In this article, you will find insights regarding the first study visits of the UNITES project (UrbaN InTEgration Strategies through co-design). Inspired by what the partners of the project are implementing? You can find below an opportunity to get involved and learn from UNITES’ work.
Prague hosted the first UNITES visit and rocked it by organizing the “MigActConference: Empowering Civic Engagement in a Diverse Society.” The event gathered migrant-led organisations and stakeholders that shared their experience in Prague. In addition, the UNITES project took the spotlight during a panel debate. Prague supports MigAct activities focused on participation, capacity building through education and events like workshops, guided walks and panel debates on migrant participation in the city.
Following the conference, the study visit was a chance to gain a thorough understanding of what Prague does in co-design.
During a visit to the Prague City Gallery, participants learned about their participatory activities in collaboration with the Department of National Minorities and Foreigners of the city. The gallery is engaged in hiring migrants and refugees as educators and lecturers.
At the Prague Integration Centre, UNITES partners were introduced to their inclusive strategies and projects. Finally, participants heard how the Agency for Migration and Adaptation (AMIGA) set up a Multidisciplinary Mental Health Team for Refugees from Ukraine, putting mental health at the heart.
Within UNITES, Grenoble-Alpes set the AGORA, the first Metropolitan body dedicated to refugees’ participation and composed of 16 members. Through AGORA, refugees can contribute to society and can rely on a space where their needs are considered. The delegation attended one of their monthly meetings. This was an opportunity to hear the voices of the refugee people involved and to discuss the impact and pathways towards AGORA’s sustainability.
During the study visit, partners met some of the interns involved in co-designing the activities of the Second Chance School.The institute offers internships to young people (16 to 25 years old) who dropped out of school and boasts a specific programme focussed on refugees.
Before concluding the visit, the delegation was involved in an informal exchange with the members of the Big Bang Ballers (BBB). This session allowed participants to experience inclusion through sport. BBB is an association that fosters education and inclusion through sport. BBB’s innovative methodology towards inclusion focusses on empowerment and self-confidence building. The association brings sport into living spaces to remove barriers to the practice of sports, while including migrant people and non-migrants living in the Métropole.
In Zaragoza, UNITES partners learned how the House of the Cultures works towards co-designing migrant integration.
Before delving into a participatory session involving migrant people living in the city, the delegation attended the Management Board Meeting. The Management Board is a body representing the CSOs, NGOs and associations working in the field in Zaragoza, including migrant-led organisations. It is a formal way to connect the work that the city council is doing with the needs of the associations. Their meetings are a chance to cooperate on defining the agenda of the House of the Cultures. The events include the Week Against Racism, panel debates and cultural events to showcase the variety of cultures in Zaragoza.
The city organised a successful participatory session, which UNITES partners attended. The aim was to obtain feedback on the 2019 Municipal Plan for a Multicultural and Cultural Diverse city. The city involved people who immigrated to Zaragoza more than 20 years ago as well as those who arrived only a few weeks before. Working in several focus groups, participants were able to openly share their opinions in a safe space, surrounded by people eager to listen to them.
As part of UNITES, in 2024 other partner cities will host a visit to showcase their work on co-designing integration strategies with migrant people.
🚅 Our next stops are Athens, Bologna, Duesseldorf, Oulu and Zagreb.
Articles about what the activities that partner cities are implementing will be out soon on the Eurocities website!
Save the date! Integrating Cities Conference XI
On 20-21 November 2024, Bologna will host the Integrating Cities Conference. The event will focus on co-designing integration strategies, an opportunity to present the UNITES online course on co-designing integration strategies.