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SPATIAL MEDIATION: Place‐based approaches to the dynamics of forced migration in arrival cities​

Type of project
03.09.2019 -> 01.09.2023

About the project

In urban displacement contexts, the speed and volume of demographic change differs considerably from general urbanization and places immediate pressure on host communities. This can have long‐lasting spatial effects and negative social impact. Consequently, urban displacement requires rapid and often improvised decision making, which is perhaps the reason why urban displacement is still considered a humanitarian & international development concern rather than a spatial, urban and contingency planning matter.   Awareness of the particularities of urban displacement is gaining traction within international humanitarian and development communities. Urban is now on the agenda, and place‐based approaches is a term that is starting to appear in the policy documents of intergovernmental actors involved in urban crises response, such as the World Bank and the United Nations. Global policy frameworks address urban displacement challenges as overarching goals, but few include specific spatial and urban planning means to achieve agreed goals.   In my research, I aim to discover the correlation between the layout and architecture of places used for both displaced persons and their hosts and suggest inclusionary programmatic and spatial solutions in future responses to urban displacement. The research concerns the role and design of public spaces in urban life. It explores the application of urban design and architectural practices in crises contexts and contingency planning and asks what architects and urbanists can learn from studying displacement situations.   Specifically, this paper outlines two interconnected themes: How are place-based approaches, that are familiar from European integrated urban renewal programmes, translated to emergency contexts. At the same time, migration, emergency and multi-ethnicity is starting to feature as topics in the fields of architecture and urbanism, but is still underexplored, even from a place‐based, spatial point of view.