The city of Erlangen is part of a large metropolitan area –together with its neighbours Nu-remberg, Fürth and Schwabach – which over 1.2 million people call home. Erlangen itself has a population of more than 100,000, rendering it the “smallest major city” in Bavaria.
Erlangen is the second largest location of the Siemens AG worldwide, which locally em-ploys more than 20,000 workers, among them specialists of every nationality. The pres-ence of several other successful companies makes Erlangen one of the strongest com-mercial areas in Germany. The Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg with more than 35,000 students and 12,000 employees is the second largest university in Ba-varia. The medical sector in Erlangen with its close ties to industrial research constitutes a prominent part of the city centre.
Both Siemens and the university made Erlangen a highly international and multicultural place. However, Erlangen has always been affected by various patterns of migration, which is part of the city`s identity. The city museum offers a unique tour through 25 000 years of immigration history. With respect to the 17th century, when over 1000 French Refugees – the Huguenots – where welcomed into the small town with a population of only 500 inhabitants the official city slogan is nowadays “Erlangen – traditionally open”.
Today, almost one third of Erlangen’s population has a migration history.15% of the in-habitants are foreigners, originating from over 140 different nations. On the intercultural city index of 2011, Erlangen is listed on position 24 of 40 with high scores in “commitment to policy goals”, “civil life policy” and “neighbourhood policy”.
During the first part of C4i, strong resentments against refugees where identified in Erlan-gen. In order to effectively impact the urban discourse on refugees, two key target groups where identified:
- Influential elderly, as research on rumours shows that this group generally has the strongest impact on forming and distributing group directed rumours and influential elderly play a strong role in Erlangen public discourse.
- Employees of the Siemens AG, as they represent a large part of the population and strongly impact Erlangen city life. By partly focusing on and collaborating with the global player Siemens, the project intends to set an important example for pri-vate-public cooperation for future campaigns.
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- Launching event of C4i-Kommunikation für Vielfalt Erlangen in the news.
- Repetition: Launching event of C4i-Kommunikation für Vielfalt Erlangen in the news.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, September 22nd 2014
Amongst Refugees - Unter Flüchtlingen
“The picnic banquet is really good, it sweeps prejudices away”, said Philip Mutri from Kenia who lives in Erlangen for 20 years now. Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) visited the Erlangen refugees‘ accommodation at Freibad West, guided by major Dr. Elisabeth Preuß. “This is no long-term solution; we need to accelerate the asylum procedures and to look for consistent shelters.”
- Erlanger Nachrichten, September 22nd 2014
Entertaining Picnic promotes Tolerance and Diversity - Unterhaltsames Picknick wirbt für Toleranz und Vielfalt
The opening is a full success. Erlangen has opened the EU-project C4i – Kommunikation für Vielfalt to improve mutual understanding amongst refugees and citizens by organizing a feast for tolerance and diversity. At the picnic banquet in the pedestrian area, around 1000 Erlanger and asylum seekers were participating, getting in contact with each other and exchanging. At the “talking library” people where explicitly invited to ask Asylum seekers questions about their life, talents, skills, experiences and dreams. A mixed German-refugee band provided folk music from different continents. The Guinness world record holder in running on hands in crutches, Tameru Zegeye from Ethiopia, impressed the visitors by performing a balancing show and showed: Asylum seekers have a huge potential to improve our societies: if they are enabled to show and contribute them.E
- Erlanger Nachrichten, September 19th 2014
A colourful bouquet for the picnic against rumours - Ein bunter Strauß für das Picknick gegen Vorurteile
Locals, foreigners and asylum seekers will get the chance to exchange with each other at a 180 meter long picnic table in the centre of Erlangen. Erlangen companies where supporting the event: the local breweries Steinbach and Kitzmann Bräu provided the over 150 beer benches, Garden center Menger and building supplies center Obi donated floral arrangements to create a festive ambience. The banquet is in the centre of the currant topical discussion as the city of Erlangen received from the government within two days 300 new refugees that are currently housed in tents.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, September 5th 2014
Encounter does good - Begegnung tut gut
The city of Erlangen has to be given great credit for straightforwardly coping with the ac-commodation of 300 refugees. These people are in fear for their lives and afraid of the future. To still their fears would be a sign of humanity, as mutual getting to know benefits all concerned parties.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, September 4th 2014
A Picnic against prejudices - Ein Picknick gegen Vorurteile
