Wrapping up the course

Congratulations for completing this course! We hope it has provided you with a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between migration and cities. Moreover, we hope that by examining this relationship, the course has encouraged you to rethink about the everyday realities and complexities of migration, on the one hand, and about how cities develop and transform, on the other.

It is now time to quickly recap some of the key themes we have covered over the past three weeks.

In week 1, we introduced the different types of migration towards cities. We then examined the links between migration and cities across history, underlining the fact that urban development can not take place without some form of inward migration, be this internal or international. We illustrated a number of examples: the expansion of Venice in the sixteenth century; the rise of the modern industrial cities of Manchester and Berlin in the nineteenth century, and the redesign of Rabat as a colonial capital city in the 1920s and 1930s. Each of these cities was permanently transformed by migration.

In week 2 we switched our attention and focused on some key issues facing migration in present-day cities. We examined the question of employment and the role of migrants in the increasing globalisation of economies. We considered the various aspects associated with the settlement of migrants in cities and the factors that determine the patterns of residential distribution of different migrant groups. We then looked at urban public space and the important role that this plays in migrants’ everyday lives. Drawing on the case of the railway station area in Naples, we also reflected on the ways in which migrants remake public space. Finally, we addressed some of the problems that arise in cities as a result of migration and focused on two specific cases: migrants’ lack of access to state welfare in London and prejudice and violence directed at foreign Africans in South African cities.

Finally, in week 3, we looked at three issues – policy, heritage and transnational networks – that are usually approached from the perspective of the nation state. We considered the role of urban policy in facilitating the integration of migrants into local society. We investigated how migration histories are included in the cultural heritage of cities, both in museums and in everyday urban life. We ended with a discussion of the networks between cities that migrants establish as they move across the world and by drawing on a range of examples we reflected on how this might encourage a new approach to conceiving international migration that moves beyond the ‘methological nationalism’ that has tended to frame our understandings of migration in the past.

The assessment asked you to pick one of the themes that we have covered during the course and to discuss what we gain and what we lose by examining migration through the lens of the city rather than through the lens of the nation. How did you find this peer review activity? Did the course provide you with sufficient material and arguments to enable you to develop your reflections? Or was the task particularly challenging?

Overall, has this course helped you to better understand the connections between migration and cities and has it encouraged you to rethink the social, cultural, economic and political dimensions of these two phenomena? Let us know your thoughts!

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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Please also share your thoughts about what you have learned over these three weeks in the comments

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This article is from the free online course:

Migration and Cities

European University Institute (EUI)