Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
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IncluCities - 21.02.2023

Better communication makes inclusion a reality in Fuenlabrada
If you have ever been a newcomer in another city, you might know how important and difficult it is to find your way in the first weeks. Clear answers regarding administrative issues, housing or work are usually not accessible. And it’s often equally complicated to start building social ties. In Fuenlabrada, Spain, this issue has been tackled effectively – and digitally! Indeed, the municipality created an online platform called “Fuenlabrada Global” where migrants can make friends, learn languages and become a part of the community.

By taking part in the IncluCities project, the municipality of Fuenlabrada was able to evaluate its existing practices in migrant integration and to identify some gaps. The first challenge was to understand how to reach the right audience. After careful evaluation, the main obstacle appeared to be the language. The beneficiaries’ needs in the first phase of integration have also been analysed; access to a health card, registration, housing and schooling were identified as the main priorities.

To solve these issues, the municipality found creative solutions. The new subpage “Fuenlabrada Global” now offers basic information for newcomers in 5 additional languages: English, French, Arabic, Romanian and French. In addition, a bot is available to answer the most frequently asked questions such as where to enroll in the school year, how to obtain the health card or where to report cases of gender violence. It is an effective way to ensure better communication with the user.

Another improvement is the inclusion of maps with contact information; these maps make it easier to find the location of the services available to migrants. Finally, intersectionality is taken into account; indeed, associations helping victims of gender-based violence or providing LGTBI+ people with support and counseling are also mentioned.

The best practices learned through the IncluCities project have allowed the municipality to take concrete steps in making information and services more accessible to its beneficiaries. Check the new and improved “Fuenlabrada Global” webpage to learn more about this inclusive and user-friendly strategy.
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