The time has come: The project ‚Kommunikation für Vielfalt‘ (C4i) is officially starting! To launch the project on Saturday, September 13th, all citizens of Erlangen are cordially invited to have a picnic and to exchange with each other on a festively laid 180 meter long picnic table across the pedestrian area.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, July 26th 2014
City Surveys Citizens About „Cultural Diversity“: Anonymous Online Survey - Stadt befragt ihre Bürger - Zur „kulturellen Vielfalt“ anonyme Online-Umfrage
People from 140 nations live in Erlangen, the city called ‘Hugenottenstadt’. Cultural diversity therefore is a daily issue for Erlanger citizens. By initiating an online survey, the city hopes to gain better insight into peoples’ experiences with cultural diversity and the challenges they are confronted with. This survey will be carried out anonymously, no data that could reveal the persons‘ identities will be saved. “With such sensitive topic as diversity this allows citizens to really voice
- Nürnberger Nachrichten, July 11th 2014
Musician With Mission - Musiker mit Mission
NN interviews Heinz Ratz, a musician organizing a big tour on a raft to help refugee women. This campaign, supported by ‘Communication for Integration’, draws attention especially to refugee women to explain their vulnerability during flight and to visualize the strengths and talents of these confident women to general public. The raft works as a symbol of the contrast between luxury steamers that Europeans use to travel across the ocean and the unsafe ways of transportation that refugees have to lean onto.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, June 23rd 2014
Comics Foster Integration - Comics fördern Integration
‚Communication for Integration‘ organized a comic-strip workshop at Erlangen’s creative center ‘FreeWilly‘. The participants, together with comic-artist Flix, winner of the Max und Moritz award 2014, collected common prejudices against migrants and designed stories and figures to humorously debunk these prejudices and rumours. They will be edited to comic-strips by the end of September.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, May 1st 2014
Council of Europe wants to stop discrimination against refugees - Europarat will Dis-kriminierung der Ausländer stoppen
In the context of ‘Communication for Integration‘, workshops were conducted all over Erlangen to reveal common rumours and prejudices about foreigners. To debunk these prejudices, a network will be founded in the city. It became clear that facts need to be spread and that the key element of the combat against prejudices is an open communication between people.
- Intercultural Cities Newsletter Nr. 32, April 2014
Launching the C4i – Communication for Integration
The project C4i Communication for Integration has been initiated. 10 European cities, two of them in Germany, are participating. The project aims to combat prejudices and rumours by spreading facts, inspired by Barcelona’s ‘anti-rumour’-campaign that has been started in 2010 to improve living together in the city. On February 11th 2014, the first meeting of the project partners took place in Barcelona. The participating cities exchanged their experiences and discussed methods to combat prejudices. The project will last 18 months and cover more than 100 campaigns in the participating cities.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, March 13th 2014
With football tolerance and integration win - Mit dem Fußball siegt Toleranz und In-tegration
Raphael Schaefer, goalkeeper of the FC Nuremberg, and Katrin Mueller-Hohenstein, anchor at the ZDF, participated in a panel discussion in Erlangen during the ‘International weeks against racism‘. Soccer is claimed to be a game that almost automatically leads to integration. 90 minutes of playing as a team lead to a feeling of solidarity and community. Still, discrimination and racism do occur in sports. Katrin Müller-Hohenstein promises to forward the idea of donating the ‘ZDF-Sportstudio‘ on march 21st to the issue of racism, since the day is the International Remembrance Day of the removal of racial discrimination.
- Die Amtlichen Seiten No. 6, March 13th 2014:
Erlangen represents Germany in EU-Integrationsproject - Erlangen vertritt Deutschland bei EU-Integrationsprojekt
Erlangen and Nuremberg are the German participants of the EU project ‘Communication for Integration’, aiming to remove prejudices against foreigners. After the results of surveys among the citizens concerning immigrants are verified, campaigns to debunk prejudices and rumours will be initiated. Former major Dr. Balleis: ‚We as a city treat people who want to find their new home here with respect and we support them to become a part of our society’.
- Erlanger Nachrichten, March 6th 2014
The city as front fighter - Die Stadt als Vorkämpferin
Erlangen and Nuremberg are the only German cities participating in the ‘Communication for Integration‘ project. The project partners aim to combat rumours and resistance by collecting and analyzing common opinions about immigrants in their cities and the use of broadly based campaigns. Former major of Erlangen, Dr. Balleis: ‚We need to support the people that come to us in becoming a part of our society, if they really want to. As a city, we make a lot of precious contributions, but in the end, everybody is challenged personally as well‘. Whoever wants to participate in ‘Communication for Integration’, as a single person, a society or a company, is encouraged to do so.