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Cities and Cultural Diversity: Facts – Positions – Strategies. BertelsmannStiftung Studies

Hillmann, Felicitas and Alpermann, Hendrijke (2018) Cities and Cultural Diversity: Facts – Positions – Strategies. BertelsmannStiftung Studies. UNSPECIFIED.

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    This study presents the current state of research and debates on migration-driven diversity and how it is addressed in German cities. It also articulates the various positions taken in these approaches. The analysis is supplemented with an overview of municipal strategies for managing migration-driven diversity. Selected practical approaches are presented to supplement the addressed topic areas. The study focuses on the various dimensions involved with addressing migration-driven diversity in cities through the following four topic areas: • Segregation and integration: the concentration of different national, ethnic and cultural groups in cities and what this means for integration into urban society • Participation and inclusion: forms of participation in cities, the challenges and opportunities associated with strengthening inclusion for everyone • Identity and religious diversity: conflicts between different cultural and religious identities or ways of life and the problems associated with these conflicts in cities • Diversity-facilitative locations: places or facilities within a city in which new approaches to migration-driven cultural diversity can flourish Germany features a broad range of city types – from large cities with long-term experience in navigating migration-driven diversity to those cities with limited experience in this regard. Among migrants who have settled in Germany, we observe a broad range of mobility patterns among those who have moved to cities. This ranges from the voluntary migration of primarily highly skilled and educated people to the temporary stays among tourists and conference attendees to refugee migration, that is, people who have been forced to leave their country of origin due to war and persecution. Labor migrants represent a category somewhere in between. This mixture of a city’s stock population with or without a migration background and its incoming flow population in specific social and economic contexts determines the composition of diversity in a city. In Germany, we see different types in the west and the east. The study highlights six city types: Magnete (economically dynamic cities known for their highly diverse populations), Solide (cities featuring “guest worker” populations and a stable economy), Ambivalente (traditionally industrial cities transitioning to service industry that feature “guest worker” populations), Nachholer (cities with a relatively small immigrant population that is growing in an increasingly service-based economy), Gestalter (smaller cities featuring culturally diverse population and specialized economic sectors) and Unerfahrene (smaller, economically weak cities that have little experience with diverse populations and high unemployment). To date, many cities in Germany have found it difficult to pursue policies and measures designed to address the challenges associated with migration-driven cultural diversity. Current trends toward socio-spatial polarization in cities pose a challenge to social cohesion. Social segregation is more prevalent than ethnic segregation, though we frequently find that they overlap in certain urban districts. The question of an ideal social mix therefore remains important, as a systematic collation of research findings shows. In many cases, there is simply not enough processing and analysis of the available data on marginalization (i.e., indicators on unemployment and transfer benefits) by country of origin at the municipal level. If we look at the extent to which migrant participation and migration-driven diversity is embedded in city development planning, we see a persistent under-representation of people with an immigrant background in the administrative institutions of German cities. At the same time, efforts addressing this issue are on the rise in local contexts. Migrant efforts to self-organize and neighborhood-based formats are undergoing a renaissance and attracting more and more attention. In some cases, tasks traditionally slated as the responsibility of the welfare state are being transferred to voluntary activity and associations. This is viewed with criticism when municipalities use these mechanisms to shift responsibility for such tasks to the shoulders of civil society in order to resolve their budgetary constraints. However, this trend also involves empowering groups that have otherwise been marginalized. As an aspect of cultural diversity, visible religious diversity is becoming increasingly relevant in cities. Places of worship have made this development particularly noticeable in cityscapes. Because migration-related questions of religion are subjects of vehement and to some extent culturalized debate within (urban) society, cities are faced with divisive conflicts. Measures applied in interfaith dialogue efforts offer good examples of how to resolve these tensions. These approaches are increasingly implemented as part of municipal mediation strategies. Each German city examined features locations that stand out for their unique approach to diversity: These locations are characterized as diversity-facilitative locations in navigating migration-driven cultural diversity. They can refer to libraries, museums, specific neighborhoods or festive events. They are locations where new approaches to and forms of inclusion as well as participation are developed. And they serve as appealing venues which can, in the long term, contribute to a city’s revitalization. In the different cities examined, we see a variety of approaches to migration-driven cultural diversity. Large cities such as Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart that were quick to implement pro-active policies and have successfully navigated the transition to a service- based economy, are now beginning to reap the benefits of their diverse populations. Smaller cities, particularly those marked by a declining population and structural weaknesses, tend to bristle when faced with “external” influence. For these cities, viewing migration-driven diversity as an opportunity to target municipal revitalization often comes less easily. Living well together in cultural diversity is more easily achieved in those areas with experience in this regard, that is, in areas where conflicts have been worked through. An important next step in the academic research on this subject involves analyzing in quantitative and especially qualitative terms the combined impact of stock and flow dynamics on various types of cities. In the short-term, municipal policymakers can draw on the findings of the study presented here.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > labour migration, intra-EU
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Bertelsmann Stiftung/Foundation (Gutersloh, Germany) > Studies
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2020 11:34
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 08 May 2020 13:34

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