Municipal Scope and Themes

Successful cities are led by innovative, forward-looking local governments that work to serve the best interests of the public, including new immigrants.  Local governments have significant capacity to use the authority and instruments of public office to integrate migrants and provide equal opportunities for all residents. These cities view inclusion and the diversity of the city as core values and assets in an increasingly competitive global economy.

In 2011 and 2012, we put a ‘municipal’ lens on immigrant integration practices.  You will discover good ideas, innovative strategies and successful models of integration practice from local government and municipal institutions, programs and agencies around the world.


Municipal integration practices showcase city leadership on immigrant integration and are city-led or delivered through the offices and authority of local government. Together they help us understand the range of action available to local governments to accelerate immigrant integration.

Municipal integration practices include good practices in the delivery of core city services, HR management, active citizenship and inclusion, local economic development and more. Anchored in local policy and endorsed by strong leadership, good municipal practices accelerate the integration of newcomers while building inclusive, resilient urban communities.

Like all Good Ideas in immigrant integration at Cities of Migration, good practices from local governments are practical, innovative, successful and transferrable.

What is Leadership? Municipal leadership refers to the voice and authority of city mayors and city council leaders. A Mayor is the head of government of a city, town, borough, or municipal corporation. Other terms for city leadership include: city leader, council leader, CEO (Chief Executive Officer), city manager, city alderman, etc.

What is Municipal government? Municipal government refers to a city, town, urban region or district that is incorporated for local self-government. Other terms for municipal government include: city government, local government, city council, city borough, local authority, etc.


Discover good ideas from successful cities! Local governments support immigrant integration across the following areas:

Cities as policy-makers:

  • city charters and governance; mayoral voice and local leadership
  • integration and inclusion policies; community cohesion
  • equality; race relations; anti-racism
  • urban planning,  zoning,  land use
  • infrastructure and economic development (business climate, education, health care, transportation including airport and regional rail)

Cities as service providers:

  • Settlement services including: housing, language training, employment;
  • social services for family and youth, older people, women, disabilities, etc.
  • Education, libraries and other community services
  • Health promotion
  • Public space, including parks, neighbourhood renewal
  • Arts, sports and recreation
  • Emergency services, including police

Cities as employers and buyers of goods and services:

  • Human resource management, including Hiring, Recruitment and Retention;
  • mentoring, language and cultural competency training
  • Procurement, tendering

Cities as wealth creators:

  • Local economic development, including private/public partnerships
  • City branding and marketing initiates
  • Investment attraction, including business support; entrepreneurship

Cities as democratic bodies:

  • Civic engagement,  including consultative bodies (community representation on agencies, boards and commissions)
  • Voting;  citizenship education
  • Monitoring and public accountability, including office of statistics; demographics, census support, etc.
  • Access to services, including language services (interpreter, translation)


Good municipal practices are developed, implemented and managed by:

  • Elected and non-elected executives: mayors, council leaders, alderman, etc.
  • Municipal departments, offices and programs; their senior management and staff
  • Municipal  agencies, boards and commission, including police and emergency services, school  boards, hospitals, etc.

Good municipal practices are also important to community actors with an interest in engaging city governments,  public officials and institutions in their work:

  • Migration experts; immigrant integration practitioners; immigrant led organizations;
  • Public, private and community sector actors with an interest in migration, integration and urban issues, including
    • business, finance, service industry
    • hospitality, entertainment, retail
    • colleges, universities, accreditation bodies
    • hospitals, emergency services (ambulance, fire)
    • police services
    • unions, professional associations, industry groups
    • NGOs and community agencies
    • media

For more about good Ideas in integration, visit:

Call for Submissions. We want to know more about how local governments promote immigrant success and are looking for outstanding examples of city leadership on immigrant integration.

Submit a good idea!

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