Intercultural Cities. A Journey Through 23 European Cities
EUROCITIES, 2009, 56 pp.
Cities play a key role in terms of facilitating and supporting intercultural dialogue, promoting mutual understanding and acceptance, and overcoming barriers between different groups. They bring together different stakeholders at the local level and have a wide range of experience and knowledge to share regarding dialogue between cultures.
EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Founded in 1986, the network brings together the local governments of more than 130 large cities in over 30 European countries. EUROCITIES provides a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and ideas, to exchange experiences, to analyse common problems and develop innovative solutions, through a wide range of Forums, Working Groups, Projects, activities and events.
On the occasion of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, EUROCITIES cooperated with the Council of Europe in the framework of the Intercultural Cities programme, joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
The programme has two strands:
Strand 1 - "governance and policies", run by the Council of Europe, together with 12 cities, aimed to provide policy auditing expertise and strategy-development guidance to cities1.
Strand 2 - "awareness and exchange", run by EUROCITIES together with 23 cities of the network (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Bergen, Berlin, Bologna, Bristol, Cologne, Espoo, Genoa, Ghent, Glasgow, Lublin, Lyon, Malmo, Nantes, Nottingham, Oslo, Riga, Turin, Toulouse, Warsaw, Zaragoza) and aimed to facilitating dialogue and exchange on good practice between politicians, citizens and municipal service providers across Europe and highlight the important role of local level action to achieve real intercultural dialogue. At the heart of the “Awareness and exchange” strand was a chain of visits from city to city. Each participating city sent a team of ambassadors (politicians, young persons and officers) to one other participating city in order to exchange experiences on how to foster intercultural dialogue through specific policies, structures or events. All in all 23 visits took place in 2008. These visits took place on the occasion of major local events and festivals around the theme of intercultural dialogue. Experiences implemented in cities have been compiled by the ambassadors in order to be presented in this publication. The publication was presented at the occasion of the final conference of the EUROCITIES strand of the programme in Amsterdam in March 2009. It is available online at kultura.lublin.eu/pi/6040_1.pdf
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