The CITIES project – Cities Initiative Towards Inclusive and Equitable Societies is based on the experience of the City of Dialogue Network and involves 5 municipalities (Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ravenna, Olbia, Casalecchio di Reno), the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) and 2 civil society organizations (ICEI and Mondinsieme).

CITIES also involves other important associated entities: UNAR – National Office for the Prevention of Racial Discrimination, the Emilia-Romagna Region and the Sardinia Region, the Council of Europe – Intercultural Cities Programme, the cities of Leuven (Belgium) and Strasbourg (France), the networks of Intercultural Cities of Spain, Portugal and Sweden.

The project aims to strengthen the role of Italian cities in the development of local anti-discrimination strategies by offering municipalities the opportunity to deepen multi-stakeholder collaborations and to develop specific skills, practices and tools to address challenges at the local level.

The project aims to enhance the capacities and competences of local authorities and civil society through training courses, exchange of experiences and mentoring with European cities, to develop and implement intersectional anti-discrimination strategies, create a system of data collection and analysis on discrimination and share knowledge at national and European level through conferences and webinars.

The aim of the project is to contribute to strengthening the role of Italian cities in the development and implementation of local strategies to prevent and combat intersectional discrimination, intolerance, racism and xenophobia.

Specifically, CITIES aims to:

  • Develop and implement intersectional anti-discrimination strategies in 5 Italian cities in collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) and other levels of public administration.
  • Develop an effective equality data collection and analysis system to enable policymakers and services to monitor, evaluate and design anti-discrimination actions at the local level.
  • To strengthen the role of European municipalities as key actors in preventing and combating intersectional discrimination on the ground, by sharing the results and outputs of the project.

The project aims to reach three main groups of beneficiaries:

  • Municipalities: chosen as a priority target group for their responsibility in implementing local anti-discrimination policies and for their role in promoting cooperation with civil society organisations on their territory.
  • Civil society organizations: NGOs, communities with a migrant background, communities affected by discrimination, activists and local groups, etc. The involvement of these actors is a crucial component of local anti-discrimination strategies.
  • Regional and national institutions: these levels of public administration have been chosen as the third category of recipients to ensure a multi-level governance approach necessary to act effectively on the problem of discrimination, to strengthen the dialogue between the Municipalities (main target group) and their two regional administrations, and to promote collaboration with UNAR to ensure coordination between the future National Action Plan Against Racism, the Xenophobia and Intolerance and the local strategies developed by the action.

Project activities

Planned activities include:

  • Capacity building for local authorities and civil society realities. Starting from the collection of the training needs of the stakeholders involved, the project will provide the opportunity to: attend basic and advanced training courses on the intersectional approach, workshop exchange of experiences between local authorities and civil society and mentoring with European cities.
  • Development and implementation of intersectional anti-discrimination strategies. By means of close cooperation between local and regional actors, the project intends to develop anti-discrimination strategies, promoting the development of local observatories to support victims and the organisation of local events in order to raise awareness among the local community.
  • Creation of a system for collecting and analysing data on discrimination. Starting from the analysis of a survey on discrimination in the municipalities of intervention, the project intends to develop and introduce, after specific staff training, a new tool for monitoring discrimination in each municipality.
  • Knowledge sharing and dissemination at national and European level. The last project phase envisages the local dissemination of the elaborated plan-strategy through the organisation of conferences, national events and webinars addressed to Italian cities.