"The world's heart beats in Brussels"
That's right! And we want everyone to know! The year 2017 will be characterised by Brussels' enormous diversity. You can expect a year full of colourful events, fascinating encounters and heart-warming projects with one common goal: putting the spotlight on cosmopolitan Brussels, home to 183 nationalities. The capital of Europe where you can feel the heartbeat of the world.
Four governments have joined forces in association with visit.brussels to highlight Brussels projects and events with the active collaboration of the cultural and socio-cultural sector. And of course Brussels inhabitants will be involved so they can show their little metropolis off.
This theme, of course, does not just come out of the blue: Brussels has always been an open and international city and has grown over the decades into a very diverse region.
For those of you who are still not convinced, have a look at some of these nice facts:
According to the World Migration Report 2015, Brussels is the most cosmopolitan city in Europe, and after Dubai even the second most cosmopolitan city in the world!
- 183 nationalities live in Brussels.
- If you pay attention, you could hear up to 104 languages being spoken on public transport.
- 'Zinnekes' (a Brussels word for mongrel dogs): nearly two-thirds of the Brussels population has foreign roots, from all corners of the world.
- How many capitals can you be? Capital of Belgium, Flanders, the French Community, as well as the capital of over 500 million Europeans. Brussels is a capital to an exponential degree.
- The cultural offer is dizzying. With even more cultural events per capita than New York. Brussels is brimming with concert halls, art galleries, theatres, dance companies, interdisciplinary festivals, museums, designers, art collectives, cartoon characters and so on.
- Brussels would not be a metropolis if its diversity would not reflect on its plates: not only can almost any cuisine in the world be found here, your taste buds will be spoiled by the authentic craftsmanship of the cooks. Brussels a paradise for foodies!
- Some quick figures: Brussels is the head office of 2000 international organisations, 20 institutions of the EU, 42 intergovernmental organisations and employs just under 1,000 international journalists (to 1,700 during European summits), more than 20,000 lobbyists, 29 international schools, four European Schools 5,400 diplomats (more than Washington!) and 300 regional offices!
- "Et quand il y en a plus, il y en a encore." Brussels is also the main conference city in Europe and after Singapore in the world.
Apart from its international character, Brussels diversity is also reflected in many other forms:
- Brussels has a thriving LGBT scene. Here, and by extension the whole of Belgium, you could have tied the knot with someone of the same sex on June 1, 2003 already. Only the Netherlands beat us.
- Brussels is a very young city, where several generations live together harmoniously.
- Brussels also works on accessibility for people with disabilities. So that everyone can live and move smoothly in the city.
In Brussels you can be yourself. This region does not have one identity, but several identities. That's where MIXITY.brussels 2017 stands for. And we invite you to discover it with us.
Focus on the World Migration Report:
- Dubai: 83%
- Brussels: 62%
- Toronto: 46%
- Auckland: 39%
- Sydney: 39%
- Los Angeles: 39%
- Singapore: 38%
- London: 37%
- New York: 37%
- Melbourne: 35%