Where can cities learn to manage interculturality?
What is the role of a city in creating an intercultural environment? And how can they become better at it? There are more and more civil society initiatives emerging in Europe that have harnessed the potential newcomer talent – in fact, many of them are in the PLACEmaker collective. However, often overlooked is the role cities play in creating an enabling environment where intercultural innovation to emerge naturally. Cities are essential actors in creating an ecosystem where diversity can be tapped into to create economic, cultural and social value.
The Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) of the Council of Europe is an initiative that focuses directly on this question. In practice, the ICC supports cities in designing and reviewing adapted policies to harness diversity as an advantage rather than manage it as a threat. Over 130 cities from around the world have joined the network to build their intercultural skills in practice through innovative tools, expert advice and immersive exchanges.
With rates of urbanization and migration growing globally, newcomer talent, when managed effectively, presents a real opportunity for economic growth. To educate policymakers and the wider public on the context of intercultural cities, the ICC created a series of tools that deep dive into subjects such as:
PLACE spoke at the ICC Milestone event and 10th anniversary in Lisbon as an example for building the intercultural capacity of European cities in practice. At that point only a year into operations, PLACE had proven the potential for city-level engagement on accelerating the creation of economic value by migrants and refugees through its close collaboration with the City of Paris. A collaboration that continues to be co-constructed in an open dialogue about needs both of the city and of newcomer talent, to achieve collective impact.