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Resilient Cities

Building Resilient Democracies: Empowering Newcomers and Local Actors to Achieve Inclusive Citizen Participation in European Local Democracies





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Resilient Cities

Building Resilient Democracies: Empowering Newcomers and Local Actors to Achieve Inclusive Citizen Participation in European Local Democracies

Our goal is to enhance the resilience and social cohesion of local democracies in France and Europe by creating collaborative spaces between newcomers and local actors. Through proactive citizen participation, we empower newcomers whose voices are often unheard at the local level. Building upon our successful pilot project EMBRACE in Est Ensemble, We have extended our presence to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, establishing partnerships with three cities: Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, and the metropolis of Grenoble. We aim to implement our methodology and expand its impact to other regions across Europe.

Join us in fostering inclusive democracy and strengthening the bonds between local communities and newcomers. Together, we can create thriving and resilient democracies for all.

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How does it work?

We approach participation from multiple angles. Through capacity-building training, local actors acquire the knowledge, tools, and methods to foster inclusivity and improve integration practices and newcomers are empowered to become leaders, participate in decision-making, and contribute to local solutions for social cohesion.

Co-creation also plays a crucial role in developing tailored solutions for local community needs. In collaborative workshops, local actors and newcomers work together to create sustainable solutions. Ongoing collaboration ensures successful implementation, benefiting the entire community.

We aim for:

  • New Voices in Local Decision-Making
  • Better Sustainable Solutions and Policies for Cities
  • Long-term collaboration between Institutions and Newcomers
  • New Conversations and Ideas from these new point of views


Why is it important?

Political participation is the weakest area of integration policy (25/100) in the world according to the MIPEX index (2019). Most immigrants are granted little opportunity to inform and improve the policies and decisions that affect them daily.

Yet a human-centred design approach is in line with the commitments of both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Urban Agenda for the EU (MIPEX Index, 2019). Indeed, inclusive policies and solutions  are associated with higher levels of public trust, lower feelings of economic threat and a greater sense of a common civic rather than ethnic identity.

For who?

  • Local actors: civil servants and elected representatives of municipalities
  • Newcomers: a person with lived migration experiences from outside of Europe (refugees, asylum seekers, family reunification, temporary protection, international students…)

Initially, 45 local actors and 45 newcomers from the participating cities in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes will be selected to engage in the program from October 2023. In the coming years, more cities and participants in Europe will be included in the process.

“The main lesson about this program is about the implicit bias we all have. Most of us think through stereotypes. What is at stake, for civil servants, is to switch from a humanitarian to a user perspective”

Jean-Baptiste Pointel

Director of the Evaluation Prospective Innovation Mission at the Municipality of Nanterre

“It is important for me to be part of the society and be active in it. When we live in a society, we have the political right to participate. After two meetings with the decision-makers I felt optimist and like we can do something together”

Venus Anwari

Emerging Leader 2022

Apply as a city/district in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

Are you interested in improving your policies in collaboration with migrant?

Apply as a newcomer!

Do you want to be actively engaged in policymaking at the local level?

Join the movement!

Are you a city in Europe interested in learning more about our mission?

Do you have any questions?

Download the program’s FAQ here!

Key pillars of the Resilient Cities program


Build your skills

Capacity-building empowers you or your organisation  to build sustainable community solutions. It strengthens the knowledge, tools, and skills you need to enhance eye level collaboration and drive co-owned solutions at the local level

Co-create sustainable solutions

Co-creation workshops will facilitate collaboration between local actors and newcomers  in safe spaces, leading to inclusive solutions that will benefit your  whole community in the long term

Lead the way

Through this program, you will pioneer a new model of participatory decision-making. Your practices and learnings will be shared with other territories in Europe to empower  them to engage with newcomer integration and participation

Connect with peers

Get a chance to be part of a meaningful network of other engaged cities and newcomers