UNU-GCM is pleased to contribute to the first Global Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development with a brief entitled ‘Building City Identities in Contexts of Diversity.’ This brief is the result of a collaboration between UNU-GCM and UNITAR.
Migration and mobility are central to the development of cities around the world. Cities have always been dynamic places where translocal networks converge and where rapid social, cultural, spatial and demographic transformations occur. Cities offer numerous opportunities to new migrants, while migrants contribute to diverse sectors of the urban economy and to the social and cultural vibrancy of cities. Local leadership is faced with the challenge to ensure that this relationship is kept positive by creating a city identity that reflects the dynamism of cities, that is socio-economically inclusive and that understands diversity in positive terms. This identity must develop through good practice in the spaces of everyday urban life such as schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. The media has a crucial and active role to play in shaping public perceptions to ensure that in this age of globalization, mobility and migration are understood as the norm and vital to cities and their development.