Contemporary international migration is a powerful and inescapable agent
of social change that affects virtually every domain of civic and private
life. Overwhelmingly, the major impact of migration has been on cities.
Large cities have always been the focal point of social, demographic and
ethnic transformations, transformations that are invariably changing the
broader society. Greater ethnic, cultural, religious and social diversity
is leading to more complex interactions between migrants and the host
population, as well as among migrant communities. Innovation and creativity
are needed to understand the full effects of migration, to meet successfully
its challenges, to capitalize on the opportunities it presents, and to
moderate the tensions it produces.
importance of migration, the body of related research is surprisingly
small, not spatially-focused and not "client-centred". It provides an
inadequate platform for policy development. National idiosyncrasies tend
to mask the many similarities on how immigration is transforming urban
systems. Understanding better how immigration affects global cities in
the advanced industrial world offers the most appropriate analytical platform
from which to understand immigration's impact on our societies. International
comparative research is needed to deepen our understanding of migration
across social, cultural and economic settings and to create a menu of
practical policies for national and international decision-making. Over
and above that, what is needed is an intellectual engine built for the
purpose of problem solving: a network of researchers and decision-makers
involving governments and stakeholders in project problem definition and
Metropolis is that intellectual engine: a cooperative, international research
and policy platform created to examine immigrant integration and the effects
of international migration on urban centres.
research more systematically into policy development by creating an
active network of researchers and decision makers and developing innovative
and practical approaches to the exchange of ideas between the two.
existing information on which to anchor policy ideas and programmes
available to all levels of government, community organizations and business.
as a think-tank, a clearing house, and a coordination centre for internationally
comparative research projects, including the active lobby and support
for adequate access to relevant statistical and survey datasets.
an inventory of "best international practices", identifying the most
effective responses to the many practical challenges that face all countries
which have significant numbers of migrants entering their large urban
Metropolis is a loose partnership involving governments, research institutes
and international agencies. The membership includes public and private
institutions from Canada, the United States, Argentina, New Zealand, Israel,
Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway,
Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria. In addition the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace (a Washington-based think tank that specializes
in policy research), the Migration Policy Group (MPG, a NGO based in Brussels),
the European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER,
an academic research institute - housing a documentation and database
centre EDCOMER - based at Utrecht University), the OECD, UNESCO and the
EC. The intent is to broaden this partnership circle to include Australia,
and other Southern European countries.
Metropolis is trying to develop the principle of networking as a major
way of creating a synergy between the research and the policy-making communities.
As a network including both governmental as well as academic partners
Metropolis is ideally suited to create synergy between already existing
networks dealing with similar topics but usually from either a research
or a policymaking perspective.
networks that Metropolis has already established productive links with
are the Thematic Network on Migrants and Minorities in European Cities
(Mig-Cities) and the Multicultural Policies and
Modes of Citizenship in European Cities network. The first was
launched in the spring of 1996 as a grouping of research teams from eight
European countries, co-ordinated by ERCOMER, and funded under the TSER
program of the European Commission. The second network is supported under
the UNESCO MOST program, has a Steering Committee comprised of seven senior
researchers, collaborators in 10 countries, and is co-ordinated by the
Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick (UK).
Metropolis is investigating possibilities of collaboration with a policy
network called the LIA program (Local Integration/Partnership Action).
LIA's main aim is to identify and promote local projects which demonstrate
and exemplify good practice in the full integration and advancement of
migrant and ethnic minority communities in the public and economic life
of their towns. LIA has been conceived and developed by 3 European networks
of towns, namely, ELAINE, EUROCITIES and QUARTIERS EN CRISE.
International North America
Citizenship and Immigration Canada/Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada
365 Laurier WestJournal Tower South C-1839
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1Ll
Tel: +1 613 957 5983
Fax: +1 613 957 5968
European Research Centre On Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER)
3584 CS Utrecht
Tel: +31 30 2534722
Fax: +31 30 2539280