The Municipality of Reggio Emilia conceives interculture as a two-way policy aimed not only at promoting migrant integration, but also at valuing diversity as an education, economic, social and cultural resource for local population. Since the nineties, important actions have been taken in Reggio Emilia in this direction, in particular the creation of the Intercultural Centre Mondinsieme in 2001 as both a bridge between the Administration and immigrants’ associations and communities and a centre of expertise offering advice to policy makers for the development of transversal policies based on an intercultural integration approach.
Reggio Emilia is an open city that innovates, creates bonds, explores the future with solid foundations in the present and in its history, rich in freedom and civic sense, solidarity, concreteness and a tradition of excellent cuisine. Here people take care of their living environment: the separate waste collection reaches 70%, public urban gardens producing zero-km products are shared and social cohesion makes it possible to welcome 18% of the population with non-Italian origin and belonging to a hundred different nationalities. Municipal libraries lend 850,000 volumes a year and 100,000 spectators per year take a seat in the city theaters, preschools and kindergartens enroll respectively 92% and 41% of the children, while the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia counts more than 8,000 students in Reggio Emilia and offers high quality and ‘student friendly’ services, parents follow digital literacy courses to ‘connect’ with their children and the city is ninth among the Italian smart cities. Here a community Welfare develops together with the disability program ‘Reggio Emilia city without barriers’, which take care of removing architectural and cultural obstacles. The ‘school roads’ volunteers close the streets to the cars at the opening and closing of the schools and by bike you can go through 215 kilometers of cycling paths, to which more than 23 kilometers of greenways in over 100 parks and naturalistic areas are added. In Reggio Emilia we bet on a new model of sustainable development with the ‘Reggiane’ Park of Innovation, an industrial research and technology transfer hub where Palomar, a leading company in film and television production, is resettling.