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Cities of Migration

Thursday, May 30, 2013

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In this issue:
Focus on Singapore
Rapid Growth in Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenges to Singapore
The Ethos of Cities: The Spirit of Singapore's Diversity
The Cuff Road Project: Meals and a Friendly Ear for Jobless Migrants
Fatima Shama: Blueprints for Immigrant Integration
Hamburg: From the Multicultural Classroom to the Multicultural Staff Room
Beyond the Border, Behind the Men
Welcoming America's Susan Downs-Karkos on Preparing a Culture of Welcome
Good Ideas in the News

photo: Singapore skyline Focus on Singapore

This month Cities of Migration travels to Singapore, the vibrant Southeast Asian hub of international transportation and trade that has become home to a booming population of new immigrants. Experts Brenda Yeoh and Weiqiang Lin of the National University of Singapore examine the city’s new immigration policies while guest writer JT Singh captures the ethos of the multi-ethnic city-state through photos and stories about the working lives of migrant workers. A revitalization project ensures Singapore’s multicultural history is preserved in its architecture, streets and public spaces while Singaporean culture continues to expand and shift to the cadences of Singlish, the aromas of the curry pot, and the thrum of people on the move.


Brenda Yeoh Rapid Growth in Immigrant Population Brings Policy Challenges to Singapore

Singapore’s multicultural identity is a source of pride for this highly globalized city that attracts a growing population of new immigrants, expat professionals and low-skilled migrant workers. Experts Brenda Yeoh and Weiqiang Lin (National University of Singapore) share insights on the impact and future challenges of new immigration policies for the Migration Policy Institute.

>> Read the MPI excerpt


Photo of JT The Ethos of Cities: The Spirit of Singapore's Diversity

Toronto-born “urban-geographic explorer” JT Singh has a passion for discovering what makes global cities tick. For a special Cities of Migration assignment, he visited Singapore and now shares his views on this multi-ethnic city-state, its success as well as the tensions that changing migration patterns bring.

photo: Singapore street scene“A single image doesn’t tell you much, but as a collection, a pattern emerges to form a meaningful narrative. This photo essay is a narrative of the human drama and spirit of Singapore’s unique sort of diversity.” JT Singh (View Singapore in Photos)

>> Read the Interview


photo: men eating together The Cuff Road Project: Meals and a Friendly Ear for Jobless Migrants

When migrant workers file permanent injury compensation cases in Singapore, they often wait months for a decision without a source of income or the ability to return home. The Cuff Road Project helps the city’s most vulnerable by offering free meals daily at specified restaurants. Not only can injured workers eat in dignity, they also receive advice and assistance on pursuing their cases, a sympathetic shoulder to lean on, and even access to a free medical clinic.

>> Read about the Good Idea


Fatima Shama Fatima Shama: Blueprints for Immigrant Integration

After years of modeling immigrant integration success to other cities, the City of New York has launched “Blueprints for Immigrant Integration,” an open source set of tools and shareable strategies that any local government can use “to integrate and ensure the success of their immigrant communities.” Cities of Migration spoke with Fatima Shama, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, about this important project and its place within Mayor Bloomberg’s legacy to New York.

>> Read the Interview


Hamburg: photo of a wall mural Hamburg: From the Multicultural Classroom to the Multicultural Staff Room

In Hamburg, one-third of all students have a migrant background, but this diversity is largely unrepresented in the teaching profession. To help close this gap, the “Teachers with Migration History” network promotes a vibrant, intercultural school system, offers positive role models, teaches cultural sensitivity that benefits all young learners and is inspiring a new generation of students to become educators.

>> Read about the Good Idea


Beyond the men Beyond the Border, Behind the Men

For many people, low-paid migrant workers remain nameless and voiceless. In Singapore, the Beyond the Border, Behind the Men multi-media arts project hopes to change attitudes towards a group that makes up almost one-fifth of the city’s population. Through music, theatre, photography and film, migrant workers tell their stories and help audiences to look past the clichés.

>> Read about the Good Idea


Welcoming America's Susan Downs-Karkos on Preparing a Culture of Welcome

In last month’s webinar, community leaders in Boise (Idaho, USA) and Erfurt (Germany) presented on programs that bring young people together to learn more about their adopted homes. Susan Downs-Karkos of Welcoming America reflects on how cities are waking up to the benefits of diversity and working to create more open, inclusive and welcoming communities.

>> Read the Article


Good Ideas in the News

Understanding Conflict and Integration Outcomes of Inter-group Relations and Integration Policies in Selected Quarters of Five European Cities. New report from Concordia Discors. More

The Story Behind the Numbers: Why Immigrants Become Citizens in Europe. A new report by Migration Policy Group investigates the similarities and differences in the citizenship debates and perceived challenges facing policy makers, academics and NGOs in the EU. More

Public Opinion on Diverse Leadership in Toronto: Research Findings and the Path Forward. DiverseCity contracted Nanos Research to conduct a first-time public opinion poll of residents in municipalities across the Greater Toronto Area on the topic of diversity in leadership. More 

Refugee Week, June 16-22. Australia's peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. More

IMISCOE 10th Annual Conference: Crisis and Migration – Perceptions, Challenges and Consequences. Conference looks at the links between crisis and patterns of migration in, between and from various European countries. August 25-28, Malmö, Sweden. More

National Immigrant Integration Conference. Hosts include the Florida Immigrant Coalition, the Knight Foundation, and the National Partnership for New Americans. November 17-19, 2013. Miami, US.


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Upcoming Webinar

Oslo Extra Large: Measuring Up, Making Diversity Count

June 5, 2013

Learn how Oslo is putting intercultural policy to the test. The city is using its diversity and integration index to measure what progress it has made on equality, opportunity and inclusion since the launch of its Oslo Extra Large campaign in 2001. 

In conversation with Irena Guidikova, Intercultural Cities, Council of Europe.

More information


Heritage and Modernity in Singapore's Urban Renewal

photo: Singapore

An urban renewal project revitalizes city neighbourhoods while reclaiming its multicultural past

Read about the Good Idea


Good Ideas from Successful Cities

Report cover

A selection of city-led policies and practices that are accelerating the settlement and integration of newcomers and helping build resilient, welcoming communities. 

Download PDF

Visit the online Municipal Leadership Series to find country reports from Canada, Germany, Spain, United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.


Good Ideas Index

Search Good Ideas by themes in English, French, German, Spanish


Good Ideas Video Gallery

In a curated video gallery, Cities of Migration showcases Good Ideas in Integration from cities all around the world.

Watch the videos on our Youtube channel.


Share Your Story!

At Cities of Migration, our Good Ideas about successful integration practice are travelling from city to city.

They also travel from reader to reader. We want to share these stories with you.

Do you have a Cities of Migration story to share? Contact us: citiesofmigration@maytree.com


Contact Cities of Migration

Maytree (Toronto)
Kim Turner, Project Leader
Piali Roy, Writer/ Web Editor
Evelyn Siu, Project Coordinator
For all regions, including UK, EU, US, and NZ, contact:


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