The Project

International migration is on the increase, both as a consequence and as a driver of globalization, and international migrants are increasingly heading towards cities, adding to the low-income urban populations. However, inadequate migration policies make it difficult to provide the support they need. Though local authorities have little say over national immigration policies, decentralization policies have passed on to the local government the responsibility of meeting the migrant needs (immigrant policies).

International migrants are continually facing difficulties in becoming a full part of the economic, cultural, social and political lives of their adopted societies, which is detrimental both for migrants and their host communities. With this project, we hope we can contribute to designing urban policies which will encourage migrants to participate in the development of the city through leveraging innovative living practices, lessons learnt and recommendations for improving the inclusion of international migrants in the city.

Decentralization policies entrust local governments with the responsibility of managing the impact of international migration that alters their proximity to citizens and makes local authorities key actors in dealing with multiculturalism and migration. The urban government and the civil society play a crucial role in promoting sustainable urban development based on cultural diversity, social cohesion and human rights. However, local governments are not always prepared to handle the proliferation of interactions linked to an increase in migration and a rapid urbanization, or capable of integrating populations from different cultural, social and religious backgrounds into the global urban society. Furthermore, cities face many socio-economic and environmental challenges resulting from the economic crisis and the climate change: urban conflicts linked to social exclusion as well as urban poverty and insecurity are expected to increase very rapidly in line with the exponential development of urbanization all over the world, particularly in Asia and Africa.

By focusing on the political roles of local governments in the promotion of the social and spatial inclusion of international migrants in cities, this project aims to raise awareness and empower municipal decision-makers to facilitate access to human rights for migrants at the local level, to underline the benefits of migration for the cities and to expedite the inclusion of migrants within host communities.

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