Welcoming Cities is an initiative of the Scanlon Foundation and Welcome to Australia in partnership with Welcoming America. The initiative seeks to create more inclusive communities by connecting local government leaders with frameworks, resources, on the ground activities and diverse organisations.
Migration will drive population growth over the next 35 years. Governments are grappling with the challenges and opportunities of new and emerging communities. Research from the United Kingdom suggests that greater social plurality, demographic trends and the gradual reduction in importance of some traditional aspects of identity will result in communities becoming less cohesive over the next 10 years.
This social landscape has direct implications for policy and its application to communities and people’s sense of belonging. Welcoming Cities seeks to equip Local Governments to increase the sense of belonging and participation in their communities.
We seek to address and embrace the challenges and opportunities of migration. Welcoming Cities recognise that cities and municipalities that proactively foster an environment of belonging and participation for receiving communities, as well as new and emerging communities, increase their social cohesion and economic capability and resilience.
Welcoming Cities is committed to:
National Network – to connect communities and facilitate a national network of local government leaders through a dynamic digital presence. The network will incorporate membership access to knowledge sharing, learning and leadership opportunities.
Knowledge Sharing – to support municipalities to share their experiences and learn from each other. This will include a clearinghouse of local and international research, case studies and practice.
Partnership Development – to broker meaningful partnerships between local government areas and community development agencies to foster a sense of belonging and participation for new and emerging communities.
Celebrating Success – to showcase leading practice. A national Award, focused on comprehensive responses by local governments to social cohesion, will be established.
International Accreditation – to consult on standards and develop a certification framework for communities to be nationally and internationally recognised as Welcoming Cities.