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Good Practice Analysis for the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Learning from the world: handling of cultural diversity


Bertelsmann Stiftung



Successful coexistence in cultural diversity means that all people have the opportunity to participate in the prosperity of society, to participate politically, to feel a sense of belonging and to maintain trusting relationships with others - irrespective of their cultural identity.

A good practice analysis by Prognos AG shows recommendations for action. It was created for the Bertelsmann Stiftung on the occasion of the presentation of the Reinhard Mohn Prize in 2018.

Cities that pursue an explicit and coordinated strategy in dealing with diversity were considered as examples:

The Belgian city of Mechelen sees diversity as the new reality of cities that must be actively shaped. The "Inclusive City"is one of six goals of the city administration. The steering group "Samenleven in Diversiteit"(living together in diversity) is composed of various parties and councils of the city administration. It meets three to four times a year, defines the strategic fields of action and reflects on previous measures and programmes. A new self-image that reflects the cultural diversity of Mechelen and emphasizes the similarities of the inhabitants promotes the identification of the inhabitants with their city.

The former industrial city of Leicester is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse in the United Kingdom. It is an example of the institutionalised dialogue between different communities and the city administration. Leicester was one of the first cities in England to integrate a so-called Community Cohesion Strategy, which covers five fields of action. These include, for example, approaches to promote mutual understanding between different communities or to improve the provision of intercultural activities for young people and children.

Barcelona has always been a cosmopolitan and culturally diverse port city. In the sense of a mainstreaming approach, the Mediterranean metropolis integrates interculturality in all urban policy areas - in a participatory process with the citizens. One of Barcelona's successful programmes is the anti-rumors strategy, which aims to raise awareness (public campaigns, events, comics, etc.) about diversity and reduce prejudice.

As further positive examples of a successful strategy, the Good Practice Analysis presents the cities of Malmö, Toronto and Nashville. In addition, individual projects are considered that show how multi-faceted and innovative the design of diversity can be at the local level.

This is the ninth time that Prognos has accompanied the Reinhard Mohn Prize with international research.

Read the study (PDF, Bertelsmann Stiftung, in German only)


Andreas Heimer, Claudia Münch, Felix Strier (Prognos AG), Dr. Ulrike Spohn, Dr. Kai Unzicker, Stephan Vopel

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