The DIVERCITIES team went to the Municipality of Aalborg to present their findings in January 2017. The presentation was a run through of the project, and the main focus was the nine recommendations developed for the Danish book on DIVERCITIES, which is directed towards policymakers and governance officials.
Aalborg is, with its approx. 135.000 residents, the fourth largest city in Denmark. The residential diversity has its roots in the industrial history of the city, and Aalborg was previously a distinctly workers town. As a result of de-industrialisation generally, Aalborg has been developing into a knowledge and educational centre in the northern region in Denmark over the last 30 years.
In 2016, the municipality won Byplansprisen, the most prestigious urban planning award in Denmark. They won based on the transformation of the harbour, which has been successfully transformed from an industrial area into a bustling new urban space connecting the inner city and the harbour showcasing a diversity of activities that the area now has to offer.
Attending the event were about 20 governance officials and policymakers from different offices and administrations, mainly working with integration and employment. We encouraged a few discussions about the understanding of diversity in the context of Aalborg, as well as discussions about what instruments to make use of when working in a diversified context. We were very interested in understanding how a smaller city can make use of the findings, and if the conclusions from DIVERCITIES can reverberate here. Our findings were positively received with many expressing how they could use our recommendations in their actual work. Furthermore, it was great to feel the acknowledgment of the importance of recognising cities as hyper-diverse entities.