Good Ideas in Integration
What is a Good Idea?
At its most basic, a Good Idea in integration is any program, activity or strategy that has made a difference in the successful integration of migrants in city-life. In this process, the city and all its residents have also benefited with increased social cohesion, greater urban prosperity and the richness that cultural diversity affords all communities.
Cities of Migration aims to collect a broad, thematically and geographically representative collection of Good Ideas based on the following essential criteria.
Good Ideas are:
Practical. Good ideas relate to the lived experience of migrants, and/or they have a direct impact on how migrants live, work and learn in their adopted cities, facilitating their interaction with community, business and government and contributing to the quality of city life. Many actors are implicated in good urban integration practice.
Innovative. Good ideas are relevant to today’s environment and use new approaches, techniques and forms of collaboration to accomplish their objectives. An innovative practice answers questions such as: Does this practice use new approaches to integration challenges? Has it developed new tools or services? or used common practices in new ways? Has this practice changed how we think about integration? Or created value or new opportunities for the agency and its stakeholders? Good Ideas make us think.
Successful. A successful integration practice shows evidence of positive impact on the migrant community and the cities they have made their home. Outcomes may not always be measurable, but good ideas are generally endorsed or recognized by peer groups, evaluative bodies, or the communities they have served well. Success does not require scale. Good ideas can spring from the city?s streets and classrooms in community-led initiatives led by caring local residents. However, successful integration practice often results in new investments of resources and funding.
Transferable. Good ideas are ideas that travel. Good integration practices show a capacity for replication or can be adapted for local use, regardless of specific geographical, cultural or linguistic contexts. Good Ideas can be exported from city to city. Some Good ideas are easy to implement, others may require imagination and hard work.
Cities of Migration will focus on migration issues that relate broadly to international migrants and their families –both immigrants and refugees– and the children of migrants, even if they were born in the new host country. The integration of second generation migrants is included in this project.
Some minority populations have a longer history of integration issues within their urban communities. While such minority groups may not be part of a new migrant population, they often experience social exclusion and socio-economic challenges similar to those faced by new migrants. Population data addressing diversity does not always clearly distinguish new and older minority groups. In these cases, good ideas in integration trump other considerations.
Who is an integration practitioner? Cities of Migration looks broadly at a diverse range of urban actors in integration across public, private and community sectors, including foundations, city government officials, community sector organizations, colleges and universities, employers, labour unions and resident and business associations. Police departments and health authorities as well as urban planners and financial institutions all contribute to improved integration practice and the opportunity to influence city dynamics and urban prosperity.
The Cities of Migration website features resources and tools that can help city-level practitioners, community and funder networks in urban migration and integration become more knowledgeable and effective in their work.
- Download the Cities of Mgration Handout (PDF)
Recent Good Ideas
Naan in the Park: Re-imagining Public Space
Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee
Auckland, New Zealand
Mission Export Education
Auckland Tertiary Education Network (ATEN)
Wheaton, United States
Charting a Path to Citizenship
Montgomery College, Citizenship Preparation Program
Brains for Trains: Harnessing diversity for global success
Thales Canada transportation business
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match