Home>Publications

Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility

Tuesday,May 10, 2016

By: International Organization for Migration

 

We live in a world which is becoming increasingly urban, where more and more people are moving to cities. Over 54 per cent of people across the globe were living in urban areas in 2014 (UN DESA, 2014).1 The current urban population of 3.9 billion is expected to grow in the next few decades to some 6.4 billion by 2050 (ibid.). It is estimated that three million people around the world are moving to
cities every week (UN-Habitat, 2009). Migration is driving much of the increase in urbanization, making cities much more diverse places in which to live.

Nearly one in five of the world foreign-born population resides in established global gateway cities (Çağlar, 2014). In many of these cities such as Sydney, London and New York, migrants represent over a third of the population and, in some cities such as Brussels and Dubai, migrants account for more than half of the population. Other cities have seen a remarkable growth in migration in recent years. For example, the number of foreign residents in Seoul has doubled in the last ten years. In Asia and Africa, rapidly growing small cities are expected to absorb almost all the future urban population growth of the world (UN DESA, 2014) and this mobility pattern to cities and urban areas is characterized by the temporality and circularity of the internal migration process (Hugo, 2014).

The fast rate of urbanization, and rising migration to cities, brings with it both risks and opportunities for the migrants, communities and governments concerned. The World Migration Report 2015 – Migrants and Cities: New Partnerships to Manage Mobility explores how migration and migrants are shaping cities, and how the life of migrants, in turn, is shaped by cities, their people, organizations and rules. This report examines the relationships between migrants and cities on such issues as employment, housing and health, and also considers how migrants help to build and revive cities with their resources and ideas, both in the origin and host countries. The report also identifies innovative examples of how some cities are seeking to manage the challenges of increased global mobility and social diversity with varying degrees of success. It will highlight new policy developments concerning urban partnerships among migrant groups, local governments, civil society and the private sector which are designed to meet the challenges posed by migration and cities.

Migration and how it is governed, should be an issue at the frontline of urban planning and sustainable development. However, migration is largely omitted from the global debate on urbanization. There is a glaring absence of the mention of migrants in international planning for a new global urban agenda, such as Habitat III.3 Many city and local governments also still do not include migration or migrants in their urban development planning and implementation. Migrants are therefore still generally overlooked in global discourses on urbanization and cities.

  • 【CGTN Dialogue】Is China going to join TPP?

    After Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which took years of negotiations, many countries – such as Australia and New Zealand – are encouraging China to consider to join it in order to avoid its collapse, eventually replacing the US as head of the deal.

  • Trump more likely to get in war over South China Sea if he wins

    Donald Trump is more likely to get in a war in the South China Sea if he wins the US presidential election while ‘president’ Hillary Clinton will continue the dialogue and cooperation process with China on trade issues although she always appears to be tough on China, said John Bellinger from Arnold and Porter’s National Security and Public International Law Practices.

  • Wang Huiyao: More should be done to lure tourists

    At present, China has a good “hard environment”, such as high-speed trains, airlines and hotels, so the key is for it to improve its “soft environment”, such as visa policies, services and promotions, to attract more overseas tourists.

  • 【China Daily】Tensions may badly damage confidence

    Wang Huiyao, director of the Center of China and Globalization(CCG) think tank, said that the trade tensions will lead to a no-win situation.

  • Foreign trade and economic officials visit CCG for multilateral trade system discussion

    On Oct. 17, the Center for China and Globalization hosted at its headquarters a group of foreign government officials for trade and economic affairs led by New Zealand Vice Minister of Trade and Economy Vangelis Vitalis and held a discussion about the prospect of the Cross-Pacific Trade Partnership Pact and the agenda for the modernization of multilateral trade system.