Forum 2014


Building Intercultural Cities:
From Practice to Policy and Back Again
May 20-24, 2014

An international forum organized by the LABRRI, in collaboration with the City of Montreal and the Council of Europe

Cities have always been places where people of different cultural and social backgrounds cohabit and pursue common goals in spite of their differences. In this sense there is nothing new about the phenomenon of intercultural cities.  In recent years, however, the intensification of cultural diversity in cities in many parts of the world has led to increasing concerns about inter-ethnic tensions, social inequality, and racial discrimination.  One response to these challenges has been to focus more attention on the dynamics and potential benefits of intercultural policy and practice (Gimenez, Wood and Landry 2008).

Intercultural policy for cities has become a dynamic area of research and policy design.  Some authors have even suggested that this movement represents a totally new approach to the problems of social inclusion and cohesion in an era of super-diversity (Cantle 2012, Zapata 2013).  By virtue of their intermediate status—not federal, not provincial, at the same time global and local—cities are in a particularly good position to formulate policy frameworks that will contribute to the well-being of all citizens, regardless of their origins (White in press). To go beyond the promotion of « good practices », however, it is important to think about intercultural policy from an analytical and comparative perspective.

Certain cities have made significant advances in this domain, but until now very little work has been done to understand the underlying principles of these frameworks and the processes involved in their implementation.  The outreach activity proposed here—an international workshop on the process of policy design for intercultural cities—will bring together policymakers and intercultural experts in order to compare intercultural policies and practices in cities that are increasingly affected by the phenomenon of super-diversity (Vertovec 2007).  The primary objective of the workshop is to elaborate a series of tools that will enable policymakers and practitioners to make cities more inclusive by leveraging recent advances in the field of intercultural policy and practice (Council of Europe 2009, Rocher in press, White in press).


The outreach activity proposed here is the final event in a series of activities that will result in the production of an on-line resource for intercultural policy design and practice.  Through a number of presentations, roundtables and interactive break-out sessions, participants will be asked to present recent findings on intercultural policy for cities, not only the different components of particular policy frameworks, but also the obstacles most often encountered during design and implementation and the strategies used to create alliances, both internally and externally.  In order to organize these disparate forms of information, the workshop will produce three concrete outcomes:

  • a series of city-based case studies about policy process and design
  • a comparative analysis framework for understanding similarities and differences between cities
  • a proposal of common principles for policy design in intercultural cities

The proposed activities will attempt to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners by enabling practitioners to become familiar with new methodologies and analytical frameworks, while at the same time providing researchers and their students with valuable information about intercultural and institutional dynamics on the ground.

Summary of the Workshop / Résumé du forum:



Video excerpts / Extraits vidéo:


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Workshop program/ Programme du forum:


Présentations Powerpoint / Powerpoint Presentations:



Presentation Summaries / Résumés des présentations:



Poster Presentations / Présentations poster:




Acknowledgements / Remerciements:



More information to come / Plus d’information à venir…


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