The project will address how cities that attract migrants can be responsible towards cities that are losing population and how the successful integration of international populations can impact on attractiveness and competitiveness over the long term.
The experiences of the different partners are not exactly the same and the project provides the opportunity to exchange ideas, to learn from best practice and in the case of the new member states to plan ahead for the future.
The project will tackle the following main issues on the basis that not all cities are equally open to international migrants. We want to better understand:
- What is city openness and how do we define what makes OPENCities? Considering number of factors – economic, regulatory, cultural, amenity, connectivity, risks, leadership and internationalisation.
- Why do some cities appear to be more attractive to international populations despite similar national frameworks and conditions?
- What role does the social and economic integration of migrants play in city competitiveness and the attraction of further international human capital?
- Can we develop clear guidance for city leaders on how to increase and promote the openness of cities to international populations?
- Can we develop an OPENCities ‘index of openness’ to compare and benchmark various European cities and to consider the potential for an internationally recognised openness ‘standard’ or ‘kitemark’ for cities?
What motivates you to be part of the URBACT adventure ?
Participation in the second URBACT programme enables the city of Belfast and all the city partners to once again engage with similar cities around Europe and to share transferable experiences and practical tools on urban issues.
The URBACT adventure though the OPENCities project will focus policy makers, funders and practitioners on innovative practise to better attract, integrate and retain economic migrant populations in an increasingly competitive, global market place.
Who would you like to benefit from the work achieved in your project?
By taking part in the URBACT OPENCities project, we hope to;
- Identify successful integration projects for economic migrants
- Influence policy makers and structural fund programmers
- Recognise and promote our cities as open cities
- Establish a network and legacy of local support groups throughout the cities
- Develop and deliver concrete, measureable local action plans to address economic migration issues
- Produce practical tools to address barriers to employment such as language, recognition of qualifications and skill groups.