Inclusive Cities March 2017 - June 2023


Inclusive Cities currently supports 12 UK cities and their local partners to achieve a step-change in their approach towards integration of newcomers in the city.

The founder cities (2017-2019) were Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Peterborough and London

Six additional cities have joined phase two of the programme: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Coventry, Newry, Mourne and Down, Newport and Sheffield.

Drawing on ideas and experience from within Europe and innovative approaches from cities in the United States, it aims to support development of an approach which is:

  • Strategic across the city administration
  • Consistently uses positive messaging to develop an inclusive narrative for the city which informs and drives practice
  • Local authority led, working in close partnership with business, public and voluntary sector organisations – including those not usually involved in integration – to achieve shared goals
  • Identifies a number of priority areas which lead to practical initiatives which broaden opportunities for inclusion of all residents across the economic, social and civic life of the city, and
  • Recognizes in particular the needs of children and young people

The project is a knowledge exchange initiative which allows the cities to reflect upon and develop their thinking in a number of ways:

  • Peer learning and support between the participating cities
  • Dedicated support from a project manager at the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity who will inform the projects with specialist input – data, evidence, and examples of worldwide good practice and provide ongoing support to each of the cities
  • International learning through founder membership of Welcoming International, which supports and connects institutions that are advancing inclusion around the world.


CitiesCivil SocietyIntegrationNeighbourhoodsPolicies




The project is a knowledge exchange initiative and this informs its structure and design. The project is facilitated by a dedicated researcher to both support the cities to reflect upon and provide feedback on their practice and to provide the relevant data, theory and practical examples of best practice from elsewhere. The project further includes a partnership and learning visit with Welcoming International  to draw inspiration from their experiences in US cities (in phase 1) and European Cities (in phase 2.)

This is a city led initiative and the project facilitates peer learning between the five cities, with the project providing the space for meaningful sharing of best practice and feedback between the partners. Each city has lead on the development of a new narrative on inclusion and an action plan to deliver tangible outcomes over the course of the project.

Based on learning from previous Global Exchange projects as to the most effective way to ensure traction for the project within a local authority context, each city nominates two people who actively engage in the project on behalf of the city:

  • A senior official or elected representative to provide leadership and profile for the city’s initiative. This is either an officer at Chief Executive, Director or equivalent level; or an elected official with an appropriate mandate (Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Leader, Executive Member or equivalent)
  • An operational lead official who has capacity to develop and drive forward progress day-to-day

Each city has appointed a Taskforce of local stakeholders who can advise and endorse the action plan, and act as champions to drive forward delivery in their own sectors. Membership is entirely led by the city and tailored to its requirements but is likely to include significant local employers, relevant public sector agencies, voluntary and community sector, arts and leisure organisations.

In the first phase the cities met three times over the two years as well as a five day learning visit to the United States in May 2018 alongside regular meetings and input from the project manager and specialist workshops where appropriate.The first of the City Working Group meetings took place in Glasgow in October 2017, the second in Liverpool in October 2018 and the final meeting of phase one of the project took place in Bristol in March 2019.

The second phase of the Inclusive Cities programme began in June 2019 and formally launched at its first convening in Cardiff in October 2019, which included the launch of the Inclusive Cities Framework. Its second convening took place virtually in March 2020.


Integration policy and practice during COVID-19

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, local authorities and their partners have had to adapt their inclusion programmes, often at speed, to support their newcomer and longer standing communities. These briefings capture the learnings from these adaptations, as well as ongoing work to promote inclusion and integration undertaken between March 2020 to October 2020 (unless otherwise stated), against the five thematic areas set out in the Inclusive Cities Framework.

City Action plans

Inclusive Cities COVID-19 Research and Policy Briefings

The Inclusive Cities COVID-19 Research and Policy Briefings are produced under the Inclusive Cities programme as part of its response to COVID-19. This briefing series outlines the research and policy on key issue areas related to inclusion and COVID-19, as identified by the 12 participating cities, with the aim of informing local level response and recovery.

Reframing Migration and Integration Challenges: How the Inclusive Cities framework is helping to build consensus and capacity on inclusion at the local level
Other Publications | Jacqui Broadhead | 2020

Broadhead, J. (2020) Building inclusive cities: reflections from a knowledge exchange on the inclusion of newcomers by UK local authorities. CMS 8, 14

Inclusive Cities: Framework
Reports | Jacqui BroadheadDenis Kierans | 2019

Learning from the Inclusive Cities programme: Phase 1
Reports | Denis Kierans | 2019

Inclusive Cities: Second Convening
Reports | Jacqui Broadhead | 2018

Inclusive Cities US Knowledge Exchange
Reports | Jacqui Broadhead | 2018

Building an Inclusive City Narrative
Other Publications | Jacqui Broadhead | 2018

Inclusive practices for newcomers at city level and examples of innovation from overseas
Reports | Jacqui Broadhead | 2017