Global Migration, Refugees, and a Role for Design

| Wednes­day, Octo­ber 24th, 6–8pm |

U.N. Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon has stat­ed: “We face the biggest refugee and migra­tion cri­sis since World War II.  Over the last year, more than 60 mil­lion peo­ple have been forced from their homes.  Des­per­ate con­di­tions are com­pelling peo­ple around the world to move………States must sig­nif­i­cant­ly boost the num­ber of refugee reset­tle­ment places – and share equi­tably in this effort”.

The rapid increase of unprece­dent­ed num­bers of migrants will put new pres­sures on how towns and cities will meet the chal­lenges of rapid urban­iza­tion com­bined with cli­mate change. This pan­el will under­score the very pos­i­tive role migrants play in pur­suit of sus­tain­able urban­iza­tion, includ­ing world­wide case stud­ies, best prac­tices, and solu­tions on how to host and accom­mo­date migrants, inte­grate migrant pop­u­la­tions with­in exist­ing urban con­texts, as well as share lessons learned.

Whether migrants find them­selves in a camp, tem­po­rary hous­ing, or in a makeshift set­tle­ment, the need for access to pub­lic space, edu­ca­tion and basic health­care does not get lost. These needs are just as essen­tial for migrants as for inhab­i­tants of any com­mu­ni­ty or city if not more so as they are more vul­ner­a­ble, in many instances, than from which they have fled.  In fact, one could argue that these are the very things that make a city hab­it­able and are even more crit­i­cal in such sit­u­a­tions. There­fore, plan­ning for long term, tem­po­rary, or emer­gency accom­mo­da­tions needs to pay par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the phys­i­cal and social needs as a way of start­ing the process of heal­ing from a life of dis­lo­ca­tion.

In the wake of the Sep­tem­ber U.N. Sum­mit on Migra­tion and Refugees held in New York, and, Habi­tat III: U.N. Con­fer­ence on Hous­ing and Sus­tain­able Urban Devel­op­ment in Quito, Ecuador the week before, our pan­el will dis­cuss what are the oppor­tu­ni­ties, respon­si­bil­i­ties, and oblig­a­tions of the design com­mu­ni­ty in respond­ing to this glob­al phe­nom­e­na of more peo­ple on the move than ever pre­dict­ed. What is the back­ground real­i­ty, what are the inter-con­ti­nen­tal real­i­ties, and the nation­al, region­al, and local impli­ca­tions for design?

This event will take place at the Cen­ter for Archi­tec­ture.