As the city’s population began to change around the turn of the century, “we changed our policies to focus on basic public safety,” said the mayor. “We put cameras in public areas. What we have done for almost 20 years is invest in infrastructure, social housing and schools.”
“And,” he said, “we have a positive, inclusive narrative. Remember, I am the mayor. We are all Mechelen. We have a Moroccan community, an Armenian community… We look at each other as part of the community. People don’t feel disadvantaged or left behind. We have always thought and acted like that.