Inclusive cities: planning for intercultural communities

In their recent article, Inclusive Cities for Intercultural Communities. European Experiences, Gabriella Esposito De Vita Stefania Oppido investigate the relationship between cities and citizens affected by migration and explore the role that spatial, social, and economic bodies could play in building inclusive cities.

Published in the journal Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, and presented  through the 2nd ‘New Metropolitan Perspectives’ International Symposium,the paper evaluates local initiatives of select cities and illustrates the challenges faced by their communities in the context of urban policy and intercultural integration. The research case studies include investigations of a number of initiatives from Italy and other European countries; from migrant-rich urban areas to peripheral and historical neighbourhoods.  The inclusion of these case studies illustrates the relationship between new social structures of the city to the need to reconfigure spaces, functions and services to cater adequately to citizen requirements. The case studies are compared through keywords, period and scale of intervention, stakeholders, urban and social contexts, findings, dissemination tools and the use of participatory processes.   

Research findings point to the compelling demand for addressing the needs of local citizens and migrants – and to reflect urban diversity and create equity in the urban context. Through evidence from the case studies, the authors emphasize a number of strengths that could enhance local urban diversity management: support networks, collaborative and participatory means to enrich bottom-up processes, intercultural engagement to identify solutions to collective problems, peer-enabled mediation services for migrants, and the leveraging of multimedia. 

The study finds that the inclusive city nurtures social cohesion by enabling interaction between the various cultural groups and offers a number of recommendations for policy, administration, and planning practitioners focused on multicultural communities. 

Photo: Michael Coghlan/Flickr/cc

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