The Welcoming City

Dr Antonis Vradis

Funding period: 1 April 2019 – 1 November 2019
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: Loughborough University (UK), Copenhagen IT University (Denmark), Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (Spain)
Date: April 2019 (Barcelona), June 2019 (Copenhagen), October 2019 (London)
Lead organiser: Dr Antonis Vradis (School of Social Sciences, Loughborough University)
Team members: Dr Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), Dr Vasilis Galis (IT University of Copenhagen), Anna Papoutsi (School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham)
Contact: Dr Antonis Vradis

Abstract: The Welcoming City is a series of seminars in Barcelona (April), Copenhagen (June) and London (October) on migrant reception and integration at the city level. The seminars feature one 2-day workshop in these three cities, chosen for their significant variation in municipal and national-level migrant integration practices: from the UK government’s pledge to create a “hostile environment” for undocumented migrants, or the mayor of London’s counter-pledge to protect migration; from Danish national-level policy over officially-designated inner city “Ghettos”, all the way to Barcelona’s unique experiment in providing safe haven for migrants. Never before has the gulf between national-level policy and urban practice within the same country been as wide, and never have similarities in both such policies and practices across cities and countries been as similar in return. The Welcoming City starts from the premise that this is an exciting moment in history when policy and practice can be redrawn and reimagined at the urban level. For this important task, we need not only an interdisciplinary perspective, but a research approach grounded in practice as well. Our series will therefore feature the equal participation of academics and practitioners, including activists, civil society representatives and other stakeholders; and migrants themselves.