Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Exploring Inclusive Cities for Migrants in the UK and Sweden: A Scoping Review

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Abstract:  In recent years, social work with migrants and ethnic minorities has developed as a field of research and practice. Further, it is recognised in the literature that the increased processes of human mobility in today’s societies have driven a growing focus on inclusive cities, especially in larger urban areas where ethnic diversity and cultural heterogeneity can be found alongside newly arrived migrants seeking a better quality of life, safety, and sanctuary. There is a strong link between individuals’ well‐being and their relationship with spaces, institutions, and resources. Cities and their urban environment have been increasingly identified as key arenas where social, economic, and ecological societal challenges should be addressed. In the context of migration, municipalities have invested in dealing with both inclusive and sustainable policies. However, cities are not uniformly experienced by all. This scoping review seeks to answer how an inclusive city is conceptualised in the Swedish and the UK’s social work literature concerning migration. Using social exclusion and inclusion as the theoretical points of view, we conduct analysis using Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) six‐stage methodological framework. Despite social work playing a major role in the social inclusion of immigrant minorities in cities, through promoting participation, there is a lack of knowledge and research on social work engagement with social inclusion, both in the fields of social policy and practices. This article contributes to an enhanced understanding of what an inclusive city is, and the role of social work in defining and developing social policies and professional interventions for inclusive cities to support the integration of migrants with distinct needs. We offer a much‐needed review of the similarities and differences between the two geographies by analysing the social work perspectives from Sweden and the UK.

Keywords:  inclusive cities; migration; social work; Sweden; United Kingdom


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© Niroshan Ramachandran, Claudia Di Matteo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.