from the diversity advantage. It offers an internationally tested and validated methodology and a set of analytical and learning tools, as well as help with re-shaping city policies and services to make them more effective in a diverse context, and to engage citizens in building an understanding of their diversity as a competitive advantage.

Below is a set of examples of services and activities cities can benefit from. It should be noted, however, that the programme works in a very open, flexible way, adapting to the needs and expectations of individual cities.

examples of services and activities examples of services and activities

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