The new strategy – launched yesterday – describes how the Mayor of London and City Hall will work with social integration experts, London’s communities and civil society to help improve social integration. It launches new social integration initiatives, and outlines how powers and programmes across the Mayor’s remit including housing, planning, regeneration, policing and culture can support improvements in social integration.
London is one of the most diverse and progressive cities in the world. However, inequality is increasing rapidly across the capital, which has a negative impact on our sense of social cohesion. Social integration is an issue for all members of society, as the lack of it adds on to inequality and widens the gap between people. In order to work towards a more integrated society, we must tackle the barriers to social integration and the inequalities, which divide people.
Mayor of London's Strategy for Social Integration emphasises the need for all Londoners to build relationships in order to create connections, and to help end divisions. Although being one of the most diverse cities in the world, 21 per cent of Londoners reported that all their friends were of the same ethnicity as themselves, almost a third said all their friends were a similar age, and 30 per cent said all their friends had a similar education to them. The strategy aims to create a socially integrated city, where people have more opportunities to connect positively with each other and relate to each other as equals.
Social integration is the key, as it breaks down inequalities between Londoners, increases social mobility, reduces loneliness and improves health outcomes for everyone. Most importantly, it strengthens communities and brings together Londoners of all ages and backgrounds.