The intercultural city step by step
Diversity has become a key feature of societies today and is particularly tangible in urban centres. While people of diverse national, ethnic, linguistic and faith backgrounds have immensely contributed to post-war prosperity, inequalities related to origin, culture and skin colour persist, and anxiety about pluralism, identity and shared values is often politically instrumentalised. The challenge of fostering equity and cohesion in culturally diverse societies has become more acute. Cities are uniquely placed to imagine and test responses to this challenge.
The Council of Europe and its partner cities have developed and validated an intercultural approach to integration and inclusion which enables cities to reap the benefits and minimise the risks related to human mobility and cultural diversity. A decade after the start of this work, there is growing evidence that diversity, when recognised and managed as a resource, produces positive outcomes in terms of creativity, wellbeing and economic development.
The Intercultural Cities Programme (ICC) invites cities in Europe and beyond to explore and apply policies that harness diversity for personal and societal development. This Step-by-Step guide is a tool for local authorities to apply the urban model of intercultural integration and inclusion. It reflects the lessons learned and builds upon the examples of cities managing diversity as a resource in order to facilitate the building of trust and shared identities across diverse groups.