Intercultural Cities is a project that is striving to develop a model that supports intercultural integration within diverse urban communities. Interculturalism is a concept that promotes policies and practices that encourage interaction, understanding and respect between different cultures and ethnic groups.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Intercultural Cities, a joint initiative of the European Commission and the Council of Europe, was launched in the run-up to the 2008 European Year of Intercultural Dialogue and has proven to be one of its headline projects, putting into action one of the main messages of the Year, namely the need to think and act “across borders”.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
“The intercultural city has a diverse population including people with different nationalities, origins, languafes or religions/believes. Most citiziens regard diversity as a resource, not as a problem, and accept that all cultures change as they encounter each other in the public space. The city officials publicly advocate respect for diversity and a pluralistic city identity.The city actievely combats prejudice and discrimination and ensure equal opportunities for all by adapting its governance structures, institutions and services to the needs of a diverse population, without compromising the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The high level of trust and social cohesion help to prevent conflicts and violence, increase policy effectiveness and make the city attractive for people and investors alike.”
The 11 pilot cities selected were:
Berlin Neukölln (Germany), Greenwich (UK), Izhevsk (Russian Federation), Lublin (Poland), Lyon (France), Melitopol (Ukraine), Neuchâtel (Switzerland), Oslo (Norway), Patras (Greece), Reggio Emilia (Italy), Subotica (Serbia), Tilburg (the Netherlands).
The aims of the „Intercultural Cities” programme include:
– Promotion of cultural diversity.
– Reinforcement of actions which help make the most of cultural diversity.
– Supporting the cities in the development of intercultural strategies and actions which will help to manage the diversity in a constructive and innovative way.
– Helping to shape the general public policy in the field of cultural diversity.
Management and leadership structure.
– Designate political supporter: Identify defenders of the intercultural city system that can get the ambassadorial role and have the right to change agents. Past experiences have shown that in some cities, the mayor of the city adopts high profile and active role, while others can be kept away from that. The only requirement is that there must be a clear connection between the project and the political authority of the city.
– Coordinator and first director of ICC project: Ideally, this employee was directly the political charge of the ICC strategy, but also there could be two coordinators, since, in some cases, a collaboration of two have worked well. In Oslo, the expert diversity of the city is working with the education expert (the priority city for intercultural action).
– In addition to the formal political and executive leadership, there will be someones interested in various departments and divisions of the city, including public employees who provide services to communities , and within oenegés and communities. These individuals can join a forum or group of defenders support to assist in the development strategy of the city intercultural and help and advise on the implementation and provide feedback on the practical impact of the implementation field .
-Before the city goes out to consult with its citizens, it should ask itself some questions about their possibilities and be sure that the project could be possible in their reality.
-Then they need to present the idea to all the major institutions, groups and communities in the city and ask their active parciticipation.
-Having researched and mapped the different spheres of interest in the city, and begun the process of consulting and listening.
-Now is time of public discourse and media ethics. The broadcast, print and, increasingly, web-based media play a powerful role in society. They inform but can also influence the opinion of individuals and whole groups.
– Cities need to ensure that the momentum of the pilot project is sustained during the inevitable ups and downs of an ambitious and highly experimental initiative. Making use of catalytic events such as conferences, seminars and workshops at critical envisaged milestones in the strategy and associated projects where there are useful outputs that will require dissemination.
– Evaluation process for assessing how their intercultural city strategy is progressing, component projects and the lessons being learned.
10 elements of an Intercultural City Strategy:
1. Positve public attitude.
2. Establishing some flagship trial projects, for example:
– in education
– in the public realm
– in housing and neighbourhoods
– in the public services and civic administration
– in business and economy
– in sport and the arts
3. Mediation and resolution
4. Language training
5. Joint strategy with local media agencies
6. International policy
7. Intercultural intelligence function
8. Intercultural awareness training for politicians
9. Welcoming initiatives for newcomers
10. Cross-cultural decisión
Reggio Emilia in Italy is the perfect example to compare it with Alicante.
… (AFTER FIRST EXTRA CLASS OF JANUARY)
Right now in Spain we have 10 cities involve in this program, we named this RECI.
Barcelona, Bilbao, Cartagena, Getxo, Fuenlabrada, Parla, Sabadell, Jerez, San Sebastián, Tenerife.
In Spain this program is working together with Obra Social “La Caixa” “Grup de Recerca Interdisciplinari sobre Immigració Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
The objetive is to apply the ICC index and create a Manual of intercultural designs and strategies.
(Information to be verify)
The program budget is 650,000 euros for a period of 2 years and may cover issues such as a local coordinator (part-time or completed), translation and interpretation (English), some international travel and meeting costs. Celebrations of public events, managing documentation, will be covered by the local entity.
Alicante can be the next Intercultural City 2014, it only needs to answer this questions to realize about that fact of public space as main agent of this process.
Who use the city’s important public spaces and places, and who does not use them?
What could be done to make important public spaces and places open to all?
Where are the places in the city where different types of people interact and why do they work together?
Could future public spaces and institutions such as schools be located, designed and animated differently to make them more intercultural?
Step by step guide:
The ICC Index: