Düsseldorf only German city in open-to-foreigners survey – London ranks first

Only one German town appears in the league table of the new “Open Cities” survey by the British Council: Düsseldorf on rank 13. The seven British cities that were analysed are all among the first 16 with London on top of the list.

The 'open cities' survey shows: It is vital to welcome foreigners. (Logo from opencities.britishcouncil.org)

In 2010 the British Council collected data according to 54 factors in 11 categories about the 26 cities that were included into the survey. These factors were supposed to determine how ‘open’ and globalised each city is.

The survey was conducted for the British Council by the BAK Basel Economics with help from the European Commission.

Düsseldorf is the only German city – I wonder why? Where are cities like Berlin and Cologne?

Analised categories and factors

Among the categories were migration, freedom, barriers of entrance, education and quality of life (find the full list here).

Some factors that were included were medical services, schools, taxation and rent (full list here). Factors like the number of overseas students and international schools also were considered.

The London Evening Standard claimed on the 17th of January that London’s current ‘openness’ is going to ‘intensify the debate about the Government’s bid to restrict immigration’.

Two things: London may seem very open and that it scores first in a survey of the British Council might be due to the limited competition.

But I have heard a lot of ‘You are trained here to go back home’ since I came here. Did seem a little small minded to me, to be honest.

Just one German city

Düsseldorf is very open. As I have been a teacher of German as a foreign language, I have met a lot of people who moved to Düsseldorf and brought their families with them. They all thought it was a friendly, open-minded and safe place.

However, I believe that there are even more multicultural cities than Düsseldorf that should have been considered in this survey.

But the best thing about this survey is that these 26 cities (and I am sure loads more) start caring about being called ‘open’.

The fact that it is so proudly proclaimed means that we’re one step closer to adapting to globalised, multicultural societies and that we’re willingly working towards being part of the overdue openness the 21st century requires.

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