Our cities believe diversity enriches our societies, our economies, our cultures and our lives. We believe that cities can be democratic spaces in which people from diverse origins live together, and can create new forms of solidarity and connections across the world.
In order for these things to happen, we believe that city administrations have a responsibility for promoting social, political and cultural participation, understanding and exchange.
We are founding Rizoma Cities to establish a permanent network of cities from across Europe and Africa which promotes a holistic and networked municipal approach to the movement of people and cultural diversity.
Crucially, this includes acknowledging and addressing the historical legacies of colonialism and the inequalities these legacies still produce. These legacies persist in too many public spaces, in museums, in administrative bodies, in educational practices, in practices of remembrance, and in unequal relations between people. In recent years, cultural, artistic and civil society actors have been crucial in highlighting these effects, calling for restitution and a reconsideration of the damaging effects of colonialism. We believe including these actors and spheres of society in addressing these issues is essential.
We are committed to empowering the various social agents and citizens in the field of intercultural competencies as a tool for the acceptance and valorisation of diversity, while empowering migrants to be key participatory actors in the co-design of all public policies.
Through the circulation of knowledge, cultures and experiences we believe that networked cities can promote better understanding of the past, share best practices for addressing contemporary injustices, and can facilitate the participation of our citizens to jointly create a more equal future across borders.
Rizoma Cities invites to join the network all cities in Europe and Africa which share our vision of cities taking a lead in creating an inclusive, creative and vibrant society in which difference, diversity and solidarity are the seeds for a better world.
A declaration by: