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Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

image of Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Gothenburg

Today, 34% of the population of Gothenburg, Sweden, was born outside of the country or has at least one parent born abroad. The city is growing at a fast pace: 4 400 new residents registered in 2016. Newcomers account for the bulk of demographic growth, of which 12 858 refugees settled in the city between 2010 and 2016. However, migration is not a new phenomenon in Gothenburg, with nearly 41.7% of migrant residents having arrived more than 10 years ago. The Gothenburg municipality has a significant track record in managing the impact of migration on local demand for work, housing, goods and services, cultural and linguistic diversity, and other parts of daily life. This report presents the way Gothenburg municipality and its state and non-state partners are addressing migrant integration issues and opportunities. It compiles data and qualitative evidence on how local integration efforts are designed and implemented within a multi-level governance framework.

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Block 2. Time and proximity keys for migrants and host community to live together (Objectives 4 & 5)

This section aims to describe the leading principles along which reception and integration policies are designed at city level. Across the cities analysed in the study sample, the concepts of time and space appear to be essential in imagining durable integration solutions. Time refers to the life-long process of establishing oneself in a city, and the continuum of solutions that have to be provided along this process. Besides the objective of facilitating and hastening the integration of newcomers, cities must offer entry points for foreign born or even native born individuals with a migrant background, to facilitate the different aspects of their well-being and development throughout their lives. Space is understood as proximity and is well illustrated by the concept of Connecting that many cities have adopted in their approach to integration. This concept acknowledges that inclusion doesn’t result automatically from living in the same city nor street, it requires sustained interaction. Cities have a role to play in encouraging such interaction, by supporting local level initiatives and creating public spaces, where connections among different groups can spark a dialogue and all components of the society (host communities, long standing migrant communities, business, third sector entities, etc.) can play their role in a multi-directional integration process.

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