Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Arrival Cities: Refugees in Three German Cities
Hajo Neis, Briana Meier, Tomo Furukawazono

Last modified: 15-05-2018


Since 2015, the authors have studied the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East. The intent of the
project is to not only study the refugee crisis in various spatial and architectural settings and aspects
but also actively try to help refugees with their problems that they experience in the events from
starting an escape and to settling in a given host country, city town or neighborhood.
In this paper, the authors present three case studies in three different cities in Germany. Refugees are
everywhere in Germany, even in smaller towns and villages. The case study cities are at different
scales with Borken (15,000 people), Kassel, a mid-size city (200,000), and Essen a larger city
(600,000) as part of the still larger Ruhr Area Megacity. In these cities we try to understand the life of
refugees from their original escape country/city to their arrival in their new cities and new countries.
Our work focuses on the social-spatial aspects of refugee experiences, and their impact on urban
morphology and building typology.
We also try to understand how refugees manage their new life in partial safety of place, shelter food
and financial support but also in uncertainty and insecurity until officially accepted as refugees.
Beyond crisis we are looking at how refugees can and want to integrate into their host countries, cities
and neighborhoods and start a new life. Social activities and physical projects including urban
architecture projects for housing and work, that help the process of integration, are part of this

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