Smart Metropolia - Open Cities

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Gdańsk – “Open City”, open to people, changes and challenges.

Immigration is a widespread and inevitable process with the last several dozen years showing a rapid increase in the number of immigrants coming to the Polish cities and metropolises. As this process goes forward in cities, it imposes challenges and obligations on the local communities and organisations, including public, private and social actors. The conference will provide us with an opportunity to reflect on how to develop mutually beneficial integration processes, whilst managing the risks related to social segregation and ethnically or religiously motivated conflicts Any complex needs and issues that emerge with the arrival of migrants require integration and involvement of various fields of policies and public services, from education and healthcare, to social assistance, public safety, labour market, social housing, to culture or sports. The current public discourse on migration in view of refugee influx to Europe is mainly focused, especially in Poland, on security issues, fear of others and strangers, or the failure to ‘assimilate’ immigrants under a multicultural policy.

The International Conference “Open Cities” is going to take place in response to the need for a matter-of-fact discussion about the economic and demographic potential of migration, the use of resources and talent of the new residents of cities and metropolises.

This event shall also provide an opportunity to present and review the Model of Immigrant Integration in Gdansk. In May 2015, the City of Gdansk appointed an intersectoral and interdisciplinary team of 140 representatives of more than 70 organisations whose aim is to develop the strategies for integration of new city residents coming from all over the world.

Welcome to Gdansk!