Promising Practices

Overcome division? Yes please! But how?

Each community is different. But the challenges of living together are often similar in different local contexts. The NOW Promising Practices showcase living examples of how to strengthen inclusive social cohesion in diverse communities. We understand practices as methods or ways of action which are adaptable to other local contexts.


Celebrating the beauty of diversity

MEASC annual festival of cultures and faiths, Dublin, Ireland

A one-day festival lets visitors experience diverse cultures and faiths and brings to light the value of people from diverse backgrounds working together.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting activities & community events


Cool streets

City of Vienna, Austria

As a reaction to urban heat, selected streets are declared car-free and turned into inviting spaces to cool off and interact with neighbours.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting Activities & community events


Learning each other’s language

Municipality of Kamenica, Kosovo

Language courses in Serbian and Albanian with joint activities help to break persistent patterns of judgemental attitudes towards each other.

Categories: Connecting Activities & community events, Formats overcoming conflicts & division


Reconciliation through storytelling

Peace and Freedom Organisation (PFO), Ninewa Plains, Iraq

In a situation of mistrust between different groups in an area liberated from IS control, storytelling serves as a tool for mutual understanding.

Categories: Formats overcoming conflicts & division, Connecting Activities & community events


United through sports and community engagement

Pineto United Football Team, Rome, Italy


A football team for young asylum seekers and locals in a neglected neighbourhood strengthens community spirit and revitalises the local park.

Categories: Connecting activities & community events, Joint local engagement for the common good, Community spaces where diverse people meet


Youth creates youth strategy

City of Vienna, Austria

The City of Vienna asked more than 22,000 children and young people about their views on the city and their future and included them in its youth strategy.

Categories: Inclusive youth participation


Athens Open Schools

City of Athens, Greece

After regular school hours, school buildings are opened for everyone and turned into spaces for community activities and lifelong learning.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting activities & community events


Collaboration through social media

Essen packt an! Germany

A Facebook group that spontaneously coordinated volunteers after a storm turned into a low-threshold volunteer organisation active in various fields.

Categories: Joint local engagement for the common good, Connecting activities & community events


Connected living

Kalkbreite cooperative, Zurich, Switzerland

A housing project chooses its residents deliberately to represent a diverse mix of backgrounds and promotes interaction in attractive shared spaces.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet


Empty property as co-creative city lab

arki_lab, Asnæs, Denmark

Students become involved in planning public spaces within their city through an engaging board game, visualisation techniques and co-building installations.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Inclusive youth participation


Facing change with a common vision

Engagierte Stadt Forst & Engagierte Stadt Weißwasser, Germany

Faced with the end of the coal mining sector and resulting societal fractions, two towns engage their citizens to create a positive vision for the future.

Categories: Joint local engagement for the common good


Feuding youths becoming change-makers

MARCH / The Beb El Dahab Initiative, Tripoli, Lebanon

Young people formerly involved in violent conflicts receive training in the practical and emotional skills needed to rebuild their neighbourhoods together.

Categories: Formats overcoming conflicts & division, Joint local engagement for the common good


Joint campaigning for Horsh Beirut

NAHNOO, Beirut, Lebanon

A campaign to re-open the only park in Beirut brings together young people from communities formerly separated by the park.

Categories: Joint local engagement for the common good, Community spaces where diverse people meet


Making online participation local

City of Antwerp – Youth department, Antwerp, Belgium

The Youth Service of Antwerp brings online participation tools to places where children and young people spend their time, in order to ensure diverse participation.

Categories: Inclusive youth participation, Connecting activities & community events


Mixed young people housing community

Startblok Riekerhaven (SR), City of Amsterdam, De Key, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A housing community for young local students and refugees helps newcomers become acquainted with the city, culture and language more quickly.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting activities & community events


Multi-purpose community centre

Sultanbeyli Municipality, Turkey

One community centre combines all the services refugees need and offers social cohesion activities, bringing them together with the locals.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting activities & community events


Music Safari in public spaces

Space and Place, Vienna, Austria

A DJ plays music that reflects the various communities living in an area, inviting residents to gather in the public space to listen, interact and dance.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting Activities & community events


Re-imagining reconciliation

Historical Dialogue and Research Home for Cooperation, Nicosia, Cyprus

In order to tackle lasting divisions, students and teachers from the Turkish and Greek communities in Cyprus are brought together for peace training and shared activities.

Categories: Formats overcoming conflicts & division, Connecting Activities & community events


Space for participatory art production

ArtSocialSpaces, Brunnenpassage, Vienna, Austria

A space for participatory artistic activities is strategically located next to a highly frequented market area to attract diverse participants and spectators.

Categories: Community spaces where diverse people meet, Connecting Activities & community events


Technological and intercultural skills for young refugees

LATRA, Peacebuilders, Lesbos, Greece

Innovative workshops teach refugee children and young people a combination of technological and intercultural skills, enabling them to improve life in the camps.

Categories: Connecting Activities & community events, Joint local engagement for the common good


Joint local engagement for the common good

Sharing a common goal and working towards it collectively can help create a sense of community between very different people. How can community engagement be organised to be both effective and
welcoming to everyone to participate?

Connecting activities & community events

Organising community events or getting people together for engaging activities is a common suggestion for improving social cohesion. What kinds of activities and events have shown to be particularly successful in enabling exchange and connection?

Community spaces where diverse people meet

The design of (public) spaces influences the way people spend time there and the kind of interactions that can occur. What do places have to look and feel like for diverse people to feel welcome and meet each other?

Formats overcoming conflicts & division

In many cases conflict and division between different groups run so deep that almost every encounter is shaped by prejudice or even hate. What kind of formats can help to move people from prejudices and hate to understanding and connectedness?

Inclusive youth participation

Young people need to be involved in decision making. But often enough only more privileged young people are invited to participate which reinforces existing inequalities. How can youth participation be organised to include young people with all sorts of backgrounds?