A strategy to welcome and embrace newcomers into local communities and their new homes.
“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African saying that municipal offices devoted to welcoming and embracing newcomers into a society have long been aware of –and well before the refugee movements of the past three years.
Why? Well, metropolitan cities, and cities with strong economies, in particular, attract people from all over the world. Across the globe, some 200 million people born abroad currently live in cities on both sides of the Atlantic. Demographic mobility and mass migration can substantially change the composition of the local population, creating the challenge for cities to integrate highly heterogeneous and culturally diverse groups into the local community.
The impact of (geo)political developments in the refugee movements in 2015 to Germany, right wing extremism and rising xenophobia have greatly influenced the discourse on immigration, security, and integration policies, influencing public attitudes and the communication between political leaders and immigrants. This is a challenge but at the same time a great opportunity to further the societal development of cities by reflecting on existing integration, diversity and welcoming policies towards newcomers in order to build a new narrative.
The narrative of the city of Stuttgart as the iii-city: international, integrative, and inclusive Stuttgart is an international city. Thanks to the migrants, Stuttgart has been able to maintain its population size of 600.000 inhabitants over the past years. 25 percent of the inhabitants are foreigners, and another 20 percent are naturalized migrants and their children. Hence, in total 45 percent of the Stuttgarters have a so-called migration background. This high share has always been an asset for the city, a richness and diversity that the city is proud of.| http://citiesofmigration.ca/building-inclusive-cities/welcome-ability/