Welcoming Bologna is a project based on a community development approach designed for the metropolitan city of Bologna. Welcoming Bologna takes inspiration from the structure of the program “Welcoming America” born in the United States and these days spread widely throughout the US territory. This model received several awards and a public acknowledgement from Barak Obama that underlined how crucial the empathy of the whole community is in creating a positive context for new citizens, so they may become more and more of a resource for the society in which they are integrated.
Welcoming America leads a movement aimed at encouraging participating towns to become more inclusive towards “new citizens”, supporting the idea that their inclusion as active, committed members of the community will be advantageous for everyone. It is principally addressed at groups and individuals who are more reluctant to accept both immigration as a phenomena inherent to the process of globalization, and integration and living together as a winning perspective to help society adapts to changes.
Welcoming Bologna’s main aim is to engage actors from various public and private sectors in a process of participative inclusion that is addressed at several generations of inhabitants residing in the area and at those who have arrived recently, turning differences between citizens into a source of strength. We believe that integration of the new residents can be effective only if they create strong bonds and interactions with the entire network of residents.
The first phase of realization of the project involves the creation of a work team made up of delegates from many different institutions (that work in the field of migration). They will cover the various districts of the metropolitan city of Bologna. They will constitute the executive task force of Welcoming Bologna, taking direct inspiration from the methodologies employed in the United States through an educational seminar held by Daniel Valdez, regional manager of the organization.
The project foresees the realization of 15 initiatives (that are designed both for and with the citizens) in various contexts and settings. You will find news and updates on our “News” webpage.
Other organizations and/or institutions are always welcome to suggest initiatives to put into the schedule of “Welcoming Bologna” through the page “Join the project”- which would then be promoted through our communication channels.
The results and methodology of the project will be stated in a catalogue and a toolkit, available in three languages and disseminated in the municipalities of Europe thanks to the support of UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments.
The project is linked to Bologna Cares!, the communication campaign of the SPRAR project of the Comune di Bologna.
Welcoming Bologna is a project run by the association Africa and Mediterraneo in collaboration with the Comune di Bologna and Lai-momo soc. coop. soc., co-founded by Cities Alliance with the support of UCLG – United Cities and Local Governments.