Cultural Inclusion

Definition
Promotes laws and policies that ensure cultural participation, access, and the right to express and interpret culture. From an urban policy perspective, cultural inclusion calls to mixing the best problem-solving, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial practices.

Challenges
Limited freedom of cultural expression, cultural and religious intolerance, and xenophobia. Language, which is a vital cultural expression tool, can also be a challenge for migrants who speak less widespread languages.

Benefits for the host city
The cultural contribution of migrants brings crucial benefits to the city in terms of economic development. Multicultural cities that foster tolerance and artistic development are harmonious cities which attract international investments and where costly conflict and social friction can be avoided. UCLG’s “Agenda 21 for Culture” project highlights how cultural tolerance and the promotion of cultural resources are crucial to the economic and social success of the city.

What can be done?
Municipal decision-makers can facilitate access to cultural rights for international migrants by ensuring access to local culture and leisure, supporting the cultural practices of migrant communities and enabling cultural expression as a means to produce intercultural dialogue and exchange. Migrants have the right to demonstrate their religion and express their culture in compliance with international human rights standards. Local authorities should promote urban cultural life and acknowledge cultural diversity as a source of innovation, creativity and economic vitality.

Examples of good practice:

Municipal Assembly of Religions, Lleida, Spain
The City of Lleida created a Municipal Assembly of Religions as a participatory body fostering the right to cultural and religious freedom and expression and encouraging citizens to participate in an interreligious exchange and intercultural dialogue. In cities, and especially in segregated religious and cultural communities where religious extremism can develop, would benefit from forming such interfaith assemblies.

Istanbul Capital of Cultures, Istanbul, Turkey
This general study approach to the role of immigrants in Turkey has multiple aims, including: understanding the potential of the migrant communities in the city; gauging international links with these Diasporas and gathering data on their living conditions and lifestyles. The project plans on developing thanks to partnerships with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Union of Marmara Municipalities through colloquia and the creation of a migration festival.

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